Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The National Day of Listening

On the day after Thanksgiving (November 27, 2009), set aside one hour to record a conversation with someone important to you. You can interview anyone you choose: an older relative, a friend, a teacher, or someone from the neighborhood.
You can preserve the interview using recording equipment readily available in most homes, such as cell phones, tape recorders, computers, or even pen and paper. Our free Do-It-Yourself Instruction Guide is easy to use and will prepare you and your interview partner to record a memorable conversation, no matter which recording method you choose.

Make a yearly tradition of listening to and preserving a loved one’s story. The stories you collect will become treasured keepsakes that grow more valuable with each passing generation. (from the website (Learn more about it & join in!))

Thanksgiving Prayer

Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Faith at Home

I just found this resource on the web and it might be a good resource for families as they look for ways to engage the Seasons of our Church Year. It is called Faith at Home: Explore and enjoy your faith with your kids!

Visit: http://www.faith-at-home.com/

Go here to learn more about the Episcopal mom who runs the site.

Monday, November 23, 2009

from Sunday's Announcements

A biblical illusion in the Sports pages!

Browns (1-8) at Lions (1-8)

Josh Cribbs sustained a concussion on the final play of the Monday night game: a meaningless playground-style pitch drill in a 16-0 lost cause. Cribbs, the Browns’ best player, has wanted a contract extension all season, and an injury could affect his bargaining power. Cribbs’s agent stopped just short of suggesting that Eric Mangini wanted Cribbs hurt; Cribbs himself says Brady Quinn called the play. But rumors that the play was code-named Uriah aroused some suspicions. Cribbs is questionable for Sunday.

This is from the NY Times.

Oh and the Lions won...

Award goes to Toni for her correct guess!

Sermon: Last Pentecost (Nov. 22)

As preached at the 8 AM service:
Never before has a date in history been so significant to so many cultures, so many religions, scientists, and governments. A global cataclysm brings an end to the world and tells of the heroic struggle of the survivors.
Or so says a description of the movie “2012” – in theaters now which depicts the end of the earth. It is a favorite topic of Hollywood, think of these End Times themes: Nuclear Annihilation, World War III, Killer Asteroids, Ecological Meltdown, UFOs… The premise of 2012 is the end of the Mayan Calendar. Since their calendar ends, we must be in trouble…

For us as Christians, our liturgical year ends today on Christ the King Sunday and so our mind considers last things. When we think of end times, we think of our book Revelation. It is the last book in our bibles and it includes Four Horseman, 7 seals, trumpets, armies, & destruction... It is not a book that is for the faint hearted but it doesn't exist for its own sake and it really does tie in with the hope of the New Testament, many scenes in Revelation view heaven with its multitudes of people giving praise to God and those passages are often read at funerals. The end times are mentioned differently in the Gospels with each Gospel saying something on the matter. The Gospel story today is Jesus before Pilate and in John’s Gospel, it is Jesus who responds to Pilate...
"My kingdom is not from this world…" Pilate asked him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."
The truth on this last Sunday of our Church Year is that Christ reigns. He is the King of Glory. As disciples of Jesus, we are called to make the kingdom of God a reality in our lives & to celebrate his reign. Faithfulness is to see the face of Christ in every man, woman and child and to then respect their dignity, and to respond to a need with action. We are called to listen to his voice and go forth:
On September 12, Dr. Norman E. Borlaug died at the age 95. Most people have not heard of him unless you are a horticulturist or botanist. But, because of Doctor Borlaug, millions of people on this planet have enough to eat every day.

Norman Borlaug grew up on an Iowa farm during the Depression. He was fascinated by plants and how they grew - and why some plants grew better in some places than others. A gifted student, he went on to graduate school, earning a doctorate in plant pathology. Shortly after World War II, he walked away from a promising career at Dupont to go to work for a nonprofit foundation working in Mexico trying to help farmers improve their crops.

For Mexican soils were depleted; disease ravaged the few crops that farmers managed to grow & the yields were so low farmers could barely feed themselves and their families, much less sell any surplus. So Dr Borlaug and his team went to work in the blazing Mexican sun, experimenting with wheat seeds and blossoms. Within a few years, they had developed a variety of wheat that could grow in the harsh Mexican climate. Dr Borlaug soon developed a second strain of wheat, a smaller "dwarf" plant that could withstand tropical winds and diseases while increasing yields. His idea was later applied to rice, resulting in yields several times that of traditional varieties. At the time of his death, Dr Borlaug was working to bring high-yield farming to African countries.

Today, farmers in the developing world are able to feed their growing populations because of Dr Borlaug's work. It is estimated that half of the world's population is fed from food made from the grains descended from the high-yield varieties developed by Dr Borlaug and his colleagues.

Dr Borlaug lived under primitive conditions, often with little money and no equipment; he fought tradition and class warfare in many of the countries he worked; he was criticized by naysayers and frustrated by bureaucrats. But quietly and tenaciously, Norman Borlaug helped avert the mass famines that were widely predicted in the 1960s, thus altering the course of history. (That should be told by Hollywood!)

For his work, Norman Borlaug was awarded the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. Many credit him as the founder of the Green Revolution - but the self-effacing scientist shied away from such acclaim. Norman Borlaug, Ph.D. - may not be well-known, but his legacy - food for a starving world - will last forever. (portions taken from the NY Times Obituary)
His story like that of Jesus calling us to listen to his truth is about encountering human need in our everyday lives. Not just a particular moment of giving oneself to service, but to see that it really is about the daily encounters in our life and our relationship to those in need. Mother Teresa of Calcutta talked about the end of our lives this way:
"At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by 'I was hungry and you gave me to eat, I was naked and you clothed me, I was homeless and you took me in.' Hungry not only for bread—but hungry for love; naked not only of clothing—but naked of human dignity and respect; homeless not only for want of a room of bricks, but homeless because of rejection. This is Christ in distressing disguise.”
Our call is to bring God's kingdom to life among us, to know the Kingdom is prepared for the ones who have found the truth & listen. Revelation speaks of him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom. This is grace for salvation is not something we can earn but is gift. A gift we share with the world now in need (Christ in disguise) and at the end of our days. Amen.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Evolution of the God Gene

The Evolution of the God Gene By NICHOLAS WADE, NY Times, 11/15/09

IN the Oaxaca Valley of Mexico, the archaeologists Joyce Marcus and Kent Flannery have gained a remarkable insight into the origin of religion.

During 15 years of excavation they have uncovered not some monumental temple but evidence of a critical transition in religious behavior. The record begins with a simple dancing floor, the arena for the communal religious dances held by hunter-gatherers in about 7,000 B.C. It moves to the ancestor-cult shrines that appeared after the beginning of corn-based agriculture around 1,500 B.C., and ends in A.D. 30 with the sophisticated, astronomically oriented temples of an early archaic state.

This and other research is pointing to a new perspective on religion, one that seeks to explain why religious behavior has occurred in societies at every stage of development and in every region of the world. Religion has the hallmarks of an evolved behavior, meaning that it exists because it was favored by natural selection. It is universal because it was wired into our neural circuitry before the ancestral human population dispersed from its African homeland.

For atheists, it is not a particularly welcome thought that religion evolved because it conferred essential benefits on early human societies and their successors. If religion is a lifebelt, it is hard to portray it as useless.

For believers, it may seem threatening to think that the mind has been shaped to believe in gods, since the actual existence of the divine may then seem less likely.

But the evolutionary perspective on religion does not necessarily threaten the central position of either side. That religious behavior was favored by natural selection neither proves nor disproves the existence of gods. For believers, if one accepts that evolution has shaped the human body, why not the mind too? What evolution has done is to endow people with a genetic predisposition to learn the religion of their community, just as they are predisposed to learn its language. With both religion and language, it is culture, not genetics, that then supplies the content of what is learned.

Read the whole article here.

Reading the Bible...

To read the Bible online:
  • The Bible Gateway (several online versions of the bible in many languages)
  • Oremus Bible (This is the NRSV Bible, the version we use on Sundays as well as other versions)
  • The Lectionary Page (lists the Sunday Lessons & Saints Days on a monthly calendar)
  • The Daily Office (from Mission St. Clare Community - using the daily lectionary and office from the Book of Common Prayer)
To listen to the Bible:
  • We have the Message, a version of the Bible created by Eugene Peterson on CD and Cassette in our lending library.
We have both the RSV and NRSV Bibles at Church and you are welcome to borrow one at any time.

Guest Sermon - Rev. Peter Allen

I don't have the Rev. Peter Allen's sermon from November 8 yet but I do have a link to his sermon from August 16 when we had our joint service on the Green.

You can find his sermon here.

A couple of quotes from his wonderful sermon:
A wonderful teacher and writer named William Willimon urges us to allow the Bible to challenge us every time we read it. Following Jesus is a dynamic experience and encounters with his memory and his Spirit should never leave us the same as we always were.

Another way of looking at difficult passages like this one is to remember that the authors of scripture did not always intend give us answers but sometimes wanted to pose questions so we could wrestle with them. There is ample evidence that Jesus did that. The asking of unanswerable questions has always been an effective teaching tool for religious leaders of all traditions.

Sermon: November 15

BLESSED Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning; Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace, and ever hold fast, the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
This version of the collect from this morning is from the 1892 Book of Common Prayer and would have been the prayer that Martha DuBail would have heard as a child and recited as a teenager. The prayer itself goes back to the first Book of Common Prayer of 1549 as a reminder of the importance of Scripture in our lives, as it was to the Reformers in the Reformation who wanted the people to be able to read the Bible in their own language.

On Thursday, a day after the burial of Martha DuBail, I sat in a classroom at Masuk High School talking with students in the Great Books class about Scripture. They had studied Ecclesiastes from the Old Testament (if the book doesn’t ring a bell – think of the old hit, Turn, Turn, Turn by the Byrds (written by Pete Seeger)) and the parables of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew. They had many questions, about meaning and interpretation and about faith. I suspect many of them had not seriously tackled scripture before, but they had begun to listen to Scripture. As William Stringfellow once put it,
“What the ordinary Christian is called to do is to open the Bible and listen to the Word [of God].”
To listen to what the Bible has to say to us is important, because we are not going to understand, we cannot listen if we don’t pick it up. Our society is solely becoming more and more biblical illiterate… Some people think Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife! Unless we approach the Bible, we cannot fully understand our faith. As Stringfellow would tell us, through the Bible, the Word of God is addressed to us, where we are, just as we are, in this world. Be it teenagers in class or anyone in the pew, we must be ready to “hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them.”

Sitting here on a Sunday morning, we are surrounded by scripture, in the readings, the hymns, the prayers from the Book of Common Prayer are all linked because they come from scripture. But the challenge for us is to continue this during the week, to pick up our bibles, or to look at Scripture on the internet, and to continue listening to what Scripture has to say. One way we could do this is by taking the bulletin home on Sundays and reading those lessons throughout the week and asking what is this Scripture saying to us.

But we must take care, as Jesus reminds us in today’s Gospel…
“Beware that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name and say, `I am he!’ and they will lead many astray.”
There is much to lead us astray in today’s society. There are those who deny that Scripture has anything to teach us. That it is error filled and too hard to read and written entirely by humans, we are better off ignoring it. Others claim that if you look for it, you can discover the Bible Code that is hidden away and that will make all the difference to our lives. Still others, say there is only one right way to read the Bible, only one right answer and that any other reading or understanding is not faithful to God. And probably most present of all, is that the Bible is important, we ought to read it, but right now life is too busy and we will get to it another day…

Such attitudes are present in our society and we must take care that these do not influence us. As the letter to the Hebrews reminds us:
“Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together but encouraging one another.”
And it is through the Bible that we find that God is faithful and in this community we will find fellow travelers who can be with us as we explore that faith. Even when we read and listen, there will come a time like those students at Masuk, when we do not understand…

And it is then we rely on one another to help us hear and listen. For we go to the Bible to hear and listen and connect with our God. But not just there, for as we find God in those Scripture passages, we also find God in our lives in this world. The Bible helps us find God active not only recorded in the past but it helps us to reflect on how God is with us today in our lives.

Consider Jesus gathering his disciples for a meal together…

Think of your evening; you and your family gather around the table in your kitchen for supper. The entree might be some epicurean delight from the pages of Bon App├ętit -- but more often than not it’s Chinese takeout or pizza from McGowans. As everyone digs in, the table buzzes with talk of tomorrow’s soccer game, a crabby teacher, the current fix-up project, the latest office crises, and a new knock-knock joke. Here at the kitchen table, parent and child give and receive encouragement, consolation, forgiveness and love. Especially love. If there is one safe harbor on earth, one secure, sheltered place where you are always welcome no matter how badly you mess up, the kitchen table is it. Your kitchen -- the place where Christ rules.

Consider that as Jesus spoke to his disciples, he often talked about his life as a life of service…

Think of a storm that devastates a town; a fire reduces a neighborhood to burnt timber and ashes; an act of terrorism cuts a wide and bloody swath through a community. That’s when they go to work: skilled medical professionals, tireless construction workers, patient and gifted counselors, compassionate volunteers. These dedicated souls work around the clock to care for the hurt and injured, rescue those in danger, help the traumatized cope, and begin the hard work of rebuilding. By their very presence, these good people transform the debris and ashes into the kingdom of Jesus.

Consider that as Jesus traveled, everyone came up to him, the poor and the outcast, the sick and the children, he welcomed all…

Think of a tired old downtown building that has seen better days but no better use. The city’s churches have worked together to turn the brick structure into a community center, a safe place where children can come to play basketball, receive tutoring, or just hang out after school. The well-stocked pantry provides for dozens of hungry families every week; a free clinic offers basic on-site medical care and referral services to the poor and uninsured. Its meeting rooms are always busy: the elderly have a place to go for companionship and immigrants are taught how to master the language of their new homeland, AA meets there. In this austere brick building, Jesus reigns.

When we read the Bible, we see God alive in history and if we listen to it, we can also see God alive in the world around us. Let us open the Bible today and listen to God’s word and hear what God is saying to us and our lives. Amen.

Prayers for the Crew STS-129 (Atlantis)

Keeping the space shuttle Atlantis (STS-129) crew in our prayers:

Creator of the universe, your dominion extends through the immensity of space: guide and guard those who seek to fathom its mysteries especially those on board the USS Atlantis. Save us from arrogance lest we forget that our achievements are grounded in you, and, by the grace of your Holy Spirit, protect our travels beyond the reaches of earth, that we may glory ever more in the wonder of your creation: through Jesus Christ, your Word, by whom all things came to be, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (from Lesser Feasts & Fasts)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day Prayers

Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O Judge of the nations, we remember before you with grateful hearts the men and women of our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy. Grant that we may not rest until all the people of this land share the benefits of true freedom and gladly accept its disciplines. This we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Say thank you to a Veteran today!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Chronicle of a Death We Can’t Accept

Chronicle of a Death We Can’t Accept

By THOMAS G. LONG (NY Times, - Nov. 1, 2009)

AT a funeral directors’ convention recently, I wandered around an exhibition floor crowded with the usual accouterments of the trade — coffins, catafalques, cemetery tents, cremation furnaces and the like. Scattered among these traditional goods were also many new baubles and gewgaws of the funeral business — coffins emblazoned with sports logos; cremation urns in the shape of bowling pins, golf bags and motorcycle gas tanks; “virtual cemeteries” with video clips and eerie recorded messages from the dead; pendants, bracelets, lamps and table sculptures into which ashes of the deceased can be swirled and molded.

It is hard to know what to make of this wild blossoming of unconventional mortuary merchandise. Perhaps it is the creative expression of a society grown weary of the extravagant hearse-and-limousine funerals of the past and ready to experiment with less costly and more personal ways to memorialize the dead. Some funeral directors seem to think so and are responding like dazed Blockbuster managers outmaneuvered in a Netflix age, scrambling to stay afloat in the wake of new technology and cultural improvisation.

But there is another, more accurate way to understand current funeral fashions. They illustrate the sad truth that, as a society, Americans are no longer sure what to do with our dead.

Read the whole article here.

Two of my favorite quotes:
“A good funeral,” says Thomas Lynch, a poet and undertaker in Milford, Mich., “is one that gets the dead where they need to go and the living where they need to be.”

People who have learned how to care tenderly for the bodies of the dead are almost surely people who also know how to show mercy to the bodies of the living.

A reading from Ecclesiasticus with the remembrance of the dead

Lector: Let us now sing the praises of famous men and women, our ancestors in their generations. God apportioned to them great glory, and majesty from the beginning. Some were rulers, and made a name for themselves by their valor:

Congregation: Alfred the Great ~ Elizabeth of Hungary ~ George Washington ~ Abraham Lincoln ~ Emma and Kamehameha

Lector: Some led the people by good council, by their knowledge of the people's lore, by their wise words of instruction:

Congregation: Mother Teresa ~ Benedict of Nursia ~ William Wilberforce ~ Oscar Romero ~ Evelyn Underhill

Lector: Some spoke in prophetic oracles:

Congregation: Julian of Norwich ~ Martin Luther King, Jr. ~ Sojourner Truth ~ Mahatma Ghandi

Lector: Some composed musical tunes or put verses in writing:

Congregation: Hildegard of Bingen ~ James Weldon Johnson ~ George Herbert ~ Walt Whitman ~ Charles & John Wesley ~ Madeline L'engle

Lector: All these were honored in their generation, and were the glory of their times. There are some of them who have left a name, so that we all declare their praise. And there are some who have left no memorial, who have perished as though they had not lived.

A brief silence is observed. The people remember their own beloved departed, silently or aloud.

Lector: And there were people of mercy, whose righteous deeds have not been forgotten. Their prosperity will remain with us, and with their descendants, and the inheritance of their good lives will trickle down to their children's children. Their followers stand by the covenant with God, as do their children, also, for their sake.

Here are read the names of all who have died in the past year.

Lector: Their posterity will continue forever, and their glory will not be blotted out. Their bodies were buried in peace and their names live to all generations. Peoples will declare their wisdom, and the congregation will proclaim their praise.

Congregation: Amen.

Lector: Here ends the reading.

Sermon: All Saints Day

Around a large campfire late one autumn evening, Jesus comforted his disciples by speaking to them of a heavenly realm that far surpasses the beauty of anything on earth. He spoke of a place that never grows dark or cold, a vast city filled with beautiful mansions, with streets of gold and with unending expanses of green and fertile land, a place of perpetual peace and fulfillment. Jesus spoke of his kingdom late into the night, painting pictures of heaven until the fire began to turn to ash and a chill filled the air. One by one Jesus’ disciples drifted off to sleep with the images of heavenly treasure and luxurious mansions feeding their dreams.

In the end, only Jesus and a poor, unknown, uneducated disciple were left, each one lost in thought and watching as the last cinders of the fire began to die. After some time had passed, this solitary disciple looked over to Jesus and spoke, ‘I was wondering about something,” he said. "Yes my friend," Jesus replied.

"Well, there are so many people who follow you now that I can’t help worrying whether someone like me, an old, uneducated sinner, will be overlooked amidst all the great thinkers, politicians, preachers and radicals that are being attracted to you and your message." Then he turned away and continued, ‘I’ve never been in a mansion, never even seen one. So I don’t care too much if I miss out, but tell me, will there be room enough for me when I die – will there be somewhere for me to stay in this kingdom of which you speak?’

Jesus looked at the man with compassion, ‘Don’t worry’ he whispered, in a tone that could barely be heard over the content noises of the sleeping crowd, ‘tucked away in a tiny corner of heaven, away from all the grand mansions and streets of gold, there is a cramped little stable. It doesn’t look like much inside or out, but on a clear night you can see the stars shine bright amidst the cracks and you can feel the warm breeze caress your skin. In this Kingdom, that is where I live, and you would be welcome to live with me there’. Mansions © Peter Rollins (from IKON wiki)
On this All Saints Day, when we remember and celebrate the saints, when we think of what St. Francis did or a William Wilberforce or Mother Theresa or Martin Luther King, Jr., it is Rollins little tale about mansions that reminds us that we are all connected to those saints and there is a place for all of us there in the Kingdom. It is such humility, like a disciple wondering if there is a place for him that lies at the greatness of the saints.

As we have studied the founding fathers and mothers of our country, I think of what Ben Franklin wrote at age 28 for his epitaph:
The body of B. Franklin, Printer (Like the Cover of an Old Book Its Contents torn Out And Stript of its Lettering and Gilding) Lies Here, Food for Worms. But the Work shall not be Lost; For it will (as he Believ'd) Appear once More In a New and More Elegant Edition Revised and Corrected By the Author.
Would that we all be at our deaths in a New and More Elegant Edition Revised and Corrected By the Author. But sainthood isn’t just about looking to the past and seeing those who have done it right whether it be among our St Francis or our Benjamin Franklins nor is it looking only to heaven to know we are surrounded by their witness. It is how we live our lives now. As that old children’s hymn put it:
“For the saints of God are just folk like me, And I mean to be one too.”
This morning, Kaitlyn Marie Harrington, will be baptized, and take her place among the faithful, the saints, the body of Christ here at St. Peter's. She will be marked as Christ own forever, with the seal of Chrism upon her head. Like the multitude of saints gathered around the throne whose heads are marked with the seal of the living God. It is not a seal that is a magical means to salvation, but as the book of Revelation shows us, it is a process of growth in the faith, for God will make his home among us.

The parents and Godparents will take vows on behalf of Kaitlyn, saying just that, through their actions, their prayers, in all they do they will raise her up in the Christian faith and life. They will plant seeds of faith that by the work of the Spirit will grow with her throughout her life. You all also will take a vow to support Kaitlyn in her life in Christ. And so Christ says to you like the churches in Revelation, to keep the faith, to witness to Kaitlyn by your words and actions what it means to be a Christian here today. And you will help till the soil in which those seeds of faith are planted.

All Saints Day is our time to stop, before the rush of the holidays begins, before the last leaves fall, to reflect and remember lives that have touched us, those seeds of faith in each of us, and how those we remember this day have left their mark on our souls. For we remember those gathered before the throne and the lamb and we celebrate Kaitlyn and welcome her into the household of God. Saints are not "spooky figures, morally superior, pietistic" as William Stringfellow once described saints as
“those men and women who relish the event of life as a gift and who realize that the only way to honor such a gift is to give it away.”
Saints have their faults and foibles like anyone else, yet they lived their lives as fully human as they could, and many of them touched our lives. As we live our lives, following their examples, we are not all called to be martyrs but we are called to be saints, fully human, by giving our lives away by loving God with our whole being and loving our neighbors as ourselves, and to support Kaitlyn and each other in our lives in Christ.

If we follow that path, then we honor the saints who made that journey themselves, who now support us in prayer in the communion of saints. We need not worry about the mansions of heaven or a simple stable – for we will find Jesus there at end of our days with the saints…

For now, let us gather around this altar and this font, knowing we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. We are loved and we are blessed. Remember all the saints, like those we named in our reading from Ecclesiasticus, from the well known to the unknowns and to those in our hearts. Give thanks to God for their lives and let us live our lives as the saints we are called to be in this world. Amen.

All Saints Day (Nov. 1) & All Souls Day (Nov. 2)

“All Saints' Day is the centerpiece of an autumn triduum. In the carnival celebrations of All Hallows' Eve our ancestors used the most powerful weapon in the human arsenal, the power of humor and ridicule, to confront the power of death. The following day, in the commemoration of All Saints, we gave witness to the victory of incarnate goodness embodied in the remarkable deeds and doers triumphing over the misanthropy of darkness and devils. And in the commemoration of All Souls we proclaim the hope of common mortality expressed in our aspirations and expectation of a shared eternity.” – The Rev. Sam Portaro from “Brightest and Best”
Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

O God, the Maker and Redeemer of all believers: Grant to the faithful departed the unsearchable benefits of the passion of your Son; that on the day of his appearing they may be manifested as your children; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.