Why do people get into Lesser Feasts and Fasts? Is it because they’re famous Episcopalians who did good stuff–or is it because we as a church feel that they are among the Blessed Dead?
Do we still have a sense of who the Blessed Dead are? We kept the Feast of All Saints; we dropped the Feast of All Souls.
The Church used to structure its sense of temporal connection with three categories:
The Church Militant: us poor bastards slogging our way towards salvation now.
The Church Expectant: Those who have died in the Lord who sleep in the earth until they are called before the great judgment seat on That Great Day.
Tjhe Church Triumphant: Those dead in the Lord who prolepticly enjoy the very presence of the Lord and intercede for us before the Throne of God.
So . . . where are we on those last two these days?
As a Lutheran I had a notion that the saints were people who embodied Christ to and and for others. I still think that’s true. But . . . in my encounters with the early medieval sources (including the good, the bad, and the laughable) and in my own “faith journey” I’ve come to believe that not all saints are, well, equal.
I’m still wrestling with some of these things–feel free to wrestle along with me…