In the United Methodist Church, All Saints’ Day is celebrated on the first Sunday in November. It is held, not only to remember Saints but also to remember all those who have died who were members of the local church congregation.
“All Saints Day is an opportunity to give thanks for all those who have gone before us in the faith. It is a time to celebrate our history, what United Methodists call the tradition of the church.
From the early days of Christianity, there is a sense that the Church consists of not only all living believers but also all who have gone before us. For example, in Hebrews 12 the author encourages Christians to remember that a “great cloud of witnesses” surrounds us encouraging us, cheering us on.
Charles Wesley, John’s brother, picks up on this theme in his hymn that appears in our United Methodist Hymnal as “Come, Let Us Join our Friends Above,” #709. In the first verse, he offers a wonderful image of the Church through the ages:
Let saints on earth unite to sing, with those to glory gone,
for all the servants of our King in earth and heaven, are one.
On All Saints Day, we remember all those—famous or obscure—who are part of the “communion of saints” we confess whenever we recite The Apostles’ Creed. We tell the stories of the saints “to glory gone.”*
Come light a candle for the saints in your life on Sunday, Nov. 3, at our regular 10:30 a.m. worship service.