We are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses… (Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV)
This past Sunday morning I received a call from my mom telling me that my dear grandmother (her mother) had passed away. We are blessed to know that she was a believer.
Until Sunday my thoughts on the communion of the saints were rather academic, but as we worshiped at church that morning I knew that although I am separated in a sense from my grandma, we were together in another way as we joined in with the heavenly worship through the Divine Service.
It is hard to describe the way that was comforting for me, except to say I am so thankful for the hope and present reality we have in our communion with Jesus. As believers, we are all alive in him.
O God, the King of saints, we praise and magnify thy holy Name for all thy servants who have finished their course in thy faith and fear; for the blessed Virgin Mary; for the holy patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs; and for all other thy righteous servants, known to us and unknown; and we beseech thee that, encouraged by their examples, aided by their prayers, and strengthened by their fellowship, we also may be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; through the merits of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
~ 1979 BCP, p. 489