Monday, November 1, 2010

All Saint's Night 2010

The All Saint's service started in the dark at the fishpond up on the mountain. From there we walked with candles lit, under the arched entrance gate of the Tao Fung Shan cemetery, up, then down the uneven stone steps, until we assembled around an outdoor altar, scratchy cypress trees at our backs.

We read out the names of those who had died, Chinese names, and American, Norwegian, Japanese and Danish, while looking at the flickering faces of the wondering children and somber adults. 

We ate bread, dipped in wine, we squinted up at the few stars which managed to pierce the Hong Kong gloom, and we remembered the question the two men in gleaming clothes asked the terrified women at Jesus' graveside.

"Why do you look for the living among the dead?"  [Luke 24:5]

This All Saint's Day, 2010, we are the living.  We dare to believe that those who have entered the mystery of eternity are, through Christ, awake, alive, and love us even better than they were able, on earth, to do.  They are the saints!  And we, we are in the process of becoming.
O blessed communion, fellowship divine! 
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
Yet all are one in Thee for all are Thine.
Alleluia! Alleluia!  -- [Hymn: For All the Saints, 4th stanza]

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