“Remember, Remember The Fifth of November
Gunpowder, Treason & Plot:
I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should Ever Be Forgot”
November is a month of remembering.
Bonfire season is well under way by now, with the Lewes Bonfire coming up on the 5th, casting back to events over 400 hundred years ago, to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
Then on 10th November we have Remembrance Sunday, when we remember the dead of two World Wars and of all the conflicts since. We will also remember the women and men of the Armed Forces of our own day, giving thanks for them and praying for their safety.
On All Saints’ Day, this year celebrated on 3rd November, we will remember all the generations of the Faithful who have witnessed to the presence of God in the world for the last two thousand years, proclaiming his constant Love and Redemption.
And, more personally on All Souls’ Day 2nd November, we will be commemorating our own dead and the dead of our church communities, giving thanks for their lives and, in our own hearts, lifting them up into God’s loving presence.
All this “Remembering!”
Looking at the word, “re-membering”, it means “putting the members back together”, and that is actually what we are doing: making our history, our stories, our past live again in the present moment. We touch base with where we have come from so we can move on and face the future.
In our central act of worship every Sunday, in the Eucharist, we do the same. “Do this in Remembrance of Me” says Jesus, and so we do. We take the bread and take the wine and, by saying “this is My Body….this is My Blood…”, we enact the story of the past – the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus the Christ – and bring it into the present moment, the here and the now, so that He is in our midst, amongst us. The term for this in Greek (if you are still reading this you are welcome to glaze over!) is “Anamnesis” which means “remembering”, but in the concrete sense of touching base with the past, of touching base with God in His process of Salvation, so that we can know Him in the present moment, so that we then journey with Him into the future.
Bonfire, Remembrance, All Saints & All Souls: all caught up in the power and transforming presence of the Eucharist.
Remember, Remember indeed…..
Love, Fr. John