This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of All Saints' Day.
We've all heard of the "big name" saints like Andrew, Nicholas, Mary (a few Marys!), and Mother Teresa. Their stories have spread widely because of their beautiful, profound examples of Christian living, and we gain courage from celebrating their lives and witness to the Gospel. The Episcopal calendar feasts for these well-known saints can be found in Holy Women, Holy Men. (My birthday is on Blessed Jerome's feast day! Who is closest to yours?)
The other saints, whom we remember a little less often, are all the others. And we really do mean all the saints. Over 2 billion of them. The Greek work hagios (which we translate "saints") means righteous, and dedicated to special use. And the earliest Christian writings use this word to refer to all the Christian faithful. Each Christian has indeed been dedicated to special use, God's holy and freeing use, in our baptisms. And while I find the story of brilliant, stubborn, Jerome inspiring, I've been lifted up in my faith much more by Blessed Sarah my mom, Blessed Brent my dad, Blessed Mig my confirmation mentor, and many others that I've known personally. Which saints are closest to your heart and spirit? This Sunday is a day to remember all of them, both living on earth, and living in the everlasting realm of God.
Given all this wonder which we name and praise God for on the Feast of All Saints', it's an especially good time to initiate new Christians through the waters of baptism. And that's just what we will do! This Sunday we welcome Frank Dalton Kirwin into the communion of saints. This full and indissoluble initiation into the church is a reaffirmation of our unbroken relationship to all the saints who have come before. Hallelujah!
Blessed Andrew, Blessed Sarah, Blessed Saints of all times and places, come rejoice with us, and welcome Blessed Frank.
God Be With You, Saints,