Sunday, October 28, 2012

All Saints and All Souls Day Banner Project

In the Christian Church there is a special day, November 1st, that is set aside to celebrate all the saints, known and unknown to us.  This is a major feast day.  The next day is All Souls Day when we honor those who have died.  Of course the distinction between those two groups is unclear.  There are officially recognized saints, but no one would say that that list can possibly cover all those who would/could be described as saints - so many are known to God alone.  Certainly, the Christian church doesn't have a corner on the market in saints - they have existed in all cultures and faith communities, maybe by other names.

This year  at my church (Christ Episcopal Church in Poughkeepsie, NY) we decided to help our children learn the origins of Halloween - which got its name from All Hallows Eve, by coming up with a  project that raised the children's awareness of those who have gone before them.  A set of banners was planned.   We used the image of stars - that those who have died continue to share their light with us and guide us as long as we remember them.  The children had spent the Sunday before this one cutting and decorating paper stars that would be put out at coffee hour and they then invited people to write names of loved ones who had died on them.  Besides friends and relatives, there may have been special saints or people who were inspirational to them.  A few of the children included names of beloved pets.

We made three 6' by 3' banners of felt, attaching them to dowels for hanging.  And then everyone started writing out names.  The stars were attached with double stick tape.  We ran out of over 200 stars and will be making more this week so other names can be added.  Our church hosts a number of different groups, like AA, and it would be great to offer these guests the chance to include names if they'd like.

The idea is simple, easily completed with minimal expense.  And the community involvement is priceless.  Feel free to use it, ammend it, or share your own ideas.

1 comment:

  1. Which is a great thing. These banners represent something in the occasion which I think is essential for everyone. These fabric banners brisbane is just a great start.