As November unfolds, it transforms into a sacred period of remembrance—a moment for contemplation on the lives of those who have departed (all Souls) and those who are still with us (all Saints). On November 1st, we remember all saints, both near and far. Our designation as saints isn’t earned through a disciplined life or rigorous effort but is bestowed upon us by Jesus, who rescued us through his death and resurrection. The 2nd of November is dedicated to solemnly remembering all souls, those who have preceded us—the faithful departed.
On the 11th of November, we gather for a poignant remembrance service, paying tribute to the soldiers, sailors, and airmen who sacrificed their lives in the great wars. Why do we hold space for both the living and the departed in our remembrance? What significance does this act of reflection carry for us today? To address these questions, we turn to the one who instructed us to remember Him—Jesus. He commanded us, “do this in remembrance of me,” urging us to observe holy communion and recall his sacrifice on the cross. Why is this necessary? It is through remembering and placing our trust in him that we discover strength, power, and guidance for our earthly journey until we encounter him face to face.
Remembrance of Jesus helps us grasp the importance of all saints and all souls in our lives. The faithful departed, (all souls) impacted by God’s grace, are described as a cloud of witnesses in the book of Hebrews (Hebrews 12.1). They inspire us to run our race, keeping our focus on Jesus with perseverance. Living all saints serve as living examples of God’s grace in molding and modeling. Whether near or far, they provide inspiration and support for our daily Christian living.
So, let us persist in remembrance—the Lord who sacrificed His life for us, the departed souls who encourage us in our journey, and the living saints who inspire us to finish the race. May the Lord bless us abundantly!