So after All Saints’ (or Hallows’) Eve comes All Saints Day, of course. I often think about who the real saints are. I’m not entirely convinced that they are only those who are much more perfect or holy than the rest of us. There are loads of people in the background who quietly play their parts and keep things going, but don’t get the appreciation that some noisier characters attract.
For all you quiet but invaluable people, this one’s for you.
And blessèd are the ones we overlook;
The faithful servers on the coffee rota,
The ones who hold no candle, bell or book
But keep the books and tally up the quota,
The gentle souls who come to do the flowers’,
The quiet ones who organise the fete,
Church sitters who give up their weekday hours,
Doorkeepers who may open heaven’s gate.
God knows the depths that often go unspoken
Amongst the shy, the quiet, and the kind,
Or the slow healing of a heart long broken
Placing each flower so for a year’s mind.
Invisible on earth, without a voice,
In heaven their angels glory and rejoice.
(Malcolm Guite, from ‘Sounding the Seasons’: Canterbury Press)
(image from cctv.cntv.cn)