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We Remember, We Celebrate, We Believe

This is the Book of Remembrance in the Church of the Immaculate Conception at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind.

For many Christians, November is a time to focus on those who have gone before us. A number of denominations begin the month with the celebration of All Saints’ Day, and many churches provide a book of remembrance where the names of deceased friends and family members can be inscribed.

In November, we remember our beloved dead, we celebrate their lives, and we express our belief that for them, “life is changed, not ended.”

It seems fitting that Thanksgiving falls during this season of remembrance. As we give thanks for our blessings, how can we not recall the gifts of people who have loved us and who have made us who we are? As we sing in “For the Beauty of the Earth,”

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on Earth and friends above,
For all gentle thought and mild,
God of all, to you we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

During this season of remembering and giving thanks, let us pray with and for the deceased whom we love as we hold fast to our faith that the bonds of love cannot be broken by death.

Let us pray also with and for those who have died alone and unmourned as we hold fast to our faith that they too are beloved of God:

Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace.
May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Amen.

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Sister Lisa Stallings

Sister Lisa serves as vicar of the Sisters of Providence leadership team. After teaching junior high and high school, she spent twenty years ministering in music and worship in parishes in Chicago, Kentucky and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

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