Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 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 160 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, 2023

All Souls - Rector's Rambling for October 29, 2023

On Thursday, November 2nd,  we commemorate the Feast of All Souls, also known as the Feast of All Faithful Departed.  The day before is All Saints Day, which we will also celebrate next Sunday within the Octave.  What is the difference between the two?

All Saints Day is the day that we recognize those whom the church confirms  have lived lives of heroic virtue.  People like St. Francis, St. Clare, St. Maximilan Kolbe, and St. Mother Teresa.  We will talk more about what it means to be a saint next week!

But on Thursday, we pray for ALL the faithful departed, all those who have gone before us, and not just those who have lived lives of obvious sanctity.  We continue to be connected in Jesus to those we love and have died.  We remember them before God in our prayers in thanksgiving for their lives.  They, being outside of our time and space, await the second coming of Jesus “when the earth and the sea shall give up their dead” (Revelation 20:13), knowing that when He returns “the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16).  Each time we recite the creed, we affirm this truth as we say in the third section that we believe in “the resurrection of the body”.

We have two services of the Holy Communion on Thursday.  At 10 AM we will be in the chapel at Elmwood Cemetery.  It is here that the overwhelming majority of our parishioners in the first 75 or so years are buried.  Pictured here is the monument for our founder, Henry Porter Baldwin. 

At 12:15 we celebrate the Mass in our own chapel where cremated remains are interred of many of our parishioners who have died since the late 1970s.  At this Service we will also read the names of our loved ones that have been submitted. 

Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them.  May they rest in peace.