All Souls' Day - November 2nd

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Remembered lives on November 2nd — All Souls' Day

All Souls' Day is traditionally celebrated on 2 November to remember those who have died. In some Protestant denominations, All Souls' Day has been joined with All Saints' Day (following the idea that we are all saints).

Recently, Catholic Christians have celebrated the elevation of the renowned Victorian priest, writer, and theologian, Cardinal John Henry Newman to sainthood in a service held at St Peter's, Rome.

We all know people who have been special in our lives but who are no longer with us upon earth. Such saints may be spouses, parents, siblings, children, and other relatives. Other saints may be key influencers in our personal development outside the family such as schoolteachers, trainers, employers, colleagues and the like. And even others may simply be old friends and neighbours whom we recall with much affection. Who are the saints in your life?

Historically, the church has used this time of year to celebrate lives of the faithful and this has been linked to special services and times of thanksgiving. Some churches use the time to offer quiet and space especially in remembrance of those who have died in the past 12 months.

This year Epping Methodist Church opened all day on Saturday 2 November to commemorate All Souls Day. A steady stream of church members and visitors to the church sanctuary found a quiet space for reflection, remembrance, and prayer. Visitors were able to record the name of their dead relative or friend, which were then placed in a simple 'memory box'.

The names were offered to God by Revd Cecil White during prayers at the end of the afternoon.

A Prayer for All Souls' Day

God our Father, by our Baptism, you made us your holy people and called us to share in the joy of your saints. By their help and example, you guide us to live for others as Jesus taught us. May their prayers strengthen and comfort us as we follow Jesus to his promise of everlasting life. We make this prayer to you in His name. Amen

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