A message from our rector… (from November Keystone)

Posted on Nov 5, 2013

A Hallowtide Message from the Rector…

Hallowtide is upon us. Beginning with All Hallows’ Eve, aka Halloween, with All Saints’ Day on November 1st, All Souls’ Day on November 2nd and, this year, All Saints’ Sunday on the 3rd, we have a liturgical expression of the complete journey of the soul – the journey from our created image and likeness, through the fall, through Holy Baptism, through our Christian practice and the process of unveiling both life and in our journey beyond, until God is all in all.
The Resurrection alive in the faces of human beings like us is what is celebrated in All Saints’ Day. We often remember the heroic Saints like those in our stained glass windows, ie. St. Mary the Mother of God, St. Peter our Patron, St. John the Baptist, St. Catherine, St. Agnes, etc. and “encouraged by their examples, aided by their prayers, and strengthened by their fellowship” we pray that we, too, “may be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light”. (BCP 489, 504) The fullness of their baptism is shown here; not only has the root of our fallen nature been destroyed by Christ and our deeper original image and likeness of God regenerated in Baptism (BCP 858), but the effects of the fall have been dissolved over time through a life of Grace and Holy toil.
On All Souls’ Day, we pray for those recently departed, those we believe to still be undergoing the process of entering into the fullness of God’s presence. There are only Saints in Heaven and all of us are called to be Saints, each of us unique and unrepeatable.
All Saints’ Sunday is the Sunday after All Saints’ Day and though it seems it was originally the transference of the All Saints’ Feast Day, it has now taken on a shape of its own. This day has been seen as auspicious for Baptisms in our tradition, and at St. Peter’s, our present practice is to celebrate one liturgy at 9:00 am rather than our usual two liturgies, 8:00 am and 10:00 am. We all come together on this day for a festive celebration, with Baptisms, with choir, with Eucharist and with a party. We get to revel in the fellowship of our parish, with the Saints just Baptized, long-been Baptized, and those with a “Heavenly zip code”, if you will.
Each of these aspects of Hallowtide: the Completed journey, the still on the Journey, and the All of Us together in this journey are present, not only as a liturgical micro season, but also in each soul. It is a mysterious truth that all of us are completely sanctified in Christ and yet that is still being revealed and integrated through this wondrous Body.
So during this Hallowtide, let us remember the Saints that aid us with their prayers, the Souls of our departed human family continuing the journey and celebrate the Baptisms of Oliver, John and Petra as well as our own.
Fr. Justin