Monday, November 12, 2007

All Saints Day Celebration

All Saints Day is an ancient Christian holiday, usually celebrated on November 1. (Halloween - on October 31 - is actually an unfortunate perversion of an All Saints Day Eve prayer vigil.) All Saints Day has quickly become one of my favorite holidays.
We have celebrated it almost every year since I've been pastor here at KNU International English Church. Every year is a little different. One year, Ken Dixon preached an excellent sermon explaining how saints are windows into a better way of life. Another year, people from our church told stories about saints who had impacted their lives in person or through literature.
This year, Adam Smith (our resident political scientist and thinker of all things deep) planned and organized our All Saints Day Worship Service centered around the theme of ancient martyrs, contemporary martyrs, and the church's ongoing call to live out God's compassion for the poor. He has graciously posted the entire service with stunning artwork included on his website. You can read through it here.
If you are new to All Saints Day, this summary (by Adam) might be helpful for you:
All Saints Day is an opportunity for the Church to remember the many saints and martyrs of Christian history. It began in the 4th century and was originally called "All Martyrs Day," a time to reflect on the martyrs who helped build the early church. It was later expanded to include all the saints, not only martyrs. It's a kind of Memorial Day for the church - a chance to feel our connection with those Christians past and present who have given their whole lives, sometimes even their physical existence, for the gospel, and to learn more of what the gospel means by looking to their example.

For another helpful introduction, read "All Saints Sunday" by Robin Stephenson-Bratcher and Dennis Bratcher, on the ever helpful site.
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