“And prayer is more
Than an order of words, the conscious occupation
Of the praying mind, or the sound of the voice praying.
And what the dead had no speech for when living,
They can tell you, being dead: the communication
Of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living.”

(T S Eliot, Little Gidding)


(For Christians, All Hallows’ Eve is the remembrance of those who have died in the faith of Christ. ‘Hallow’ comes from the Anglo-Saxon ‘halwe’, meaning holy, or a saint. The resurrection of Jesus means that those who live in his life, whether alive or now in his nearer presence, are one, and so our prayer is one).

PS the word ‘saint’ did not originally mean ‘specially holy’ but simply ‘a believer in Christ’.


19 thoughts on “FOR ALL HALLOWS’ EVE

      1. Do you have a fulltime minister? Is there anyone with any ‘vision’ for the church, apart from you? It’s very tough, staying with a failing church … hugs!


      2. We share our Minister with 2 other churches and we have visiting preachers the nature of the URC is that it is run by its members and. It is the church secretary that runs the services when we do not have a preacher and she is in charge if you like of the day to day running of the chapel unfortunately lovely though she is our secretary has been running it for years and her mother before her I believe now she is in her 70s and not in good health things are sliding somewhat. I was supposed to take over as secretary earlier this year but she seems loathe to pass the office over.


      3. In our last parish we spent 5 years working with URC ministers because we were an ‘ecumenical project’ and shared the building and the services and the ministry. The last 3 years we had a lay ‘community minister’ and she is FANTASTIC. It might be something for you to encourage your people to look into???? A community minister really gets stuck in to the community (as you’d expect) and does loads of networking with all sorts of different social providers locally. She didn’t like preaching but we shared services 50/50, so she used to get other URC preachers in or occasionally do it herself. It’s quite a new thing but it might reinvigorate your situation … :??:

        Oh yes, the people who won’t hand over … I know that one!!! :no:


  1. Some Irish Catholics left food out for the Souls.. spirits perhaps in purgatory…before
    All Souls Day.I am unsure if purgatory is emphasised much nowadays.Like Sin is not used much either;is it because we think people are sick not wicked?


    1. I think a lot of Christian teaching has become a bit distorted over the centuries, and when the church gets reformed, some of the teaching gets reformed too. The belief in Purgatory was one of the things that separated Catholics, who believed in it, from Protestants, who didn’t, in the 16th century. I am not really sure of current Catholic teaching on the subject.

      Likewise with the word ‘sin’ – in my view, this word comes along trailing all sorts of assumptions and presuppositions, which don’t really help these days. I prefer to think of it as the badness in society, and in our own selves, which we all know is there, when we are being honest.

      But I’m sure you’re right, a lot of people would say these days that people are sick, not wicked. However, I wonder where that leaves the principle of personal responsibility for our words and actions…


  2. Ah …. I didn’t know that – that a ‘saint’ was originally a follower of Christ….

    We are saints Gillyk! 🙂

    This icon was at the exhibition I went to…. it is quite a wellknown one… :yes: Peter and Paul….


    1. Yay, it is one of my favourites, I adopted it as the icon for a holiday Bible club which was run by Anglicans in Romania within an Orthodox parish 8| UNHEARD OF!!!! But I thought, how excellent, to have the ‘writing’ of the older believer (ie the Orthodox Church) embracing the younger (the Anglicans) – !

      Yup, we’re saints all right 88| St Paul says ‘to the saints at (whichever place it was 😳 )’ when he means ‘the believers’.


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