Wednesday, November 2, 2011

All Souls Day and catching the moonlight

Today is the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, or "All Souls Day." Candidly, it is not the most popular of Christian holy days; we don't exchange presents, we don't have a big feast, and it is a bit gloomy.

Maybe our culture has lost the art of lamenting for the people we love and see no longer. We move on so quickly. Today is reminder that it is OK to lament, to feel sorrow, to miss people.

Yesterday at a noon Holy Eucharist at St. Paul's we observed both All Saints and All Souls days by reading the names of dozens of people who have departed this life for the next. It was a very moving service, and well attended. For those who could not be there, we faithfully read all of the names you asked us to read.

All Souls Day is also a day of hope for a better world to come in this life and in the next.

Our friend Karen from Tennessee sent this poem the other day, and perhaps it might capture the idea that we can fill our life with light even in the darkest night:

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The River Darkens on an Autumn Night
By Yi Jung (Korean) c. 16th Century

The river darkens on an autumn night
and the waves subside as if to sleep.
I drop a line into the water
but the sleepy fish won't bite.

The empty boat and I return
filled with our catch of moonlight.
Postscript: If anyone can tell me who created the stunning photo artwork above I would be delighted to add a photocredit. I found it on the internet, and there was no credit.

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