Dear Friends in Christ,
What does it mean to be a part of the communion of saints?
I have been thinking about this question lately because my fellow clergy and I have been doing so many funerals. (It’s not just at Grace—almost every church I know has a backlog of funerals that were not held during the depth of the pandemic.). These liturgies spur me to reflect on how we are connected and what those connections mean.
Today, Mother Nina will officiate at the funeral of Ted Baker. Ted was a member of Grace Church long ago, and his family wanted to honor him with an Episcopal service before his burial at Arlington Cemetery.
Likewise, earlier in the week, I spoke with the family of Jacqueline Klein, a former parishioner who had lived out of state for many years. Although it has been several decades since she was able to worship here, her family is clear that Grace is the right place for this liturgy.
Saturday at 2:00 p.m., your clergy will lead the Requiem Eucharist for Cleve Corlett, who was deeply woven into the fabric of this parish for many years. I know that many of you will join us as we commend his soul to God in this church that meant so much to him.
I share these stories with you because they are all different—but they are all equally important ways for us to connect. When we are joined to one another and to God in baptism, that bond is never erased. Even if we are not personal friends with the person who has died, we are connected in a way that transcends the personal. We offer love and care to stranger, friend, and family alike.
Many of you are aware that some people in this community have a special ministry around funerals. Jean Reed organizes our columbarium. Lucy-Lee Reed provides hospitality to the families who come here grieving. These mourners know they are loved the minute they are greeted at our front door. (Do you admire this ministry? I encourage you to join it.)
None of us are alone—not in life, and not in death, either. Our church never ceases to bear witness to that truth.
Yours in Christ,