Message from the chaplain - 2 November 2018

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the Earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for
theirs is the kingdom of heaven
– Matthew 5:3-10 (NRSV)

In the Anglican Church, Thursday 1 November marks All Souls’ Day, while Friday 2 November is the feast of All Saints. The word “Halloween” derives from the word “hallowed” or “holy” – originally referring to the “holy evening” of All Souls’ Day. On the feast day of All Souls, we remember and pray for those who have gone before us, while on All Saints’ Day we celebrate those canonised by the Church as well as those not (yet) canonised, those well-known and those less well-known, yet who should be celebrated within our contexts.

Biblically, all Christ-followers are saints (e.g. Philippians 1:1); thus on All Saints’ Day we remember those, past and present, who have tried to walk in the footsteps of Christ in going about their daily lives. All Saints’ Day is also a reminder that because all Christ-followers are saints, we are part of a greater community of faith.

The Beatitudes, as Matthew 5:1-12 are known, are Christ’s words to his followers at the beginning of his sermon delivered on the Mount of the Beatitudes. On the feast days of All Saints’ and All Souls’, these words help us reflect on the lives of those who have aimed to live out the kingdom of God here on Earth, and who have impacted our own lives and the lives of those we know and love.

Revd Claudia Coustas