All Saints Sunday is our annual celebration of the “great cloud of witnesses”: all those who have gone before us in the faith. In our tradition, we understand God’s “saints” to be all those who seek to live lives of faithfulness to Christ and the gospel. All Saints Sunday gives us an opportunity to lift up in remembrance and celebration loved ones from within our midst who have died; in our service, we will especially remember people connected with this congregation who have passed since last All Saints Sunday. We will also have the opportunity for worshippers to lift up other loved ones whose life and witness they wish to celebrate.
Because of the way the calendar falls this year, All Saints Sunday this year is also Remembrance Sunday for us here in Canada. And so, we will also remember that among the great cloud of witnesses are those whose earthly journeys were ended through the horrors of war. We continue to pray that the lists of those we remember on Remembrance Day will, by human courage and God’s providence, grow no longer.
Our worship this Sunday will reach its culmination as we gather at the Feast Table of Christ, where the great cloud of witnesses surrounds us as we share together in the sacrament of Holy Communion... a foretaste of that heavenly banquet in God's coming reign wherein death will be no more and every tear will be wiped away.