Doorways, litanies, and other thin places of the liturgy

Doorways, litanies, and other thin places of the liturgy

Readings for the Solemnity of All Saints
Readings for the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls)

These dual feasts of All Saints and All Souls give us an opportunity to reflect on symbols of liminality. One such symbol is the Litany of Saints, which is appropriate not only for All Saints but is also used as a baptismal processional song. In the singing of the litany, we walk with the saints as we make our earthly pilgrimage to our heavenly home.

All our processions, likewise, reflect this communal journey. We are never at home in one place for we are called to be citizens of heaven. Yet we recognize every place as holy because of the lives of the saints who walked there and the example of those who have gone before us.

Finally, the doors of our churches and homes are sacred spaces and reminders of the call to follow the way of Jesus. Each time we pass through a door, we recall Christ, the sheepgate and the way to the Father. We remember doors blessed on Epiphany in the magis’s search for God-With-Us and the doors marked by the blood of the lamb in Israel’s search for freedom. And we look forward to our own freedom in our passing over the threshold from death to new life—first in the waters of baptism and last in the final passage when our earthly pilgrimage has ended.


This post was first published on the planner page for All Saints and All Souls, in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal,” Vol 28, No 3.

Image credit: Kelly Sikkema, unsplash, CC0.

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