Thursday, November 1, 2007

All Saints' Day--How Appropriate!!!

All Saints' Day: Do you know what All Saints' Day is? I've heard all different things about it and different things that you need to do on this day. But I had never really thought about what it really is--although I knew that Halloween was All Hallows Eve. I know that in the United Methodist Church I attend, it is often referred to as the day that all of the saints --and I don't mean the ones like St. Thomas, St. Francis, etc., I am speaking of those Christians that are now sitting with God--that have gone on before us are remembered and celebrated. Several of my good friends go to the gravesites of their departed loved ones and make sure the gravesite is cleaned, flowers are placed, prayers are said, and in general--remembering them. Other friends go to special services to remember those that have passed on before us. And some don't recognize it at all. According to this is what the origin and meaning of All Saints' Day. You can go to their site to see extended information.

All Saints' Day, feast of the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, and day on
which churches glorify God for all God's saints, known and unknown. It is
celebrated on Nov. 1 in the West, since Pope Gregory IV ordered its church-wide
observance in 837. Its origin lies earlier in the common commemorations of
martyrs who died in groups or whose names were unknown, which were held on
various days in different parts of the Church; over time these celebrations came
to include not only the martyrs but all saints. During the Reformation the
Protestant churches understood “saints” in its New Testament usage as including
all believers and reinterpreted the feast of All Saints as a celebration of the
unity of the entire Church. In medieval England the festival was known as All
Hallows, hence the name Halloween [=All
Hallows' eve] for the preceding evening.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2007, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. Found at:

Now that we have discussed what All Saints' Day is; the following information that I found on one of my feeds really makes this event happening on All Saints' Day so appropriate. Now my question is--Did God plan it this way? Did Michelangelo plan it this way? I highly doubt that one--as he was no longer in the best condition by the time he finished it. He was almost blind from all the paint and oils that fell into his face/eyes while lying on his back painting. But he may have planned it that way--making the finishing touches "drag out" so that it would be finished on November 1st. At any rate, read on... compliments of The Free Dictionary.

This Day in History: Ceiling of Sistine Chapel Completed (1512)In 1508, Pope
Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
The work was completed in 1512 and features over 300 biblical figures and nine
episodes from the Book of Genesis. Below these scenes are the statuesque figures
of prophets and sibyls, with episodes from the Old Testament in the spandrels.
The last great work Michelangelo executed in the chapel was The Last Judgment.
Where in the chapel did he paint it? More...
This Day in History provided by The Free Dictionary

If you have never seen the Sistine Chapel, you have missed the site of a life time. When I was a sophomore in high school, I went with people from the base chapel where we lived in Germany. My mother and I took a week-long tour of Rome--sponsored by the Catholic priest stationed at the base--as the other Protestant chaplain that was stationed there was on the tour with us, Dad could not go on the tour with us. We visited the catacombs and saw so much of Rome outside of the Vatican.

But the best part of the tour really was getting to go to the Vatican and tour the Sistine Chapel. In addition, we were invited to take part in a mass inside the Vatican, with 3 of our group chosen as acolytes. While there we also were able to sit in the front row of one of the open mass with Pope John (whatever number he was--I can't ever remember--if it helps you, this would have been in late 1976 or early 1977). As exciting as it was to be present at a mass presided over by the Pope, it still did not live up to the solemnity, reverence, beauty, spirituality, and so many more adjectives that I could add, of the Sistine Chapel.

Obviously, as long ago as that was, it was LONG before the restoration project. Yet it was beautiful. I think we could have spent hours and hours in there and I never would have seen as much of it as I would have liked. My husband went to Rome while he was deployed a few years ago. He saw it after it had been restored and like me, could not say enough about it. Of course, he was with a group of sailors that didn't exactly have the time to stop and look for too long. But all of them agreed that it was the highlight of their trip.

Amidst all of the controversy about the body parts that were later "covered" by another artist who was dubbed as the "breeches painter" because he clothed many of the males genitilia; Amidst all of the controversy about the restoration; Amidst all of the controversy about the varnish, electric lighting, candles and natural lighting---the Sistine Chapel remains one of the most well known pieces of art, one of the largest pieces of artwork, one of the most beautiful pieces of art, one of the most controversial pieces of art, and one of the most spiritual pieces of art.

I truly believe that Michelangelo was given the talent and the vision for the artistry in that chapel by God himself--of course the talent was given to him by God; but not all would agree that his vision was given by God. So in honor of all of the saints that have gone before us and in honor of Michaelangelo's finishing the work, I hope that this All Saints' Day has been one of reverence, rememberance, and prayers for those that have gone before as well as for those who are still among us that may precede us or may follow us to our place next to God. May God be with each and all of you today and always.


Jewels said...

Here's to being overly busy and "out of it"...didn't even know it was All Saint's Day...or if I did, I completely forgot. Thanks for bringing it to my attention and for all the info on it...who knew??
Be sure to check out the comment on the Evan Almighty post... I made time for blog checking tonight. ;)

Jewels said...

Just read your posts on my blog and thought I would pop in yours to say hello. My husband is on his way home from work (got off at 5, had to go back in at 10) and I am trying to keep my eyes open to wait up for him. Kids are tucked into bed and all is quiet...except for the dryer and that thing runs 24/7 around here. This week it has nearly seen it's daughter has struggled with incontinence all her life and has been doing REALLY well but has digressed in the last couple of weeks. Took her to the doctor today thinking she might have a UTI although symptoms weren't the same as they usually are. No infection showed up but they are doing cultures this weekend and will let me know. Doc went on and wrote prescription for antibiotics so I will fill that and just go ahead and give it to her. Also gave her some meds for her sore throat and drainage. She is a PILL in the doctor's office and today was no exception. Getting a urine sample from that child was MADDENING. Told the nurse it was gonna be a hard liquor night in my household. lol Good thing they know me or they might have turned me in. ;)
We ended up watching "Meet the Robinsons"...if you have not seen it, DO! It was too cute and the kids loved it (so did the adults). Almost rented "Surf's Up" and now I am glad I didn't. Have seen Ratatouille (sp??) and we all loved that one! I grilled the kid's favorite (steak) and we all enjoyed our picnic. :)
Tomorrow I am headed to Tuscaloosa to Target! A friend asked me to go with her and of course, I jumped at the chance. :) My husband is having a father/daughter day with our daughter and I am taking my son to his Pop's for the day. Then we have a Fall Festival party to attend tomorrow night so I am sure we will be in dire need of that extra hour of sleep this weekend.
Better sure will blog again soon. :) I agree with you, this is my most favorite out of all the things we did for the class. Cool how you can form friendships with people you have never even "met".