Tags: all souls day

Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)

Last Sunday of the Year, All Souls

Today it was the last Sunday of the year for the church. Next week when Advent starts, a new year begins. In protestant churches this last Sunday is the day on which the persons are remembered that died during the past year. In their wake, all the other loved ones that are passed away are remembered by ligthing candles. 

               

My husband  coen_wessel   and I realized that the idea we have about this day -and about the festival of All Souls- is changed during the years. I have done one All Souls service, ten years ago, and I remember that in my sermon I focused on loss, anger and mourning; on the separation between the dead and the living and pain that comes with that. My husband focused this morning on the connection between the dead and the living and the relationship with the dead loved ones. This afternoon I took a look at my (Dutch) spread for All Souls that I created this year, and I had the same focus as my husband, very different from my sermon ten years ago. I might be that our culture is changed towards being more at ease about living on after death. We as protestants have had for a long time a faith based on rationality. Heaven which can not be proved, did not have a place in that beliefsystem. The sermon and my spread show that belief in heaven or an afterlife is coming back. Our focus might also be changed because my husband and I have learned in our life that anger and sorrow need their places but that acceptance is important as well.  
Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)

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All Souls Day

A candle for those who are passed away; 
may their lives be remembered as a blessing.
A candle for us who stay behind; 
may the light of the divine comfort and guide us. 
Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)

All Souls, "Heer herinner U de namen"

            

For the Dutch readers of this blog, on my website is a spread to honor of All Souls. It is inspired by a Dutch hymn "Heer, herinner U de namen". (Lord, Remember Thou the Names). It is here.  

                                                               
Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)

Making Peace with the Ancestors


                 

Summer has come to an end way back, and the dark winter is knocking on our door. The transitional state of the falling leaves and the expectation of the barren trees brings us into contact with death. Today, Catholics remember the loved ones and friends who are passed away. This festival is called All Souls, and stems from the Celtic holiday Samhain (nowadays transformed in Halloween), that also has the function of seeking contact with the dead.

When loved ones are dead, they are not there anymore. Questions that come up cannot be answered and long-time grudges that seemed not that important back then, but are now, cannot be uttered and talked about.

On this years’ All Souls Day I want to ask something about my father, who has died three years ago. We did not have any big or little conflicts when he died, not at all. Still, just like most children, I have some disappointments about our father-daughter relationship. I think it is important to take these serious, and to look at them for it is an obstacle to be at peace with myself. This reading has the subject of: “Peace with my father”, and it consists of two cards: the first one shows which grudge I am harbouring, and the second shows how I can make peace with my father. I show and tell only about the second card.

The card I have received as an answer to the question ‘how I can make peace with my father’ is The Moon, from the Arthurian Tarot. 

                                                                                        

The Moon is a card with many layers and with many secrets, we just worked on it in one of the classes I teach. In many cases The Moon brings one to ones' roots. 

My eye fell on the unborn baby in the moon and on the path that runs toward it. They show me that to make peace with my father I need to go a long, long way back to my beginnings. I need to walk that path towards the moon and its unborn baby. When I come at the end of it, I find there that I was a very, very wanted child.

Inspired by: Caitlín Matthews, The Celtic Spirit, Lewellyn, 1999.