What is the connection between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day? We can have Easter Eve, our birthday eve, whatever we like. On Saturday we have All Hallows Eve, the evening before All Hallows Day (another name for All Saints Day). You will probably not have heard of All Hallows Eve as it is usually known by it’s shortened name Halloween. Many Christians do not celebrate or even talk about Halloween because it has its roots in a Pagan festival and they do not believe in ghosts, witches, spells or magic. All Saints Day is celebrated by the Church on the 1st November and All Souls Day on 2nd November. They are both days when we remember people who have helped us to work out how we should live.
There is no drama this week for us to watch as it is half term. There are several short Bible passages that are linked with Saints. Some are in the Old Testament and some are in the New Testament. Use the contents list in your Bible to help you to find the correct book and then find the chapter you need. There will be small numbers among the words that will help you to find the verses.
- 2 Samuel chapter 22 v2-3
- Psalms ch24 v7-10
- Isaiah ch35 v10
- 2 Timothy ch2 v3
- Hebrews ch12 v1
- Revelation ch2 v7
- Revelation ch14 v13
- Revelation ch21 v21
All Saints Day celebrates people who are considered by Christian Churches to have lived in the way Jesus taught. They made a commitment to show God’s love to others and to teach how being a Christian makes a difference in our lives. Many of them lived a very long time ago but Mother Teresa was made a Saint in 2016. Each Saint has a day when they are celebrated. Can you find one whose day is on your birthday? Is there a Saint with the same name as you? Can you find out anything about these Saints: St Mother Teresa; St Aidan of Lindisfarne; St Mary MacKillop; St Cuthbert; St Hilda of Whitby; St Cædmon; St Wilfrid?
The Bible tells us that we can all be Saints while we are still alive. We can all make a commitment to show God’s love to others and show how to be followers of Jesus. We don’t have to be perfect at it to be a saint, just try every day. We don’t have to be noticed by other people either. God will notice.
All Souls Day is also about remembering people who have shown us how to live but is about people we have known rather than people the Church have chosen. Our lives are made up of different events, memories and people. In the past women made patchwork quilts to mark this. They used material from different people or times and could tell the stories of each one. These were often passed on through generations of families with the stories being told. Try colouring some patchwork patterns here. Scouts and Guides around the world collect badges from events or people they have met and sew them onto campfire blankets. They tell the stories around campfires.
All Souls Day is celebrated in different ways in different countries. In Mexico and other Latin American countries, the Day of the Dead is celebrated to show love and respect for family members who have died. They hold parades and parties; have music, singing and dancing and picnics; put up special decorations in homes and in cemeteries. There are some typical designs for decorations here.
The Beatitudes describe ways of living that Saints have shown. There is a version of them here with a prayer. As you read them, think of people who live or have lived in this way. Use the prayer to think about how these people influence you and others to live as Jesus taught.
Please be careful this week and next around crowds or fires or fireworks. Keep your distance.
Alison and Angie