Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Devotion - November 1

In keeping with the Liturgical Calendar, allow me to say a few words today about All Saints' Day.

On the Calendar, each day has a saint to be commemorated.  We know that Martin Luther was born on November 10 because he was named for the saint commemorated on Nov 11 - St. Martin of Tours.

As the list of saints grew, there simply wasn't enough days in the year for them all.  All Saints' Day was a solution for this.  While we might miss the honoring of a particular saint, on this day all were honored.  All Saints' Day was a day of obligation - you could not miss mass on this day.

It was on the eve of All Saints' Day that Luther posted his 95 Thesis.  He knew everyone would be coming to church on November 1.

Most of the churches of the Reformation ceased observance of various saint's days, but retained the tradition of All Saints' Day as a way to call attention to the Reformation assertion that all are saints, i.e. equally valued in the heart of God.  Reformation Churches attached to All Saints' a remembrance of loved ones who had died in the past year, sometimes lighting candles for these persons as their names are read in worship.

On this day, my prayer is that each of you will know how much God loves and cares for you.  On this day, I would encourage you to offer prayers of appreciation for the Saints who have kept the Word of God and passed it down through the ages.  Let's celebrate that which has sustained the Church through centuries while we allow the contemporary Church to reinterpret in ways which are helpful and appropriate for our own times.

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