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The Communion of Saints

As we have approached Allhallowtide this year, I’ve been rather mindful of mortality: my own, my loved ones’, and others around me. There are a number of factors: the outbreak of a new and terrible war; observing dear friends walk through grief; the release of Sufjan Stevens’s latest album, which he dedicated to his late partner; teaching a course on the sacraments of healing, and, so reflecting upon the Eucharist as viaticum and the rites of Christian burial; thinking of whose names I will add to the list when our parish reads its necrology in our memorial garden on All Souls’ Day.

And, so, as I looked for appropriate offerings for All Saints’ Day, I was drawn to these two essays from our archives: one focused on the ecumenical task, and another focused on feeling at home among the faithful departed. Normally I resist the conflation of All Saints’ and All Souls’. The twain serve two importantly different functions. Yet it seems appropriate to pair these pieces together, for in the end it is true that “the saints of God are just folk like me,” and that we are all bound together by the greatest of bonds — the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord. And I mean to be one too.

— Eugene R. Schlesinger, Editor

With all the saints in every place: Ineluctable ecumenism

Graveyard homes

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