On November 2nd, Christ House held its All Saints’ Day “Life after Life” service. This decades-long tradition is centered around the practice of reading aloud the names of all former Christ House patients and staff who have passed away. We read approximately 450 names this year, followed by the community response that each one of them was “present.” After all names were read, community members shared personal memories of those who recently passed away. It was clear that their lives continue to have a positive impact on our community.
The Rev. Lizzie Bebber then shared a message about our human tendency to seek out and admire heroes, whether it be a fictional superhero, a canonized saint, or a charismatic leader. However, the “blessed” as described in the Beatitudes are not usually the folks that our society labels as heroes. Rev. Lizzie explained that God calls, uses, and blesses the meek, the poor in spirit, those who mourn, and those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (Mat 5:1-12a). And while the names we remembered may not have made headlines, God called them blessed and loved. Rev. Lizzie then challenged the community to see others through Jesus’s eyes, lifting up the weak, merciful, and pure in heart as heroes of the faith.
This yearly tradition is enjoyed by Kairos Program members, patients, staff, and volunteers. Many find comfort in knowing that that they will be remembered in this service after they pass away. Likewise, the community is strengthened and encouraged as we remember the loved and faithful who have gone before us.