Join us as we celebrate All Saints Day and All Souls Day on Sunday, Nov. 5th

Many of us probably know something about Día de los Muertos or The Days of Dead, a holiday that originated in Mexico which coincides with the 3-part Roman Catholic holiday of All Saints Eve, All Saints Day and All Souls Day (October 31 – November 2). Día de los Muertos is not Mexican Halloween, rather it is meant to honor the lives of the deceased. Celebration of Día de los Muertos includes building ofrendas (home altars) on which are placed the favorite foods and beverages of the departed. A common symbol is the calavera (skull) which appears as masks, skeleton figures called calacas, and as the calaveras sugar skulls. There is much more to the celebration of Día de los Muertos and I invite you to take some time and explore this wonderful holiday.

European American culture in the United States doesn’t really have anything comparable to Día de los Muertos. Halloween has lost any religious meaning that it might once have held. However, as Episcopalians we do have a Service for All Hallow’s Eve (October 31) in The Book of Occasional Services, and the Episcopal Church (and the greater Anglican Communion) recognizes All Saints Day (November 1) as one of the seven principal feasts of the church year, and one of the four days recommended for the administration of baptism. All Soul’s Day (November 2) was abolished at the time of the English Reformation but in the Episcopal Church’s 1979 Book of Common Prayer it reemerged as the Commemoration of All Faithful Departed, though it is commonly called All Souls Day.

Our liturgical calendar allows for us to observe an All Saints’ Sunday when the holiday falls during the week. This year on Sunday, November 5, we will be observing All Saints Day as well as acknowledging All Souls Day. We will acknowledge All Souls Day by the recitation of a necrology.  A necrology is a list of the dead. In parishes where the reading of a necrology is done yearly, it only includes the names of those who have died in the past year but since St. Gabriel has never done a necrology reading, we will be reading the names of all those whose deaths we have recorded. We are also asking members of the congregation to submit the names of friends or family members who may have died who weren’t members of St. Gabriel or whose names we may not have in our records. To have the name of a loved one included in the necrology please get their name to Ann Horton, Parish Administrator by Tuesday, October 31.

On Sunday, November 5, folks are invited to bring photos or mementos of loved ones who have died to place on the display in front of the altar. The necrology will be read aloud at both services by various members of the congregation to commemorate those who have gone before and are waiting for us at God’s heavenly banquet table. For coffee hour after each service, you are invited to bring a dish that was a favorite of the person(s) you are remembering. Please let our office know (503-645-0744 if you are planning on bringing something to share. We hope you can join us on November 5th at 8:00 or 10:00 am.

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