Okay, so apparently while I was shopping at the Rocky Mountain Mennonite Relief Sale, my hubby was out taking pictures of the event. Bravo, Mikey! Here is a gallery on our website WritingPlaces.com.
37th Rocky Mountain Mennonite Relief Sale
There are photographs from other sales as well, just go to the gallery section.
Another tradition at the sale is the singing of the Doxology. This is not the same rendition of the Doxology that most people painfully sing on any given Sunday. This is a much better version that the Mennonites take seriously and have turned into an art form. It is truly a song of praise. Listen here:
Isn't that awesome? It's sung every year just before the quilt auction in four-part harmony a capella. In the background, before the hymn is sung, you can see the ladies getting ready for the auction.
Today, November 1, is what is known in the church as All Saints Day. This day was set aside so that Christians could honor all of the saints, alive or dead, martyred or not. Originally, the celebration started on All Hallows Eve, or October 31, as a day to honor martyred saints. Later, the church also set aside November 1 as well so that saints who had died "normal" deaths could also be honored.
As we all know, All Hallows Eve mutated into its present form through the introduction of pagan practices. Protestants may also be a little leery of celebrating saints because they do not believe in praying to them so the celebration is usually centered in the Catholic, Orthodox and higher Protestant denominations.
Here is a great article about All Saint's Day from which I derived some of this information.
I see nothing wrong with honoring the saints. We can do this by educating ourselves about their lives and by following their example of devotion to God. In fact, it might be interesting for a church to center a harvest activity around the saints after a period of education in Sunday school. For Protestants, October 31 is celebrated as the day that Martin Luther is said to have nailed his explosive 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenburg Church. Why not celebrate that? Even Catholics could. The 95 Theses may have begun the split in the church, but it did lead to some of the needed reforms that Luther wanted. Remember, Luther had no intention of splitting the church. That happened because some saw the need for change and others wanted it to stay the same, and both sides were perfectly willing to kill as many of the opposition as necessary to achieve their respective goals.
So who is your favorite saint? Who has helped you in your Christian life? Celebrate that today. Thank God for them. We really do need each other, as old-time preacher Rueben Welch used to say, and this is a great way to demonstrate that need.