Date: Thu, 3 Nov 1994 08:44:48 -0400


Subject: All Souls' Day/All Saints' Day

I have been surprised by some recent posts that appear to me to

suggest that nowhere in the "anglo/gringo" world is there any

occasion for honoring the dead. Since we are in the week of All Souls'

and All Saints' days, I want to point out that the Christian church (at

least, its Roman and Anglican/Episcopal manifestations) provides

two such occasions. I append a brief comment extracted from a post

on the list ANGLICAN (name of author omitted to preserve

anonymity, not to deprive of credit):

"Here's another stab at answering your query about All Saints' Day

and All Souls' Day to add to [name omitted], since the position of the

U.S. Episcopal Church is somewhat different from that of the Church

of England. Both days find their way into the U.S. calendar, with All

Saints being one of the seven principal feasts that take precedence

over any other day or observance (The others are Easter, Ascension,

Pentecost, Trinity, Christmas, and Epiphany). All Saints'

commemorates the heroes of the faith, known and unknown, who

have gone before us and are a part of the great cloud of witnesses in

the heavenly realm who surround us and support us. All Souls' Day,

or Commemoration of All Faithful Departed, November 2 in the U.S.

calendar, has its own propers set out in the Book of Lesser Feasts and

Fasts and is a day set aside for prayers for all the dead. Prayers for

the dead are considered appropriate by the U.S. Book of Common

Prayer; they were not countenanced, I believe, in the 1662 BCP, still

the official liturgy of the Church of England. Simon says Anglicans

don't do Purgatory. Well, no, but we Americans come pretty close,

viz., the following from the U.S. burial office: "Father of all, we pray

to you for those we love, but see no longer: Grant them your peace;

let light perpetual shine upon them; and, in your loving wisdom and

almighty power, work in them the good purpose of your perfect will;

through Jesus Christ our Lord." We also, since the adoption of the

1979 BCP, ask the prayers of the saints, once a frowned-on activity,

viz.: "O God, the King of saints, we praise and glorify your holy Name

for all your servants who have finished their course in your faith and

fear: for the blessed Virgin Mary; for the holy patriarchs, prophets,

apostles, and martyrs; and for all your other righteous servants,

known to us and unknown; and we pray that, encouraged by their

examples, aided by their prayers, and strengthened by their

fellowship, we also may be partakers of the inheritance of the saints

in light; through the merits of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord."

Bethany Dumas = dumasb[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]