Christian Events and Organisations
Picture, People at Worship
The church exists first to offer worship (honour) to God and to thank him for the gifts he gives us, and secondly to honour and support each other because we're all fellow creatures of God, and so by honouring each other we honour him too.

As well as the Seasons and Major Festivals which help us worship God, the church celebrates several 'Special Days' throughout the year to remember, honour and support each other and our work in God's world. Celebration of the "Special Days" is usually optional, Christians chose which they want to remember, including: (Return to top)
The 'Special Days'
July Sea Sunday
September Racial Justice Sunday
Harvest Festival
October Disability Sunday
Animal Welfare Sunday
Hospital Sunday
November All Saints Day, All Souls Day
Remembrance Sunday
December Nine Lessons and Carols
Christingle Service
November can be described as 'The Remembrance Season'. It includes:
All Saints Day (1st November )
All Souls Day (2nd November )
Remembrance Sunday (2nd Sunday in November)
All Saints Day
Pictures, Multitude of Saints
On this day, the church celebrates all the dead that have been canonised - which means they've been included on the 'canon', the church's official list of Saints, and are considered to be in heaven in the immediate presence of God. People who have died are canonised by the Roman Catholic Church if they have led an exemplary life, or have been martyred because of their Christian beliefs, and have been credited with being responsible for a miracle, either before or after their death. The Anglican church does not create saints as such but generally recognises those created by the Roman Catholic Church. (Return to top)

These includes all the Apostles of Jesus (except Judas!), Mary his mother, and a multitude of 'ordinary people' who have lived since. (Return to top

All Saints Day was celebrated in May, just after Pentecost, but in the west around 735AD Pope Gregory III dedicated an oratory in Rome on 1st November "for the relics of the holy apostles and of all saints, martyrs and confessors, of all the just made perfect who are at rest throughout the world". As a result, the celebration of All Saints in the west was moved to November 1st, but in the Eastern Orthodox Churches it is still celebrated just after Pentecost. (Return to top

November 1st is close to the old Irish pagan holiday of 'Samhain', when the dead were thought to revisit their old homes, and witches, goblins and black cats roamed about. Another name for All Saints is All Hallows, so the night before (October 31st) is known as 'All Hallows Eve', or more familiarly 'Halloween', which is how Halloween became associated with the old pagan ideas of the undead, witches and goblins, etc.
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All Souls Day
Picture, Book of Remembrance
The Book of Remembrance
in front of the altar

Picture, The book laying open
The book laying open
On this day, the church remembers all the rest of those who have died but are not considered 'saints' (see All Saints Day above). In 998AD, the abbot of Cluny in France designated a 'Feast Day' for remembering and praying for all those who have died, and that celebration has continued to this time as 'All Souls Day'. (Return to top)

The Roman Catholic Church prays for the souls of the dead that their sins may be forgiven and they will go on to enter heaven and be in the presence of God. The Church of England believes that our sins are forgiven because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, so we enter into heaven immediately on death, so generally it does not pray for the dead but it does remember those who have died and gives thanks for them and their life. (Return to top)

In Dymock,we keep a Book of Remembrance on display in Dymock Church in which everyone's name is entered if their funeral was arranged through our churches or who had close ties with us. We send a personal invite to the relatives of everyone entered in the book to a special Service on the Saturday nearest All Souls Day to celebrate and remember them and their life. The Service includes a period of quiet to remember, but also joyful hymns to help us give thanks and to celebrate our departed love ones.
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Remembrance Sunday
Picture, Dymock's War Memorial
Dymock's War Memorial
This is celebrated in the UK on the 2nd Sunday in November and is the time when we remember the men and women who have died or been injured in the service of their country - the equivalent in the USA is 'Veterans Day'. (Return to top)

This Sunday is chosen as that nearest to the 11th November, which is known as 'Armistice Day'. It was on that day, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, that the Armistice (Latin for 'stoppage') took effect that bought the 1st World War to an end in 1918. Those killed or injured in war are remembered, including the 1st and 2nd World Wars and all other wars since (Korea, Vietnam, Falklands, Gulf War, etc).

It's customary to wear a poppy, as that flower was abundant in the killing fields of France in the 1st World War and has been worn as a sign of remembrance and respect for the dead and injured since. In the UK, paper poppies are made and sold by the Royal British Legion, which is the charity that collects money and provides care for injured Service Personnel, the dependents of those killed, and those who spent their life in the armed Services. (Return to top) Many churches including Dymock hold a special Service of Remembrance on that Sunday including laying wreathes at the adjacent War Memorial, reading aloud the Role of the Honour of those who've died in war from our area, and observing two minutes silence as a specific act of Remembrance.
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