St. John's in Thomaston to Celebrate All Saints Sunday

This Sunday, November 5th, is All Saints Sunday at the Episcopal Church of St. John Baptist in Thomaston.  Services are at 8 am and 10 am.  All are welcome.

All Hallow’s Eve, All Saints and All Souls Day – The feast days that mark this time of year have been celebrated for centuries of years by many religions and countries.  It also marks the mid-Autumn date and was a native holiday for many areas before Christianity.  It marks the time when cultures remember those who have died.  All Saints is one of the five major feast days in the church, along with Easter. Christmas, Pentecost and the parish church’s patronal celebration (in our case the feast of St. John Baptist).  And as a major feast, it is often a time to particularly celebrate baptisms. All Saints Day revolves around "giving God solemn thanks for the lives and deaths of his saints", including those who are "famous or obscure". As such, individuals throughout the Church Universal are honoured, such as the Apostles, St. Francis, Augustine of Hippo and John Wesley, Martin Luther, or Martin Luther King, in addition to individuals who have personally led one to faith in Jesus, such as one's grandmother or friend.

James Agee, who attended Episcopal schools growing up, used the text from the traditional first reading of All Saints Day as an inspiration for his book, whose title comes from the opening line: “Let us now praise famous men”.  The work was his writing and photographs of migrant tenant farmers during the Great Depression.

(And from Wikipedia)In the British Isles, it is known that churches were already celebrating All Saints on 1 November at the beginning of the 8th century to coincide or replace the Celtic festival of Samhain. James Frazer suggests that 1 November was chosen because it was the date of the Celtic festival of the dead (Samhain) – the Celts had influenced their English neighbors, and English missionaries had influenced the Germans. However, Ronald Hutton points out that, according to Óengus of Tallaght(d. ca. 824), the 7th/8th century church in Ireland celebrated All Saints on 20 April. He suggests that 1 November date was a Germanic rather than a Celtic idea.

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