Sophia (formerly known as Mother Laura) over at RGBP writes:
Earlier this week the U.S. celebrated Veterans' Day, known in many other countries as Remembrance Day. At this time last year I was commuting to a postdoc in Canada, and I was moved by the many red poppies that showed up there on people's lapels in honor of the observance. Unlike a flag lapel pin, which to me has political connotations and implies approval of our current war, the poppies simply honor the sacrifice and dedication of those who have followed their consciences by serving--sometimes dying--in the military.
This week's Friday Five invites reflection on the theme of remembrance, which is also present in the feasts of All Saints, celebrated in many liturgical churches on November 1, and All Souls--known in Latin@ cultures as the Day of the Dead--celebrated in some the following day.
1. Did your church have any special celebrations for All Saints/All Soul's Day?
on All Saints Day, November 1, I was preaching and leading worship, since it was a Saturday night. We had a table with candles, and the other associate pastor read names while I lit the candles. A bell was rung as each name was read - 24 this year in this parish. One was the first funeral I have ever done, last Thanksgiving, and her widower husband and daughter were there - I was so glad to see them. We also showed pictures of each one on our screen in the sanctuary. It was quite powerful. I preached on the All Saints theme as well.
2. How about Veterans' Day?
I did mention in during my prayers, but we had no special service or hymns during the service. I am a dove, but I strongly support those who have sacrificed so much. I wasn't quite sure how to deal with the whole issue during a normal church service though...
3. Did you and your family have a holiday for Veterans' Day/Remembrance Day? If so, how did you take advantage of the break?
The girls did have the day off from school, two of them, the four year old did not. Thankfully my parents were visiting and took the two older ones to the NASA museum nearby, a treat for my dad, who worked on rockets for part of his working life as an electrical engineer. I had to work.
4. Is there a veteran in your life, living or dead, whose dedication you remember and celebrate? Or perhaps a loved one presently serving in the armed forces?
My dad was a sergeant in the Army for two years, serving in the Army Corps of Engineers in Germany during the Korean conflict. It had a profound impact on his life, and especially made him angry when Vietnam vets were treated poorly on their return to the US. Other than that, most of the people I am around are, like me, pacifists.
5. Do you have any personal rituals which help you remember and connect with loved ones who have passed on?
I often share memories of my grandparents, especially my mother's mom, with my girls. And I see snippets of her in them. Whenever we go back to Wilmette, I make a point to stop and spend some time in the cloister garden of our church there, where the ashes of two of our born-too-soon sons are buried. I am not a "date oriented" person, but at times will remember their birthdates (December 31 and February 2) as well as their due dates, but it is a private memory.
Thank you, Sophia...