Since the start of the Christian Church nearly 2,000 years ago churches have provided opportunities for people to remember and give thanks for those who have died. Traditionally the period around All Souls Day has been set apart as a special time to pray for loved ones who have died.
On Sunday 3rd November 2013 at 6 pm several hundred people are expected to join priests Father David Battrick and Father Wilf Redden at the beautiful heritage Parish Church of East Maitland to remember those who have died.
Father David said, “Saint Peter’s Church has been a special place for those who live in this region for over 100 years. Many people have visited the Church to celebrate baptisms and weddings, and also to attend funeral services. We look forward to welcoming people from across the region as we remember with them those who have died.”
In preparation for the service the local community was invited to provide the names of those who they wished to be named in the prayers in the service. Over one thousand names of family members and local people have been gathered to be named in the service.
Father David said, “We will remember in our prayers the former Bishops of Newcastle, priests who have served here in East Maitland and all those who have died and who we have been asked to name by their relatives and friends.”
Those who participate in the service will have the opportunity to light a candle, hear brief words of hope from the Bible and listen to traditional Church music. The light from the hundreds of flickering candles will provide a visual reminder of the love and prayers that are being offered.
Father David said, “We do not shy away from death, the Church stands as a symbol of hope in the midst of the reality that we will all one day die.”
St Peter’s offers a regular bereavement group to support those who are living with grief at William Street, East Maitland.