All Saints Sunday is the Sunday after Halloween. Many churches recognize and celebrate those saints that have passed in the last year, but it the children are not taught about it. It will most likely not be found in any children’s curriculum that is taught in Sunday School class, but it is a holiday that makes for a wonderful Children’s Message for all ages.
Raise your hand if when you hear me say the words All Saints Sunday you immediately thought I was talking football. It is fall, it is a Sunday and we are in the South, so it is fair that some of the kids and adults may think that I am talking about Louisiana Saints football team when I said All Saints Sunday, but they would be mistaken.
John Wesley the founder of the United Methodist church once wrote in his journal that All Saints Sunday. “was a Festival that he truly loved!” He loved it because it was a day of remembering all those who have shared their faith. John Wesley lived his entire life sharing his faith. All Saints day is when we as a community of Christians remember all who may be alive and those have passed away who have used their life to share their faith in God.
(I am going to list some faith sharing ways. If you hear one you know or have experienced, I want you to give me a thumbs up.)
Some ways that those people may have shared their faith with us are those who teach us Sunday school, someone who hugged us when we needed one, someone who fed those who needed or wanted fed, those who built shelter for those who couldn’t, those who pray with those who needed prayed for each day, those who share their spiritual gifts to make life better for others.
Now while I set out these candles, I want you to think of that person in your life.
(grab a package of tea lights and a long wick auto candle lighter. If you tend to have a large group, you will want to ask another grown-up to help you guide the candle lighting with the children If you feel you will have a group that may not be safe with flame get the simple battery powered candle light and turn it on and off as the child say the name.) On All Saints Sunday we think of the names of people who have shared their faith, we tell their story, we chime a bell, and we may even light a candle to mark that memory of them.
I am going to set out these small candles and say a name of person who have shared their faith as you say their name out loud and together we will light a candle for them together.
(or turn on the candle as the child says their saint.)