There is much to look forward to in the month of November according to the church calendar.
On the first Sunday of the month, November 5th, we will celebrate the feast of All Saints. This is one of the seven principal feasts each year. (The other six are Christmas Day, The Epiphany, Easter Day, Ascension Day, The Day of Pentecost, and Trinity Sunday.) One of my favorite moments in our Eucharistic Prayer is this: “Therefore, we praise you, joining our voices with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven, who for ever sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your name.” This is a powerful declaration of our hope in the resurrection, that even though they have died, through Christ all those saints live and continue to join with us in sacred worship. It is our custom to remember those who have been buried from Trinity by name over the past year and by the lighting of candles. We will also light a candle celebrating the lives of all those whom we have loved in this lifetime who now stand in the presence of the living God.
Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on November 23rd this year. It is one of those special days each year when we make that great effort to gather with family and friends in order to truly remember the greatest gift that we share with one another, the gift of life. I want to gently remind you that the real import of this holiday is to give thanks to the source and creator of all life, who is, God. In order to do this here in our community, we will gather together with our neighbors at the Upperville Baptist Church on Wednesday evening, November 22nd at 7:30pm. It is always a wonderful occasion and a moment during which we “count our blessings” for God’s love so freely and infinitely shared with all.
The last Sunday of the month, November 26th, is known as “Christ the King” Sunday. It is the final Sunday of the church year, preceding the first Sunday in Advent. The focus is very much upon Jesus’ promise that we have not seen the last of him, that he has “ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.” I take great comfort in knowing that, in this day and age when our mortal leadership seems to be struggling so, God’s kingdom is even now present and God’s Son already reigns.
There is much to celebrate and I look forward to being with you on these great occasions. God’s peace. I will see you in church.
Faithfully in Christ,
The Rev. Robert L. Banse, Jr.