Gathering Memories on the Tree of All Souls

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Date/Time
Date(s) - 10/28/2020 - 10/31/2020
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

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Each year, on the Sunday closest to All Souls Day, our congregation observes a ritual of Gathering Memories – symbolically memorializing and honoring beloved lives who are no longer with us. In past years we’ve decorated our altar with photographs and other mementos of our honored dead, and come forward with pieces of paper or other tokens bearing their names and messages of love to decorate bare branches of a tree. This is not a normal year, but we can still observe this same tradition, together. We will do so in two ways, and you are invited to participate in both.

The first is to share a photograph for a montage which will be the centerpiece of our Zoom service on Sunday, November 1st. This might be a picture of someone who has passed from life who’s memory still lives in you, or of an object that reminds you of them, or of a note displaying their name and/or a brief message you have to them. You can contribute your photo(s) through this Drop Box link:

Share your photos here.

The second way to participate in this ritual is in person, coming to First Parish to add the name(s) of those you are remembering to our altar. There will be two open opportunities to do so:

Wednesday, October 28th from 6pm – 8pm
Saturday, October 31st from 2pm – 4pm

On the sidewalk in front of the church steps, there will be an altar set up decorated by a barren branch and set with places to deposit your notes of remembrance. There will also be a blessing to read, if you wish. You may bring your notes written in advance, or make use of materials that will be on hand for you. Rev. Kelly will be on hand to watch over and maintain the ritual space, to greet you, and to take a picture of your picture for the montage, if you’re willing. Please use the same good safety practices you would for any other outing right now: washing your hands before and after, maintaining social distance from people outside your household, and wearing a mask. If more than one person or family shows up at the same time, it’s wonderful to wave and greet each other, we just ask that you allow for the flow of traffic on the sidewalk, and not inadvertently become a crowd. If you would like to participate in this way but can’t make either the Wednesday or the Saturday times, please call Rev. Kelly to make alternate arrangements: 585-329-0781.

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