Across the Pastor’s Desk: All Saints Day is one of reflection

Published 8:20 pm Thursday, November 2, 2017

Across the Pastor’s Desk by Eileen Woyen

Nov. 1 is traditionally All Saints Day on the Christian calendar. This is the day that we give thanks to God for all those who have gone before us. We give thanks for parents, children, friends, mentors and all the faithful departed. We give thanks for memories both joyful and sorrowful. We give thanks for good times and bad. We give thanks to God for these partners in this pilgrimage called life.

Eileen Woyen

In fact, Halloween and All Saints Day come from the same root words. All Saints Day originally was All Hallowed Day, and the day before was called All Hallows Eve. Hence — Halloween.

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This important day is not only about candy, the faithful departed and spooky costumes. This day connects us to each other as children of God.

The church celebrates All Saints Day on the first Sunday after Nov. 1. This year it will be Nov. 5.

All Saints Day is one of my favorite days in the church year for a couple of reasons. First, it connects us to our loved ones long gone. In the letter to the Hebrews, it states that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. As we sing hymns, as we pray, as we hear God’s Word, as we gather around the altar, we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. They are there with us.

Secondly, I enjoy All Saints Day because we are reminded that we are all holy — in Jesus we are all sacred. We are all saints.  You don’t have to die to be a saint. To be holy or sacred means to be set apart for something good. We are each set apart to do something good in the kingdom of God.

So, this All Saints Day remember and give thanks for the saints in your life both living and gone. Plus reflect on how you are a saint and what special, something good thing God is calling you to do.

Eileen Woyen is pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church.