Tag Archives: All Saints Day

Celtic Beginnings: All Saints Day

Photo by Kilian Kremer on Unsplash

All Hallows Eve

Halloween is hugely celebrated in the US, but its roots can be found in Ireland. You may have seen several articles about this on Facebook and elsewhere leading up to October 31. I know I have. Here’s a good one to check out on the Irish American Mom website.

There is a harvest aspect to the Celtic festival, but also a celebration of the dead. All Hallows or All Saints became the Christian church’s All Saints Day.

All Saints Day

Photo by Léa V on Unsplash

A day to remember all those believers who have gone to their eternal rest. A day to remember that those who have gone before us lead us on our way. This is important to me. It’s the theme of all my historical writing. It’s the theme of a Bible verse that has inspired me:

This is what the LORD says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls. ~Jeremiah 6:16 NLT

And So I Pause

…to consider the significance of this day. Admittedly it’s something we do think about as we get older. More and more people we have known, those who have raised us, those who have been spiritual mentors, have passed on. That’s fitting, but truly everyone should think about those saints in heaven, see what there is to be learned from their lives, and celebrate that they ran the good race and now are made perfect.

The photo below spoke to me. It reminds me of the empty seats at my church where a saint once sat but has now gone on to new life. I, like the woman here, am left to carry on. I know I can’t fill their shoes (you may feel the same way about those you are missing) but I must do my best, with God’s help.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

All Saints

All Saints Sunday

Clonfert and RememberingYesterday the church calendar marked All Saints Day. I remember it growing up as a day when my church would read the names of all the members who have passed away and toll a bell with each name. (I don’t think my current church does that, but many traditional observances seem to be falling away.)

It was a somber tradition, as all moments of remembrance tend to be. It was an observance I never cared for. Too sad. But it’s not truly meant to be depressing. Remembering and honoring are important things to do if we are to realize our place in this world.

 

The Communion of Saints

Another tradition that is often overlooked is the practice of reciting in a corporate manner, what we as Christian people of the church believe. Spot the word “saints” below:

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Clonmacnoise from Author Cindy ThomsonVirgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.

The communion of saints. There is the Lord’s Supper, which is called Communion, but I think this refers to Webster’s definition: an act or instance of sharing. Believers are called saints, both those living and deceased. All Saints Day is a communion, a sharing. A bond between those who are together in Christ.

Saints Leading the Way

We celebrate today the solemnity of All Saints. This invites us to turn our gaze to the immense multitude of those who have already reached the blessed land, and points us on the path that will lead us to that destination.
Pope John Paul II, All Saints’ Day 2003

Ballintoy Church from author Cindy Thomson“Points us on the path.”–That’s something that has resonated with me ever since I started writing. When you think of the numbers of people who have lived on the earth before us, you have to believe they learned a thing or two about going through life that we could benefit from. Thankfully, many taught and wrote and passed that legacy down to us.

 

Who is a saint (well known or not) that you have learned from?