In the Celtic tradition, they talk about “thin places.” It’s those places or moments in time where it feels like heaven and earth almost meet … where the feeling of eternity is palpable … where you connect with God and the saints in glory in a way that’s hard to put into words. Thin places are hallowed and sacred. They have the ability to give us strength and renewal of spirit as we experience connection with loved ones who are no longer with us.
Today, November 1, is what we who follow Christ call All Saints Day. It’s a day each year that we remember and give thanks for the lives of people who’ve left an indelible mark on our hearts. It’s a day that, for me, always feels like a thin place. For some, this is a day that brings tears because the pain is still very raw after losing a loved one. For others, this is a day that might bring a smile or laughter thanks to precious memories with loved ones. Regardless of where we find ourselves, this is a Holy Day as we celebrate our loved ones who now rest with God and are part of that great cloud of witnesses that we call the communion of saints.
This Sunday in worship, we will celebrate All Saints Day in several special ways. There will be a bell tree in the narthex before worship where people can pin a bell(s) in memory of their loved ones. We’ll process the bell tree into the sanctuary when worship begins, and the gentle sound of the tinkling bells will represent the singing of the saints in glory. Please make plans to arrive a few minutes before worship if you would like to pin a bell in memory of someone. In addition, we will light a candle as we name those from our congregation who have died over the past year. We’ll also light a candle to remember loved ones who were not church members but who were nonetheless important. Finally, we will come to Christ’s table to share in holy communion with those present and those who have gone on before us.
I hope you’ll join me for this meaningful time of worship, remembrance, and thanksgiving. I look forward to being with you all this Sunday!!
Rev. Malinda Weaver