Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 52 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

All Hallows Eve, All Saints, All Souls

I hope you have a blessed All Hallows Eve (usually shortened to Hallowe'en). Today is the Eve of All Saints (Hallows) Day, which is November 1st. Before we remember the saints, tonight is that sugar filled evening of merriment and mischief!

Tomorrow is All Saints Day. We will remember this at the 12:15pm Service in our Chapel. On All Saints Day we remember those who have gone before us, following Jesus, and living lives of heroic virtue. We remember them as a wonderful example and inspiration to us to live lives of holiness!

Thursday is All Souls Day. It is the day we remember our beloved dead. Over the history of the Church, although St. Paul calls all in the Church, The Saints (ie...those seeking holiness), there has been an understanding that some have certainly obtained a greater holiness (All Saints Day), and the rest, though Saved, were perhaps not quite as holy at death. We have lots of relatives whom we love, and they followed Jesus, but we certainly know they were not Saints on earth! From this has developed All Souls Day on November 2nd.

Another tradition of the Church is to have the priest do 3 services on All Souls Day, which we do at St. John's. The three offer three different opportunities to parishioners.

At 10am we will have a short (25 minute) Communion Service at Elmwood Cemetery, in their chapel. Here is buried all but a few parishioners from St. John's in her first 70+ years, beginning in 1859. Although we won't mention all of them by name, we will offer their names and memories up in general. Anyone who is there for the service, I would be happy to direct them to the graves of our founder, Henry Porter Baldwin, and our first Rector, Bishop Armitage. Elmwood is still and active cemetery and more info can be found at http://elmwoodhistoriccemetery.org/ The cemetery is still owned by a local board of trustees, not an impersonal national corporation, and I encourage it for your consideration (I am on the Foundation Board).

At 11:15 we will have another short Requiem Mass in the Chapel at St. John's. At this service all the names of those submitted will be read aloud. These names will be published in the bulletin for the later service

At 7:00pm will will have our big service, a Choral Requiem Mass, with our full professional choir presenting Faure's Requiem. Be sure to invite your friends, family, and neighbors to join us for this great opportunity to hear the choir as well as worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!

If you have names of beloved dead you would like remembered at the altar at St. John's please send them to officemanager@stjohnsdetroit.org before November 1st, 5pm so they can be published.