Dying; All Saint’s Day Gets Personal

November 1st "For All The Saints"

Image by amandabhslater via Flickr

Today is All Saints’ Day, a day when Christians remember and celebrate those who have departed this life.

For All the Saints has always been one of my favorite hymns, so I naturally decided to teach it to my oldest daughter. We sang it every night at bedtime when she was two, and she sang it with gusto (and no hymn book) that year on All Saints’ Day.

For all the saints who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
Alleluia!

Thou wast their rock, their fortress, and their might;
Thou, Lord, their captain in the well-fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true light.
Alleluia!

Oh, blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
Yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
Alleluia!

The golden evening brightens in the west;
Soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest;
Sweet is the calm of paradise the blest.
Alleluia!

And then came our time to put those words to the test:

What does Christ mean when He promises to be our fortress?

Is there really a calm paradise waiting?

Now I understand what it means to feebly struggle…

We lost our baby son, Isaiah, almost eleven years ago now, and I still can’t sing that hymn… even though I love it more than ever. It’s just that there are too many saints I know now who have gone before. The difference between here and there is too great. The victory of Christ is too sweet for my feeble voice to contain.

So I listen… and remember.

I anticipate… and love.

I celebrate… and weep anew.

Link up to the ABC'sD is for… dying?? For an ABC’s of Homeschooling Post? Well, yes, because learning how to deal with death is a vital lesson… for our children and for everyone. I have many more thoughts on the topic, so consider this a prologue. I promise to tell more of Isaiah’s story and how we’ve learned to handle death in our family. It’s near and dear to my heart!

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About Heidi

I'm a pastor's wife, striving to live generously. I'm also a homeschooling, gardening, knitting, cooking, reading mom.
This entry was posted in Christ, lutheran, parenting and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Dying; All Saint’s Day Gets Personal

  1. Karolyn says:

    Can’t hug you enough. *hug*

  2. Marcia says:

    That has always been one of my favorite hymns, also. (We’ve known each other well for a long time now and I just learned this about you!) I will sing it for you, and for Isaiah, with gusto, with & without a hymn book as often as I can, until I can live it. Love…

  3. Jodi says:

    Praying for you, Heidi! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Ellen says:

    Isaiah and all his cousins in heaven are singing it for us. For obvious reasons, I can barely read the words this year. (((hugs))) to you. I remember.

  5. Linda says:

    Beautiful post, Heidi.

    I first remember that hymn from when I was in grade school. My parents and several others from our church sang in the choir at the Great Commission Convocation in Jamestown, and we kids were there for enough of the mass choir rehearsals that every time I hear that hymn now, I hear that large Lutheran choir singing it.

  6. I’m not sure I’m very familiar with that hymn but it does look a little familiar. I loved the words, well written and lovely. Thank you for sharing your story, God bless.

  7. Naomi says:

    Thank you for sharing your story! It is wonderful how strong God’s Word is in hymns and how they speak to us in different situations. ((((Hugs))))

  8. Heidi, my D was Dying too. It’s not pretty. Or fun. Sometimes it’s just where we’re at though and I would rather speak from my heart than write fluff just to entertain. Your post is beautiful.

  9. Pingback: Dying; Baby Isaiah | Give Away Seven a Day

  10. I, too, have dealt with much death over the last decade. With every loss, it did not escape me that my children were watching me and learning what it means to mourn a loss, to celebrate a life, and to trust God’s plan. As a homeschooling mom myself, I can say that “D is for dying” is not just a homeschool lesson; it is a life lesson. Beautifully shared, and blessings to you as you as mourn, celebrate and trust.

  11. Ann says:

    I agree…this was a beautifully, well-written, and very moving post.

  12. Pingback: Home School Posts Index | Give Away Seven a Day

  13. R. Clausen says:

    The victory of Christ is indeed the sweetest treasure. You firmly stand redeemed and united among fellow saints, still on earth and in heaven, giving voice and praise to what your faith-filled heart mightily sings and cries out, but the message is too glory-filled to utter sound to. I love you! A precious lesson for our children, this is most certainly true!

  14. Heidi says:

    Thanks for all your comments. They’re greatly appreciated. ❤

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