Monday, November 01, 2010

Monday Mixtape: [the all souls & all saints edition]

i chose a theme, found variations on the theme from the world of everyday art, literature, music, film, television, internet, travel, and mashed them together into one post, like separate tracks on a mixtape, see?
track 1: the teaser

track 2: notes on a theme

On Sunday, November 1, 2009 I was on a mini-"vacation" and spent the day visiting a church in our neighborhood instead of my regular church home.  I was able to observe the way they recognized All Saints Day.  Here are my thoughts from those moments one year ago:

November 1, 2009:  This is All Saints Day.  I've never celebrated All Saints Day, not ever before in my lifetime.  In fact, up until an embarrassingly few years ago I wasn't sure if that was even an appropriate remembrance for a Christian.  In the fuzzy catechism of my upbringing, saint-remembering equaled saint-worshipping and wasn't that an awful lot like ancestor worship of the pagans?  It was a joy to sit in this marvelously, gloriously ordinary gathering of neighborhood people and join in the remembering of the men and women who also had been purchased for God -- by the same body and blood we remembered together today -- but who were no longer physically present in the weekly bread line of communion.  I did not recognize one single name or photo projected onto the screen during the lovely special song from the worship team, but it didn't matter.  My heart and mind and body were lifted with hope of that future rest.  I am loathe to admit that I could barely remember the names of the saints my own congregation had lost this past year.  Shame on my forgetfulness -- not my lack of sentimentality over death, mind you -- but my utter self-absorption in the here and now-ness of my own life. This is shallow living and shallow worshipping and I no longer am content to live and worship that way.

After the benediction, I walked the four or so blocks to the coffee shop, drawn by the desire for more of this season's pumpkin-flavored coffees and sweets.  Rounding the neighborhood back toward my house, I stopped in the memorial park between the high school and the police station.  It seemed fitting to savor the intinction of muffin and latte in the midst of my community's fallen, but not-forgotten, soldiers.  Surrounded by the vibrancy of swirling autumn leaves and scampering squirrels I read the signs of the dead and remembered.

1.  For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith, before the world confessed
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blessed
Alleluia, Allelu...
2. Thou wast their rock, their fortress and their might;
Thou, Lord, their captain in the well fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
Alleluia, Allelu...
3. O may Thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold,
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
And win with them the victor’s crown of gold.
Alleluia, Allelu...
4. The golden evening brightens in the west;
Soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest;
Sweet is the calm of paradise the blessed.
Alleluia, Allelu...
5. But lo! There breaks a yet more glorious day;
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of glory passes on his way,
Alleluia, Allelu...
6. From earth's wide bounds, from ocean's farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
Singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
Alleluia, Alleluia!

track 3: magazine cover art

thanks for the HT @ Oh Happy Day

track 4:  good blog-reading related to All Souls, All Saints and Halloween

    track 5: poetry for All Saints Day 

    Notes From the Other Side
     by Jane Kenyon

    I divested myself of despair
    and fear when I came here.
    Now there is no more catching
    one’s own eye in the mirror,
    there are no bad books, no plastic,
    no insurance premiums, and of course
    no illness. Contrition
    does not exist, nor gnashing
    of teeth. No one howls as the first
    clod of earth hits the casket.
    The poor we no longer have with us.
    Our calm hearts strike only the hour,
    and God, as promised, proves
    to be mercy clothed in light.

    Beautifully told first today at Through a Glass Darkly.

    Can you add any examples of art inspired by everyday experiences in literature, music, visual, poetry or film. Add your own "tracks to the mix" in the comment section below!  If you want to join in on my theme this week: what art related to the Church liturgy of All Saints or what everyday liturgy of Halloween inspires you?

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