This month is often referred to as the month of remembrance. It begins with the Church remembering all the saints; those whose life shone bright with the image of Jesus. Then, the next day, on All Souls’ we remember with great affection and in prayer, those whom we love but see no longer. Though separated from them, both they and we are held in the common embrace of God’s loving presence.
November is the month in which we also remember, in silence and solemnity, all whose lives were laid down in warfare for the freedom of others. Throughout the year their neat rows of names continue to be displayed on our war memorials, but it is on 11 November and remembrance Sunday that we make them our focus and pay special tribute to their sacrifice.
Each time we celebrate the Eucharist there is part of the Great Prayer of Thanksgiving that is particularly poignant; it is called the ‘anamnesis’. It is a theological term that states that during the prayer we remember but, as we do, we call into the present moment the reality we recall and celebrate.
At each Eucharist Christ, and the reality of all his saving work, comes to us in a unique way. The bread and wine become his body and blood – his very real presence in our midst. As we receive these we receive him and all his saving benefits; his help and strength for our journey. This remembering changes us from individuals into his living body, the Church; called to be his presence in our world today.
With God nothing is lost and love is eternal. May we live as those that remember who we are and whom we serve.
Yours in the faith,