Sermon: B The Sunday after All Saints’ 4 November 2012

Wis 3:1-9; Ps 24; Rev 21: 1- 6a; JOHN 11:32-44

I sing a song of the saints of God, I mean, God helping, to be one too. AMEN

We celebrate All Saints’ Day today, even after All Saints’, and so we think about All Souls’ as well. All Hallows Eve was part of the observance of feast days, by starting the feast at sunset the previous Eve, as we do on Christmas Eve and Easter Eve, which we call a Vigil. Calling that lead-in service Eve, it’d be, Christme’en or would it be Christmaseen or Eastereen—nope, yet we do mark these three major church Holy Days the night before. All Saints in our world is far less observed than its Evening beginning, Hallowe’en, as Christmas is less celebrated liturgically than its Eve. All Souls for us is an extended prayer observance for people, unlike the ones remembered on All Saints, who according to Wikipedia “have attained the beatific vision in Heaven.” Since all Christians are understood to be saints of God, it’s odd that we almost divide people on these two days between famous and common. The church’s distinction is between those in Heaven and those not yet in, but since we don’t hold to a concept of Purgatory or other sort of holding cell or pit, that difference doesn’t make much theological sense.

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