Sunday, October 30, 2011

LGBT-friendly Memorial for All Saints, All Souls and Day of the Dead

This queer-friendly memorial for All Saints, All Souls and Day of the Dead highlights those who died in the past year. Religion and society have often dishonored and desecrated LGBT lives. This is a place for ALL saints and ALL souls to be restored to wholeness and holiness. More info 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

In memory of
Frank Kameny
gay rights pioneer
Died Oct. 11, 2011

white candle Pictures, Images and Photos

In memory of
Jamey Rodemeyer
Suicide brought attention to gay bullying
Died Sept. 18, 2011

white candle Pictures, Images and Photos

In memory of
Peter Gomes
Harvard minister, gay African American, LGBT rights advocate
Died Feb. 28, 2011

white candle Pictures, Images and Photos


In memory of
David Kato
Ugandan LGBT rights activist
Murdered Jan. 26, 2011

white candle Pictures, Images and Photos

In memory of
Rev. Elder Jean White
Metropolitan Community Churches elder from London
Died Nov. 8, 2010 

white candle Pictures, Images and Photos

In memory of
Dr. Ken Blair
Pioneering AIDS doctor in Austin, Texas
Died Nov. 1, 2010

white candle Pictures, Images and Photos

“The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints,
went up before God from the angel’s hand.”
      -- Revelation 8:4

white candle Pictures, Images and Photos
In memory of: Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh, Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase, Asher Brown, Cody J. Barker, Harrison Chase Brown, Caleb Nolt; Billy Lucas, Jeanine Blanchette, Chantal Dube and all other gay and lesbian 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, Alan Schindler and all others who were murdered in homophobic violence. Jill Johnston, Mary Daly, and all lesbians whodied in 2010. Rock Hudson, 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

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow;
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain;
I am the gentle Autumn's rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush.
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there; I did not die.
-- Anonymous

Candles from Wikimedia Commons
Here we emphasize those who died between Nov. 1, 2010 and Oct. 31, 2011. Feel free to suggest more names by adding them as comments. Click here to visit our all-time memorial.

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.

All Saints Day used to be called All Hallows Day, and the preceding evening was the Eve of All Hallows, now celebrated as Halloween. 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

This post is part of the LGBT Holidays 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.


Trudie said...

Thank you for bringing back this lovely and timely memorial.

Kittredge Cherry said...

You're welcome, Trudie! This is a simplified version, focused mostly on those who passed in the last 12 months. I plan to keep adding to it in the coming year as appropriate.

Today is Halloween,so... happy Halloween.

SCG said...

Thanks for this. Some of these saints (Gomes and Kato) have been on my mind.

Kittredge Cherry said...

You're welcome, SCG. Thank you for leaving a comment, and remembering those who have gone before us. May their example inspire us in the year to come.