Sunday, November 4 is All Souls Day, when we will be remembering those who have gone before us who have died. While the tradition comes to us directly through our Universalist heritage, there are many traditions and ways in which to honor our departed. Some of those you may know about or you may have participated in celebrating. They include the ancient tradition of Samhain (there will be a Samhain celebration at A2U2 October 31), and the Dia de Muertos, the Mexican Day of the Dead. It is not surprising that this time of honoring our dead comes when the harvest is done and the plants are freezing over. The earth itself seems to be pulling into its own winters’ death, waiting to be recalled to life again in spring. And we, with the earth, seem to sit on the very edge, feeling the closeness of death and the persistent resilience of life.
We know that not all of our departed were dearly beloved, just as we know that not all of our ancestors made us proud. Yet, they are all part of the narrative that brought us to where we are here, together, today.
I invite you to participate in our ritual of recognizing and honoring those who have died. Feel free to bring some token of remembrance with you, a photo or an object that is a touchstone of your memory, to place on the altar of remembrance we create. We will have pieces of paper available onto which you can write the name of the person (or pet) if you have not brought a photo or object of remembrance, thereby including all those you would like remembered.
There will be a special place with candles to be lit by those of you who have experienced your loss in the past year, since the last All Souls Remembrance Day and to speak their name aloud if you so choose.
It is a special time for all of us, remembering how deeply we are connected to others, sustained by many who no longer walk this earth with us.
Yours in faith,