All Saints’ is the Feast Day when we mark and remember the whole body of faithful men and women, known and unknown, those remembered or forgotten, those we have known and loved, who have been gathered up to God. It’s a day set aside in our church calendar to remember all the saints of God, especially those who are not recognised at any other point in the church’s year. Just like us, for some of these saints, the path to holiness was easy, while for others it was hard. Just like us, some of them had natural gifts and some didn’t seem to have many at all. Some were fiery, some were gentle, some were eccentric or even odd, some were extroverts, some were loners. All of these saints began somewhere, doing whatever was in front of them and just keeping on doing it faithfully. All Saints is above all a feast of encouragement. It reminds that like them, we too are saints and that the people in our lives are saints; it is just that some of us have day jobs and never have feast days named after us.
Let us remember, that we worship today with the whole host of heaven, the whole communion of saints, who are crowding the air around us and worshipping with us. As part of our worship we will sing together that wonderful hymn, written in 1864 by the Anglican Bishop of Wakefield, William Walsham How:
For all the saints, who from their labours rest,
who to the world their Lord by faith confessed,
your name O Jesus, be forever blessed.