Thursday, 5 November 2015
As the autumn leaves fade and fall, November is an appropriate time for the season of remembrance.
Last night [4 November 2015], I celebrated the Community Eucharist, commemorating the Feast of All Saints, having read the Gospel at the Eucharist on All Saints’ Day last Sunday [1 November 2015] in Christ Church Cathedral Dublin. In many parishes, All Souls’ Day was marked on Monday [2 November 2015].
Then, this morning, there is a quiet marking of Remembrance in a Service of the Word in the Chapel of the Church of Ireland, and again on Sunday morning.
In remembrance, silence is an appropriate symbol, and I have long been guided by a sign in the Chapel of Saint John’s Hospital Lichfield, a church in the Anglo-Catholic tradition that from the beginning played a significant and formative role in shaping my adult faith.
The sign reads: ‘Silence! “Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46: 10. Please talk to God before Mass & to each other after Mass.’
I wonder what others think of this advice. Do you find it an admonition? Or do you find it helpful as you settle into Church and try to bring your mind out of the secular concerns of the world and into sacred space?
The other two signs are ones I notice during a recent visit to the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin, Dublin.
Kind hearts are the garden,
Kind thoughts are the roots,
Kind words are the blossoms,
Kind deeds are the roots.
The second sign nearby reads:
A friendly word,
A kindly smile,
A helpful act
and life’s worth while.
They seem to be three appropriate thoughts to share as we reflect on the meaning of remembrance this month.