November 1 is “All Saints Day” in the Christian tradition. This day originally honored those who were martyred for their faith and evolved into a day of remembering not only the officially recognized Saints of the Church, but also honoring everyday Saints in our lives. Through practices of naming, ringing a bell, lighting candles, and praying, we reaffirm the holy connection between the living Saints with the heavenly Saints. Together, we are still one body of Christ. Every time we join in Holy Communion, we are reminded that our feast extends into heaven itself as we join our voices and share in the divine feast of Grace with all the Saints throughout the centuries.
In addition to honoring the Saints who are members or loved ones of members at PRCC, this year we are also commemorating the Saints who have lost their lives to the Covid pandemic. Understanding that the numbers of people who have died around the world is over one million. Every single individual deserves to be remembered and honored. At PRCC, we wish to visually remember those Saints who have died in Illinois. Currently, that number is 9,522. Included in that number are children, parents, grandparents, doctors, nurses, teachers, and more. Each one is a beloved child of God. We grieve their deaths and pray for their loved ones. We continue to pray for a cure and practice responsible distancing and masking for the safety of our communities, especially those who are most vulnerable. As you see the ribbons surrounding our church, know that each ribbon represents 10 people, as we are only planning on hanging 950 ribbons. They surround our church, just as our prayers surround each family and every community, not just in Illinois but all around the planet as we all yearn for sustainable solutions for the health and wholeness of all humankind.