All Souls' Day Commemoration

Monday, November 4 at 7pm

In the New Testament, the word "saints" is used to describe the entire membership of the Christian community, as is noted in the lead article of this issue of The Dove; and from very early times, it has been the custom of the Church to set aside All Saints' Day to commemorate all people of faith. Beginning in the tenth century, it became customary to set aside another day-as a sort of extension of All Saints'-on which the Church remembers the faithful of God who have preceded us into the heavenly court; and this day, formally known as the Feast of All Faithful Departed, has become an important time for remembering family members and friends who have died.

As we have for some years now, Holy Comforter will offer a special All Souls' Day liturgy of remembrance and thanksgiving. If you would like to remember a loved one who has died, and especially if you have suffered such a loss this past year, you are encouraged to attend this beautiful Eucharist. The adult choir will sing, and all will be invited to light a votive candle from the Paschal Candle, the symbol of the Resurrection, and place it on the altar. The candles remind us of the light of Christ that neither fades nor fails. We will declare Christ's victory over death: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again. We will consecrate the bread and wine in the midst of all those lit candles, in the midst of the fire of the Holy Spirit. Then, when we receive the body and blood of Christ, we will experience that sense of being "in Christ" and know we are not far from those who have gone on before.

Whether you hold in your heart someone who died last week or decades ago, please join in this moving celebration of the people whom God has given to us as gifts in our lives. A reception, hosted by the Bereavement Committee, will follow the service.
Thanksgiving Offering and Eucharist

Our entire lives are filled with opportunities to express our gratitude to God for all the blessings we receive. There is, of course, one day explicitly devoted to giving thanks. This year, as always, we will celebrate a special Eucharist on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, at 10:00 a.m. The day will feature some of the most beloved hymns in our repertoire, a simple homily, and the chance to see friends, grown up kids, old neighbors, and others, as, together, we offer our grateful praise to God for all that we are and have and do. Come, join in the celebration of gratitude: let us begin our day of thanksgiving by directing our praise to the One who showers us with all delights, and has so richly gifted and blessed us.

Another way to express our thanks to God is to participate in the Thanksgiving Outreach Offering, envelopes for which have been provided in this issue of The Dove or are available in the church parlor and office for those who receive the newsletter electronically. Please use these envelopes to support our ministry of offering aid and compassion to those in various kinds of distress and sorrow in the Chicago area. The very love God has instilled in our hearts-the source of our attitude of thanksgiving-prompts us to reach out in love and empathy to those who are struggling and facing frequently severe challenges. Thank you, in advance, for your thoughtfulness and generosity.