For All the Saints


William How (1823-1897) penned one of the favorite hymns for All Saints Day,

“For all the saints who from their labors rest.”

In a half hour I’ll take my morning walk through St. Luke’s cemetery.  The dog is welcome if he wants. Resting in the cemetery are people who were known in their time, Rott for whom a street and school is named, Sappington gets a street, suburb and school, at least three former pastors of the congregation are buried in there.  Joey “Ducky” Medwick, who played for the St. Louis Cardinals “Gas House Gang,” and won the triple crown in 1937 lies in the cemetery; as is a Civil War General.  A woman’s tombstone, bears the same first name as my great-grandmother, Theresia.

In stanza three, the hymn speaks of that Day when Christ returns, “But lo, there breaks a yet more glorious day: The saints triumphant rise in bright array; (as) the King of Glory passes on His way.”

Each morning, weather permitting, the lively saints from the preschool go to the playground, which is located on the edge, yet in the cemetery.  They run, their bodies bobbing between the staid grave stones lining both sides of the road.

Stanza four of the hymn bring the saints living and dead together, “Oh, blest communion, fellowship divine! We feebly struggle, they in glory shine.”

But one day all the saints, those buried in the cemetery, those little ones bobbing their way to the playground, as well as we dog-walking holy ones will be among the crowd described in stanza 8, “From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast, through gates of pearl streams in countless host, singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost: Alleluia! Alleluia!”

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