‘[S]uch commemorations of the Faithful Departed, was the Church’s way of giving Glory to God, for His work of Grace, for His redeeming Love. For what are chants that rise up from noblest choirs, from exulting throngs of worshippers, that are even Eucharistic offerings of praise, compared with the bearing home to God of souls tried in the fire, disciplined in the battle, faithful found among the faithless - bearing them home to be witnesses throughout Eternity of the power of the Spirit, Who has sanctified them? And what offering of sweeter savour, could be given to God than the constant recalling of the names, the records of those, who having endured to the end have overcome, as He overcame in Whom they have borne bravely the conflict with evil?
But a yet deeper call, and quickened sense of intercommunion between the living and the Departed, yet has to be kept in mind. We cannot now fully understand how, or how far the dead in Christ know what passes on earth, whether it be that, as some suppose, they know by some direct means of intuition, or, as others think, by seeing what passes here being glassed in their vision of God - while yet whatever is thus seen must be tempered, so that what would trouble their peace must be hidden from their eyes - whatever would distract their loving gaze on God must be withheld - or there would not be really “rest from their labours”. But to suppose that change of state would change their interests, change their fellow-feeling - change their desires towards their fellows still struggling on earth - this would seem inconceivable. And if it be so, then in a world where worship and a sense of dependence on God, must possess every soul to a degree of which we can form no adequate conception, we cannot doubt that their intercessions ever rise for us in constant prayer - tender, and true, and fervent, - that they who know our needs, our weaknesses, by their own long experience of like trials, cannot but pray, however they may have failed on earth to pray for others’.
Canon TT Carter, 1808-1901
Fr Lee Kenyon