Oh, blest communion, fellowship divine, we feebly struggle, they in glory shine; yet all are one in thee, for all are thine. Alleluia! Alleluia!—from For All the Saints, v.3
Anyone else feel like they are “feebly struggling” some days? As always, people are experiencing a wide range of feelings as we enter another holiday season and winter. On All Saints Day, we celebrate all of the baptized. For all of the baptized are saints in the eyes of God. Or as the song lyric says, “yet all are one in thee, for all are thine.” For several years, we have lifted up the newly baptized and those who have died in the past year. We will continue that tradition this year.
But for this year, I want all of the saints to have an opportunity to lift up the things on their heart. Are there things you are grieving? Are there things you are celebrating? Are there things that are bringing you uncertainty and grief? Are there things that are giving you energy and hope? This year on All Saints Day, we are going to give these things over to God. We will lift up the ways that we may “feebly struggle” or the ways that we “shine.”
During our worship together, whether in person or online, we will share in a litany of grief and of joy. Aligning ourselves again with God who holds us close in the midst of both joy and sorrow. We will also spend a little extra time in prayer, and you will have the opportunity to bring your joys and sorrows, on a piece of paper, before God. Following worship, whoever wants to, can come outside and we will burn those joys and sorrows. As we hear in Holden Evening Prayer, we will let our “prayers rise up like incense before you.” My hope is that we can take these moments to let go of the things that may be holding on to us and find ways to hand them over to God.
If you aren’t able to make it to the church, feel free to drop off or mail in your joy or sorrow. Simply write All Saints on the outside of the envelope. We won’t even open it but simply include it with the others. For those of you at worship we will have paper available that you can write your joys and sorrows on. When you come forward for communion, we will have a place for you to place those joys and sorrows. My hope for this All Saints Sunday is that we can feel the unity we have in this community of believers. That we can hear those words and feel them in our hearts that “all are one in thee, for all are thine.”