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The Commemoration of our departed loved ones

On Thursday the 2nd November, we placed our loved ones afresh into the hands of God during our All Souls' Day Requiem Mass. This beautiful service is kept each year as an expression of love for our friends and family who have gone before us in faith and now stand on another shore, but in a greater light. What follows is a copy of the sermon preached by Father Edward.

Dear friends, tonight we are here for one reason, and one reason only. Very simply, we are here because we love. Love is at the very core of all that we are, and our love is eternal.

Tonight, we bring before our God of love all those who’ve lost but see no longer, those who have gone before us and are now on another shore, and in a greater light, yet our love for them goes on.

All of us will have lost many people, some very recently, some a little while ago, but our love for them remains, that fire within us for them continues to burn as brightly as ever before.

As Christians, we need to find a way of expressing this love for those we’ve lost, and so tonight we offer them the greatest thing we can.

We other them a prayer. The Prayer of Jesus Christ on the cross.

This is no ordinary prayer. It is a prayer of love and of power that overcomes death itself.

As Christians we believe in the resurrection from the dead, and this faith, this hope, this prayer finds its ultimate expression in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, the Holy Communion.

As Rowan Williams tells us, “Holy Communion makes no sense at all if we do believe in the resurrection. Without the resurrection, the Eucharist becomes simply a memorial meal, recalling a rather sad and overpowering occasion in the upper room.”

This is the prayer we offer our loved ones; this is the act of love that we express for those we’ve lost that they will enjoy the fullness of eternal life.

The Holy Eucharist, the Holy Communion is a mystery which we will never be able to grasp completely, except to say that here Heaven and Earth are somehow united and the passing of time becomes unimportant.

Here at the Altar of the Lord, we gather with the angels and saints, and with all those who we’ve lost. We are all together receiving in bread and wine, in Holy Communion a full blast of God’s love and healing which destroys death and brings life.

It is here where we, and all of our loved ones hear the words Jesus resounding in our hearts in the most beautiful music, “Amen, dear brother, Amen dear sister, Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

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