All Saints & All Souls

Definitely no knitting content today…

My week didn’t turn out as planned. I was going to visit with friends this weekend, enjoy the autumn weather, be out and about. Then, on Sunday, I got the news that my “Uncle” George, one of the best people I have ever known, had passed away. This changed everything, and a trip to my hometown suddenly became the focus of my week. First I was going to go up today, to the funeral being held at the funeral home. Then I found out there was to be a service at the church where I grew up on Saturday evening. My mom could make it to that service as well, and so we amended our plans. I leave first thing tomorrow for the Garden State where I will see people who have known me since before I was born, and many of whom I haven’t seen in at least a decade. All for Uncle George & Aunt Peggy.

If I had had a godfather, it would have been him. He was a gentle tease, and got my brother and me calling him Aunt George and his wife Uncle Peggy. He was always looking out for me with good advice. When my cat killed my hamster at the age of 8 or 9, he advised my parents not to tell me it was the cat’s fault I was hamster-less. This was stellar counsel…I don’t even remember the hamster, but the cat was a best buddy for years (and probably wouldn’t have been had I known the whole story). When I moved to the Bronx he worried about my safety. When my grandmother passed away a few months ago, he and Aunt Peggy drove hundreds of miles to be with us…I will never forget seeing them walk into that room, ever.

In the Western Christian calendar, yesterday was All Saints Day, and today the Commemoration of All Souls, or the Faithful Departed. All Saints Day is more joyful than All Souls…it celebrates all those who have gone before us. I like All Saints Day. Tonight, however, I was drawn to go to church for All Souls. I went to a church I haven’t been to before, although I had heard of it from friends, who happened to be there this evening (happy surprise!). It’s a gorgeous sanctuary, and the liturgy was beautiful. If All Saints is celebratory, All Souls is more contemplative. The Requiem Mass is sung, to pray for the souls of the faithful departed. Tonight’s Requiem was composed by the church’s organist/choirmaster, and it was beautiful. And spooky. But most of all, tonight let me spend time thinking of those whom I have lost this year — my grandmother and Uncle George, and all whom have gone on before. I’m no theologian, but I believe I’ll see them again.

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