All Saints Day
WHAT IS IT?
A day of remembrance for those who died in the Lord. A celebration of how the Church Militant (those still alive) and the Church Triumphant (those who have died) are alive in Christ, as one Communion of Saints.
WHY DO WE CELEBRATE IT?
We affirm our blessed hope that Christ has conquered death. Even death cannot separate us from his love, and through Christ we remain connected with saints through time and space.
WHO ARE THE SAINTS?
While “saints” is sometimes used in the context of the heroes of the faith, saints here refers to “all Christians in every time and place.”
WHAT DO WE DO?
We never pray to the dead – prayers are always directed to God. We pray and thank God for those who have been called home to him, seeking to emulate their godly examples.
White is used as a symbol of joy.
Names of those who died in the past year are read aloud.
We thank God for the lives of those who have gone before us.
EASTER AND HALLOWEEN
Most cultures have a day of remembrance for the departed, but Christians have two – Easter and All Saints. Both are rooted in the resurrection of Jesus.
Roughly half a year from Easter, All Saints often bears the character of being a “little Easter”.
Halloween, observed on 31 Oct, has roots in All Saints Day. It was originally known as All Hallow’s Eve, “hallow” meaning “holy one” or “saint”.
- Alexander, J. Neil. Celebrating Liturgical Time: Days, Weeks, and Seasons, 2014.
- The United Methodist Book of Worship. Nashville, TN: The United Methodist Publishing House, 1992.