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FROM THE VICARAGE

 

Dear Friends

If October marks the beginning of the Autumn 'season of mists and mellow fruitfulness', and of thanksgiving for the Harvest; then November encourages us to turn out thoughts to remembrance. The eleventh day of the month is of course Armistice Day, and this year is of particular significance as we mark the centenary of the ending of the First World War; and much has already been written about that. But before then, the Church's calendar, provides a number of other opportunities for us to remember:

All Saints' Day on November 1st, is an opportunity to recall and celebrate those men and women in whose lives the Church as a whole has seen the grace of God powerfully at work. And then very soon afterwards  All Souls' Day, or as it is often known The Commemoration of the Faithful Departed, celebrates the saints in a more local and personal way, as we remember before God those whom we have known, who gave us life, or who nurtured us in faith. This year our annual All Souls' Service will take place at 6.30pm on Sunday 4th November, and of course everyone is welcome to attend.

Whatever our reason for remembrance, personal or as part of a community commemoration, the purpose should really, not simply be to dwell in the past, but to be inspired by it and by those who we remember, in order that our lives today and in the future might be enriched and given fresh energy.

No-where is that more true and relevant than when, as Christians, we gather around the Lord's Table and share in Holy Communion. Jesus' words at the heart of the celebration; "Do this in remembrance of me..." are not only so that we might not forget, but that we should be inspired and empowered at the end of the service to; 'go in peace to love and serve the Lord.' And so it should be with all our acts of remembrance, not so that we relive the pain of loss, but we recall the beauty of life,  that we might better live.     Jonathan