Thursday, October 31, 2019

October 31

"Halloween" comes from "All Hallows Eve," from the Christian Feast of "All Saints." Various communities rearrange the date for "trick or treat," so also has church history scholars rearranged the date of celebration of remembering the saints who have gone before us. Some sources say 3rd century, some 8th century, and one I read today said 11th century when the Abbot of Cluny urged his monks to observe November 2 as "All Soul's Day." Still, Christians have always honored the dead and in the first and second centuries worshipped in the catacombs, where Romans buried and forgot their dead. Christians even saved small pieces of the bones of the deceased, called "relics." Christians expect a resurrection like Jesus' and they'll need their body for that.

In our Lutheran church the names of all the members who died since last November 1 are read aloud during the service, and then the names of deceased which the members have submitted. This Sunday the names of our grandparents, parents, siblings and children will be read from the pulpit while we take communion. It's a beautiful reenactment of the Christian hope. A great crowd of witnesses.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus . . ." Hebrews 12:1

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