For the Deceased and the Baptized

Nice touch in the All Saints communion service I attended today.

The commemoration of the dead began as one might expect. The celebrant read the names of congregational members who died in the past year, while worship assistants lit a candle for each of the deceased. The celebrant offered a prayer, thanking God for their faithful lives and their place in God’s eternal kingdom.

Immediately, then, the liturgy transitioned into a parallel celebration of  baptisms that had taken place in the last year. The celebrant read the names of those whom the congregation had baptized and offered prayers for those who began their lives in Christ at the baptismal font.

Communion of saints, indeed.

Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (Romans 6:3-4)