Posts

Showing posts from October, 2009

All Saints

Image
On Sunday, the church observes All Saints Day (also known as All Souls or All Hallows) Day. At All Saints, the church remembers all those who have gone before us in faith, and especially those who have died in the preceding year.

The word Hallowe'en is a contraction of All Hallows Evening, the night before All Saints Day. It was an Irish and Scots custom to place a candle in their western (sun-setting) window on the eve of All Hallows' to honor the departed. There has also been a folk belief that the souls of those who have died continue to roam the earth until All Saints Day, and from this comes the association of Halloween with ghost, witches, ghouls, gobblins, monsters.

Then on All Saints Day, we remember the new life that Christ has promised. At St. Matthews in Jersey City we will remember our loved ones who have died, writing their names in a memorial book. We will light yahrzeit candles and bring them one by one to the high altar, so that the memory of the blessed dead is …

A Prayer

Image
God of wind and of rain, God of sunlight and shadow, ruler of seasons and turnings, nurture and sustain in us trust in thy goodness and confidence in thy loving faithfulness, that, as we are turned and tossed by changes beyond our control, we may always turn to thee and seek thy grace, trusting in the one who lives in us and gave himself for us, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Art by Liz Wright, "Determination, or Weathering the Storm."
&nbsp

Children and prayer

Image
Prayer Corner - October, 2009

Our gospel readings lately have had Jesus involved with children. The gospels do not describe him teaching children to pray, as he did with his older disciples. But prayer is a natural desire of young people, just as it is with those of greater years. They, and we, long for One who will hear our inmost voice. And just as with other forms of speech, children benefit from examples, teaching, and practice.

There are at least three basic things adults can do to help children develop a prayer life. The first is to pray yourself, so that people – including children – can see that prayer is part of your life. Even better is praying together with the children in your life, holding hands as you pray, or they pray, or you say the same prayers together.

This leads naturally to the second basic way to help children with prayer. Teach them. Teach and repeat prayers they can use, and teach habits and times for prayer. The world’s prayer warriors most often began with sim…