Saturday, October 29, 2011

All Saints Day.

It  has struck me, since moving back to England,  how much more Halloween is celebrated here now. Even the local charity shop is decorated with spiders webs and other ,some what irrelevant, scary stuff and my local Sainburys  is selling pumpkins for carving.

We have always celebrated All Saints Day , which falls on November the 1st. To me, a day to remember people who  inspire and motivate is far more bolstering for my faith and , I hope,  encouraging for my children. All Saints Day is the day in the church calender for remembering those Christians  who have lived and died in their faith , some as  martyrs, some famous for great deeds and  some unknown for no less great deeds. Some will be known to us personally .They lived by the words of Hebrews 11:

 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what
the ancients were commended for.''

The challenge for us at this time of year is: what do we hope for? What are we certain of ?  As Colossians chapter 1 verse 12 tells us we too 'share in the inheritance that belongs to his people , who live in the light '
What can we do 'by faith'?

This year our All Saints Day celebration will be simple. I plan to make doughnuts and we will watch the film 'Amazing Grace' about the life of William Wilberforce, the slave abolitionist of the 19th century. Doughnuts are akin to soul cakes which were  traditionally made to offer children who wandered the streets , knocking at doors and offering to pray for  deceased family members in return for a soul cake . Sometimes a game was played with the soul cake which involved tying a cake to one end of  a stick and a candle to the other end. The stick was then swung around and the aim was to take a bite of cake with out getting burnt! Our version involves tying doughnuts to a string strung across the room, everyone tries to take a bite of the swinging doughnuts with hands behind their back. The first person to finish a doughnut is the winner.

We will also carve pumpkin lanterns because it is such fun and represents to us the light by which we live.