All Saints’ Day, also known as All Hallows’ Day, Hallowmas, the Feast of All Saints is a Christian solemnity celebrated in honor of all the saints of the church, whether they are known or unknown. The festival originally honored those who were considered especially holy: heroic figures from the Scriptures and martyrs who had given their lives nonviolently in witness to the faith. However, it is an especially Lutheran accent for the feast to honor not only those who lived exemplary lives, but all who have been baptized into Christ’s death. For Lutherans, All Saints resonates with the conviction that in Christ every saint is a sinner and every sinner a saint, (simul justus et peccator). Lutherans especially remember on this feast that it is God’s grace, apart from our works, that makes us saints. We find lasting rest only in the mercy of God.
This year at LCOR we will speak aloud the names of those who have died in our ministry during the past year. Additionally, we will carry in a banner with the names of many “saints” who we want to remember in our own lives. It is our way of giving thanks for the grace and love for those saints in our lives as we too, look forward to that day when we will be a part of that pilgrim throng in heaven crying out: “Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb.” (Rev. 7:10)
Also this Fall
Christ the King Sunday – is a relatively new festival within the church. Begun in 1925, Christ the King is the last Sunday of the church year that culminates all that we have studied and worshipped before during the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter and Pentecost. It is our confessional day that says: “Jesus is not only the King of universe – the Alpha and the Omega – but he is our King, Lord and Savior.
Christ the King Sunday is a way to remind ourselves that Christ calls us to a loyalty that transcends every earthly claim on the human heart. To Christ alone belongs the supreme allegiance in our lives. Christ calls us to stand with those who in every age confessed, “Jesus Christ is Lord!”
Advent begins Sunday, November 28 – This season of waiting as we prepare for the birth of Jesus may seem in conflict to our world’s hectic pace to Christmas with trees, decorations and advertising blitzes that began more than a month ago. It is a time to slow down and spiritually prepare for the birth of Jesus. It is a time to enter into the long 500 years God’s people had to wait for the birth of the Messiah. So during this 4 week season we hear Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah. We focus upon the ministry of John the Baptist who seeks to prepare God’s people for the birth of the Messiah. Finally, we hear the story of Mary receiving the news of her pregnancy as we wait for the birth of her child on Christmas.
Close to Home
This year our theme is Close to Home. Not only does it remind us of the reality of COVID -19 that keeps us close to home, but the theme takes us back to those events and holiday rituals that hit “close to home” – like our anticipation of the birth of Jesus.