Remembering our Dead

“We clasp the hands of those who go before us.”
– Wendell Berry

“And so our mothers and grandmothers have, more often than not anonymously, handed on the creative spark, the seed of the flower they themselves never hoped to see—or like a sealed letter they could not plainly read.”
–Alice Walker, In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens

The Christian feasts of All Saints and All Souls on November 1st and 2nd honour the profound legacy of wisdom our ancestors have left to us.  These feasts coincide with the Celtic feast of Samhain which marks the beginning of the dark half of the year in the northern hemisphere and is a festival of the final harvest and remembering the dead.  These moments on the great turning of the year’s wheel is believed to be a “thin place” where the ancestors are especially accessible to us across the veil. (

God of all consolation,in your unending love and mercy for us
 you turn the darkness of death into the dawn of new life.
Show compassion to your people in their sorrow.
 Be our refuge and our strength to lift us from the darkness of this grief
to the peace and light of your presence.
 Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, by dying for us, conquered death
and by rising again, restored life.
 May we then go forward eagerly to meet him, and after our life on earth
 be reunited with our brothers and sisters where every tear will be wiped away.
                                                                            from The Pastoral Care of the Sick


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