To explain why the Christian Church commemorates All Saintsí Day (1 November).
by The Revd Sophie Jelley
Suitable for Key Stage 2
To explain why the Christian Church commemorates All Saints’ Day (1 November).
Preparation and materials
- You will need a pair of fairy/angel’s wings from a dressing up set, or a halo (this could be silver tinsel round the wire of a coat hanger).
- At least one large roll of cotton wool – you could have more, to make cloudy skies.
- Talk about the idea of saints and mention some names: St George for example, and perhaps those associated with local churches. Ask if anyone has any ideas of what a saint looks like. We might think of a saint as someone who is always perfect and never does anything wrong. Or we might think they are people who are very special who have followed God in their lives and so we remember them, as St ___ (whoever the children may know of from a local context).
- Say that you have brought a few things that might give us some clues about what people often think a saint looks like. Ask a volunteer to come up and wear the wings/halo. Ask a couple of other volunteers to unroll the cotton wool to make a cloud background.
So some people think that saints are people or beings who float around in the clouds singing and looking very pretty. (You could ask your volunteers to sing and ‘look pretty’ at this point!)
- But Christians have a rather different view of saints. The Bible talks about the Church as ‘saints’. Ask your volunteers to take the wings/halo off and put down the cloud. In fact saints can actually look just like you and me.
- Every week in church Christians around the world will say, out loud, what they believe, in their service of worship (a bit like assembly). It’s where Christians gather together. They sing and pray and read the Bible together, and will often say what is called the creed (a statement telling what Christians believe). One part of the creed says, ‘I believe in the communion of saints’. This means that those who have died are still joined with people on earth. They believe that when Christians pray here, so the saints in heaven also pray.
- Once a year the Church celebrates All Saints’ Day. This is when Christians remember the saints who have given an example in their lives of how to follow Jesus’ teaching.
Time for reflection
Close your eyes and think about people you know.
Are there any that you think of as saints – people who are kind, and help others?
Can you be a kind of saint yourself?
How will you go about it?
We give thanks for the lives of the saints.
Help us to learn from them
and follow their good example.
‘Lead me from death to life’ (Come and Praise, 140)