Ok, there is actually no such thing as the Season of All Saint’s.
In my house, however, we have begun to celebrate it. My homily on All Saint’s Sunday was loosely based on the children’s’ hymn “I sing a song of the saints of God,” so I memorized the hymn to get acquainted with it. And then I taught it to my 4-year-old and sang it to my 11-month-old. I did this because we all enjoy singing, but in all honesty I did it mostly as a way to pass the time.
My grandmother died a few days before All Saint’s this year, and my daughter hasn’t stopped asking questions about it. Or rather, she asks to hear the story of Nana’s death, again and again, as if there is something about my grandmother’s final days in hospice and with family that warms and comforts her.
And now, because my daughter is who she is, we sing the Saints hymn all the time. Sometimes we sing it all the damn time. But mostly we sing it because we enjoy spending time together that way.
There is no denying the cultural forces of festive inertia that carry us from halloween through christmas and new-year’s. The second half of October tends to feel like the final 10 meter climb of a roller coaster click-clacking to its zenith before propelling us towards the big day and the lull thereafter. There is joy and madness in all of this. We have entered the ever-expanding “holiday season.”
But in our house, and quite by accident, we have stumbled into celebrating the season of All Saint’s. The song is part of it, the stories about Nana are part of it too. It has been a wonderful surprise, lending some mystery to the days of the “holiday” season that have long-since slipped the gates of thanksgiving and begun to run recklessly backwards through November and October. In the midst of this, the season of All Saints has been an unexpected treasure.