Communion of Saints
“For all the Saints” The first Christians referred to the Church as the Communion of Saints. This Communion is the united fellowship of all those who have been made Saints by Christ through baptism. Being a baptized member of the Communion of Saints gives us a spiritual union, not only with Christ, but also with all other Christians, those who live on earth, as well as those who are now living with the heavenly hosts, the great Cloud of Witnesses.
“Oh, blest Communion, fellowship divine” This blest Communion we have with all the Saints is a spiritual fellowship Christ created immediately after his resurrection. (Matthew 27:52) to establish unity between the living and the dead. The primary purpose Christ created this union was for us to see life from God’s perspective, and to give us hope in eternal life.
“You Lord, their Captain, in the well fought fight” Throughout Christian history, believers have honored with great respect their loved ones who have gone before them in death. This honor and respect has been put into practice by praying in the presence of our Saints Triumphant. We do not Pray “to” them , but instead we pray with them. In the same way that we regularly pray together with fellow believers in our congregation.
“Yet all are one within your great design” The living union we have with our loved ones in heaven is developed through our participation in Holy Communion. We need to learn to love the Altar as the meeting place of our loved ones in heaven. At the Altar, we find our true union with all the Saints Triumphant. Through Holy Communion, heaven stoops down to the earth, where the seen and the unseen meet, where time stops , and where we are united to the mystic sweet Communion of all the Saints. There are different ways in which Christians experience the presence of our saints triumphant at Holy Communion, but primarily it is a sense of spiritual accompaniment. To receive the forgiveness of Holy Communion, but primarily it is a sense of spiritual accompaniment. To receive the forgiveness of Holy Communion together in the company of a sainted loved one empowers us to bring that forgiveness into our daily lives. “In this Communion of Saints, which goes beyond the boundary of death, we are all brothers and sisters so closely united that a closer relationship cannot be conceived. In the Communion, we share on baptism, on Christ, on faith, on Sacramental food, one forgiveness, and one spiritual body which will remain into eternity.” (Martin Luther)