Remembering the Faithful Departed
November 1 is All Saints’ Day. “Our churches teach that the history of saints may be set before us so that we may follow the example of their faith and good works, according to our calling” (Augsburg Confession XXI 1). On All Saints’ Day we remember those who have died in the faith, the great host of the faithful who are at rest.
The day after All Saints’ Day (November 2) is appointed as All Souls’ Day. On this day, the Church remembers those who have departed in the faith in the past year. While we do not pray for their salvation--that’s already been accomplished--we do give thanks and ask God that we would have fellowship with them in this life and the next.
At St. John’s we will observe both of these traditions on Sunday, November 3. In the Remembrance of the Faithful Departed, we will read the names of those who have died in the past year, and toll our church bells. After this roll call, we will offer a brief prayer of thanksgiving and then confess the Apostles’ Creed, which indicates that we are united with them in one baptism.
Because All Saints’ Day is one of the Principal Feasts of Christ, we will also mark the occasion with a procession and reading the Gospel in the midst of the congregation.