So as many of you may know, I am coming up on my one year anniversary of joining the Episcopal church. I have really enjoyed my time of learning and growth. I have made quite a few good friends since joining the local parish. This week is a busy week at our parish with this coming Sunday being The Feast of All Saints, Wednesday being All Souls Requiem Mass, and next weekend being the annual Fall Festival with food, games, and an overnight campout. I can’t wait to be a part of them all. Sunday and Wednesday will both be days full of song. We have practiced the music for the Requiem Mass for a few weeks now. I hope we do well. The bass notes are a bit tricky as they are mixed major and minors…another thing I am learning the difference between.
Wikipedia begins its explanation with the following:
All Saints’ Day (also known as All Hallows, Solemnity of All Saints or The Feast of All Saints) is a solemnity celebrated on 1 November by parts of Western Christianity, and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Christianity, in honor of all the saints, known and unknown. All Saints’ Day is the second day of Hallowmas, and begins at sunrise on the first day of November and finishes at sundown. It is the day before All Souls’ Day.
To understand that, I had to look up Hallowmass as I had never hear that term in my life. Hallowmass, or Triduum of All Hallows, or even Triduum of All Saints, is the triduum (a religious observance lasting three days) of All Hallows’ Eve (Halloween), All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day which cover October 31, November 1, and November 2. This is a time to remember the dead, including martyrs, saints, and other departed Christians. Obviously, this was not observed in the Southern Baptist traditions (what traditions other than eating fried chicken after church) in which I was raised to take part. It’s sad that I wasn’t introduced to these traditions as they have been around since the 8th century. Oh, how much do I love history!
Triduum is a funny word, isn’t it? It’s not a word that I have used on many an occasion. The most holy of tridua is, of course, during Easter. Easter includes the days between Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday. I really love that time of the year as for those who believe, it calls one to reflect on what he or she truly feels and the appreciation and love of the sacrifice that was made hundreds of years ago.
During this time of Hallowmas, I feel it necessary to remember those who placed the lives and well-being of others before their own. We can give respect and ask for the peaceful repose of people such as Saint Columba (our parish’s patron), Saint Joan of Arc, and Saint Peter of Capitolias who was beheaded in Busra, Syria, in 715 AD for his Christian beliefs. Without people such as these, there is no idea where the Church would be today in its beliefs, convictions, and ability to be practiced without ultimate prosecution.
Think about how you have placed your personal wants and desires aside to pay attention to the needs of others around you. It meant so much to these people in history and they gave their life as a price. Do you think you could do that in this day in age?