The communion of saints

For all the saints, who from their labours rest, /
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed, /
Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed. /
Alleluia, Alleluia!

Another aunt died recently. Dad had nine siblings, mom had eight, and many have died over the last few years. They have followed their fathers and mothers to the grave. My prime will pass soon enough and I will go there too. So will you.

As I get older I feel the weight of loss more. I miss my departed elders more than ever. Those born two generations before me are slowly passing on. They won’t be there to provide guidance, or to explain the world that preceded me. Perhaps people will look to me for that. Life, as it unfolds, slowly replaces those who came before you with those born after you. The losses mount.

Then, at the height of our loss, we die and pass on to eternity. Dawn breaks. Not only will we reunite with our fathers and forefathers — for our loss is a temporary one — but we will join in that communion of saints throughout the ages: Abraham, David, Isaiah, Irenaeus, Polycarp, Athanasius, and Luther. Is there anything to desire more fervently?

From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast, /
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host, /
And singing to Father, Son and Holy Ghost: /
Alleluia, Alleluia!

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