Because of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, November has long been associated with remembering the dead, and with the relatively recent addition of Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday, this association has only got stronger.
At St John’s this year we begin our observance with All Souls’ Day on Saturday 2nd November. This is the day when the church commemorates all those who have died: our own loved ones and also those who have been forgotten. At 9.30am we have a High Mass of Requiem with hymns, music from the choir, a short homily, and the opportunity to light candles in commemoration of the dead.
This is followed by All Saints’ Sunday on 3rd November, when we celebrate all the dead that the church calls saints, those who are held up as examples of the faith, inspirations for those of us who come after. On this day we will also admit three of our children to Holy Communion at the High Mass at 10am. The day concludes with Choral Evensong and Benediction at 6pm.
On 10th November we observe Remembrance Sunday, when we remember those who fought for their country in war, and pray for peace and justice between peoples and nations. The High Mass begins at 10am, and at around 11am there will be an Act of Remembrance outside at the war memorial. The following day, on Armistice Day, there will be another short Act of Remembrance at 11am at the war memorial.
Sylvan Road Death Café will also be meeting in the church hall on Sunday 3rd November from 3pm to 5pm, providing a space to talk about death and bereavement in a supportive environment. And throughout the month, Diddy Disciples, our Sunday school for younger children, will be looking at these themes in the ‘In November, we remember’ unit. Diddy Disciples meets during the Sunday High Mass (from 10am) in the church hall.
You’d be very welcome at St John’s in November, as we remember those who have died, celebrate those who have lived, give thanks for those who gave their lives, and think about our own mortality.