Saturday, October 31, 2015

LGBT-friendly online memorial for All Hallows' Eve, All Saints, All Souls and Day of the Dead

Rainbow candles on the altar for the LGBT Service of Remembrance at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Sacramento

Welcome to Jesus in Love’s LGBTQ-friendly online memorial. Many believe that the souls of the dead are visiting this weekend for All Hallow’s Eve (Halloween), All Saints Day, All Souls and Day of the Dead. Everyone is invited to add names by leaving a comment.

Religion and society have often dishonored and desecrated queer lives. May all saints and all souls be restored to wholeness and holiness as we remember them.

We give thanks for the lives lost, and carry them in our hearts with the hope that we shall see them again. May perpetual light shine upon them as they rest in peace and in power. More info is at the end of the memorial.

Compassionate Spirit of God, unite us with the lives and visions of lesbian and gay heroes of our time… Unite us with all the souls living and dead, especially those souls taken by violence and AIDS. Unite us with all who boldly pioneered a way of pride and justice.
--from “Invocation for All Saints Day” by James Lancaster, published in Equal Rites

white candle Pictures, Images and Photos

In memory of: Tyler Clementi, Leelah Alcorn, Haylee Fentress, Paige Moravetz, Seth Walsh, Jeanine Blanchette, Chantal Dube and all other LGBTIQ youths who have committed suicide. Gwen Araujo, Rita Hester, Brandon Teena and all others who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. Harvey Milk, Matthew Shepard, FannyAnn Eddy, David Kato, Alan Schindler, and all others who were murdered in homophobic violence. Marcella Althaus-Reid, John Boswell, Peter Gomes, Bayard Rustin and all others who came out and supported LGBT people during their lifetimes. Mychal Judge, Henri Nouwen, Pauli Murray and all other religious leaders who worked for justice while keeping quiet about their sexual orientation. For Jeanne Manford, Adele Starr, and all others who stood as allies to LGBT family and friends. Rock Hudson, Freddie Mercury, Keith Haring, Alvin Ailey, Rev. Ron Russell-Coons, Rev. Jim Sandmire, Rev. Howard Wells and all others who died of AIDS. And for all saints and all souls, named and unnamed.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
--Hebrews 12:1

candle animated avatar Pictures, Images and Photos

I sing a song of the saints of God,
patient and brave and true,
who toiled and fought and lived and died
for the God they loved and knew.
And one was a doctor, and one was a queen,
and one was a shepherdess on the green;
they were all of them saints of God, and I mean,
God helping, to be one too.
-- from “I Sing a Song of the Saints of God” by Lesbia Scott, 1929

All Saints Day (Nov. 1) used to be called All Hallows Day, and the preceding evening was the Eve of All Hallows, now celebrated as Halloween. In Catholic and Protestant Christianity, the Feast of All Saints commemorates all saints, known and unknown. The following day, the Feast of All Souls, pays respect to the faithful departed who have not yet reached heaven. Prayers are offered to ask the saints to help the living, and to offer help to the souls of deceased friends and family.

All Souls Day is celebrated in Latin America as the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos). The holiday is especially popular in Mexico, where the happy celebration is one of the biggest events of the year. These holidays are associated with the Celtic Festival of the Dead (Samhain). They grow out of the pagan belief that the souls of the dead return to visit at this time of year.

Related links:

LGBT Saints Series

Why we need LGBT saints: A queer theology of sainthood by Kittredge Cherry

LGBT litany of the saints: Harvey Milk, pray for us; Joan of Arc, pray for us... by Rachel Waltz

Queering All Saints and All Souls, Celebrating the Queer Body of Christ by Adam Ackley (Huff Post)

A Litany of All the Saints by James Kiefer

This post is part of the LGBT Calendar series by Kittredge Cherry at the Jesus in Love Blog. The series celebrates religious and spiritual holidays, holy days, feast days, festivals, anniversaries, liturgical seasons and other occasions of special interest to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people of faith and our allies.


Anonymous said...
"Weightless" originally began as an homage to the patients and loved ones I had the privilege to meet while working as a direct caregiver on an Infectious Disease Unit during the mid -- late 1990s. I had come across the book, "Living with AIDS', a photographic journal by Sal Lopes (Bullfinch Press, copyright 1994), and many of the images seemed personally iconic to me, representative for so many lives which had touched mine. The more I began "collaging images" from the book in watercolor paintings, for some reason I found myself also delving into the theme of the series (love, loss), in a universal and historical context. In other words, the AIDS crisis was another facet of the ageless struggle for humanity on a personal and global level. I found the series incorporating classical themes such as "Liebestod" mixed in with documented examples of the struggle for perseverance: Kosovo refugees, Anne Frank and Auschwitz, soldiers from any time, any place, bandaged and attempting to recover from wounds... Mixed in with these grave themes, the medium of working in watercolor itself brought images of cleansing and healing. Eventually I made a short collage-film of this series, using photocopies of the paintings, converting them to sepia and adding the static of nostalgic movie reels with subtitles for the poem that came from the art. This film, (in conjunction with publication of the book by the same name), goes back to the source of the original paintings juxtaposed against the film stills in hopes of forming a cohesive whole regarding not just the creative process but how one can take suffering and perhaps find transformative powers for grace. There is no hierarchy when it comes to all the different varieties there are of pain and its challenges. "Weightless" was created as a small ultimately light-filled testament to that.

Kittredge Cherry said...

Stephen, thanks for your wonderful comment and link to your video. On this All Souls Day, may you have power to comprehend with all the saints the endless love of God!