Tuesday, September 28, 2004


Spent this morning at staff meeting trying to dream up a title for the service we are planning for All Souls' tide. The idea is the far from revolutionary one of providing a service to which we invite all those with whom we've been in contact via funerals this year. The format, still under construction, will involve the almost-obligatory opportunity to light a candle, a chance to remember with thanksgiving and, we hope, a stepping-stone on the route to recovery. In a parish where it just isnt manageable for the clergy to remain in close touch with all the bereaved relatives we encounter, it is also a way of saying that they and their losses have not been forgotten. I think it's important,- but I'm stumped for a title, I really am...One suggestion was "A time to remember..." - which is lovely on one level, specially with the implications of re-building that lie at the root of the word...but then, it's just a week before the "Remembrance Sunday" stuff, and we don't want people to come expecting poppy wreaths and two minute silences,- and being deeply disappointed..With invitations and publicity needed soon, this is becoming rather perturbing, so I would love some thoughts from any of you still reading.


John said...

I'm not sure quite what you need, but perhaps something along these lines?

Sight unseen
Behind and before
Journey on
A light in the darkness

pax et bonum

Tom Allen said...

Why not try something simple like:
Annual (or Parish) Memorial Service

while we might have reservations about the theology I have found it explains what it is to people unfamiliar with churchy things. I have a simple postcard format for an invitation in Word which i could email to you which has served me well in two parishes

Do really use staff meetings for creative thinking?

Liked the blog about Lyle Denon - he was a teenage role model for me when he was Cuddesdon theoloical college with my Dad - its hard to imagine the rebellious student as an Archdeacon - how we all change

1 i z said...

My mum is a Southwark Pastoral Auxillary and specialises in bereavement counselling/training etc.

She's held several of these services over the last few years in her parish and each one has been totally over-subscribed. Phenomenally popular with non-church goers - definitely meeting a need that appears to be out there.

As I've commented before the church still tends to 'do death' really well. A time perhaps when the need for ritual and journey marking is still very raw in the average person.

I'll ask her for any ideas/title suggestions etc when I speak to her next...

B1 said...

We had All-Saints Sunday at my church, and everyone was invited a couple of weeks ahead to put the name of their loved one, whomever they were or whenever they died, on a large tablecloth that would be used during the service. The table cloth was in a public area for the 2 weeks before so that people could read the names and/or add one. Then in the Sunday service, a minister read off the names of members (only the members because there were so many) who had died that year while another minister lit a candle for each and set it down on the table (covered by the table cloth). It was really nice.

Sally said...

And then they set fire to the cloth.............