Sunday, November 02, 2008

All Souls

All Souls' and All Saints'/Eve are among my favourite holidays. They're a celebration of the darkness, of the unknown, of mystery and ritual and antiquity. (I don't know why I feel that ancient things automatically adopt a degree of holiness, it just feels right.)

If you do not celebrate the death/darkness, it isn't a whole celebration of life/light. It's a reminder that physical death (even if it meant a final end) is not the worst kind of death.

This fondness for All Souls' day is problematic. You see, I don't personally know many dead people. As life goes on, I'm sure my appreciation and perception of this day will morph into something new. Some day, I will have pictures to place on the altar, and the day will assume a different hue, likely more somber.

Secondly, none of my ancestors have been members of the communion of saints for about 150 years, and I just can't conceive of receiving a visit from them.

So, I placed some incense and food on my home altar anyway, lit a candle, said a prayer and opened the window for any wandering spirits who cared to stop by. (This is the one time of year where I afford myself a certain amount of superstition and elect to walk by intuition.)

I felt it was a night well-spent.


JN1034 said...

A beautiful liturgy, Eric. Full of the Spirit. From the heart. That's certainly doing the Tradition, being the Church.

Padre Rob+ said...

;) I really loves this post, Eric- esp. what you said about darkness and death... and you are right... this day will certainly change for you as your path towards God changes... I light candles, and remember my loves ones, but I also try to say prayers for the unknown souls and for the souls for whom no one prays... I think your offering was received on their behalf, and I'd like to think they benefitted from the love you offered.

check out our altar for the dead at the Canterbury chapel...