The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Remembering the saints

Commemorate All Saints' Day with photos and a service

All Saints' Day provides a time for the faithful to remember, reflect on and thank God for their loved ones who have died. Many churches light candles for the deceased, read names during worship or ring bells for each person who has died in the last year.

St. Mark Lutheran Church, Baltimore,
St. Mark Lutheran Church, Baltimore, is one of a growing number of churches that honor those who have died by inviting loved ones to bring photographs to worship on All Saints' Day.
Dale W. Dusman, pastor of St. Mark Lutheran, Baltimore, changed the way the congregation celebrates All Saints' Day after reading an article about how families in Mexico honor their deceased with "altars of remembrance."

Prior to All Saints' Day, Dusman encourages members to bring photos of their loved ones to church. The photographs are placed on the altars and on a ledge that circles the sanctuary. "We are completely surrounded by saints," he said. The photos stay up throughout November.

Dusman makes a special effort to remember the dead who no longer have family or loved ones still attending the church. He collects photos of them and keeps them in his office for the rest of the year.

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