Saints and Sinners

Saints and Sinners

During my recent vacation in Scotland, I saw more stained glass windows than you could jiggle the proverbial broken branch  . . . no, wait.  I can’t use that phrase; it ends in a preposition.  And while my dear editor friend has informed me that this isn’t the Mortal Sin it used to be, I just can’t resolve myself that it is now OK to do so.  But I’m sure you get the drift.

Anyway, these beautiful works of art were found primarily in the churches (or kirks, as they say there), where the featured images were of a religious bent, for obvious reasons.  Many of the  lovely locations were named for various saints:  St Mungo’s Cathedral in Glasgow, St Andrew’s in Inverness, and the High Kirk of St. Giles in Edinburgh.  Everywhere we looked, it seemed, there were either castles, kirks, or kilts, all of which are fascinating, though for different reasons.

With today being All Saints’ Day, it seemed like the opportune moment to research the origin of that occasion.  So I did what most highly intellectual and independent-minded Americans do;  I “Googled” it.  (No, they did not pay me to write that, but I’ve no objection should they decide to send a little stipend my way)!  Of the thousands of options at my disposal after striking the “enter” key, one short article summed it up nicely, and the link is here:  It juxtaposes Halloween, All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day and (as my sister mentioned to me earlier this week) The Day of the Dead.  Contrary to the hairy-scary macabre concept that often comes to mind when we consider these holidays, it began as more of a memorial idea.  People took the opportunity to honor those of their family or community who had gone on to God’s presence (they hoped) during the previous year.  My church still does this the first Sunday in November, and it’s a comforting tradition.

How about you?  Do you have a favorite Saint, canonized or otherwise? Or maybe there’s a Sinner who is heavy on your heart.  If you could light a candle at St Giles and say a short prayer for the repose of one soul, who would it be? Click the link just below the title of this post, or in the box below, share your thoughts, and we’ll pray together.