All Souls Eve – remembering those who went before us

I post the same thing every year at this time.

Tonight is All Souls Eve, when traditionally we used to honour the memory of those who are gone by placing a candle in the window.

Candles are the most evocative things in the world, the closest thing to life in the sphere of the inanimate.

When I was a child, the old people lit  a candle on the eve of All Souls, in remembrance of those who had gone before, and it would be nice to revive that tradition.   It doesn’t have to be religious.  The tradition is ancient, long pre-dating Christianity, and it’s something we need to bring back, because we are a people who have forgotten their dead.

If we are to heal our society, we must recover our lost traditions, and regain a respect for things that are not simply material.

That’s why, tonight, as always, I’m putting a candle in the window.

It isn’t just for the dead.  It’s also for me, for those who pass my door, and for those I hold dear, because the continuity of life is all we have, and in this small way we can keep our departed friends uppermost in our hearts.

If we can do this for one night, maybe we can begin to make it part of what we are, as it once was, before we lost our way.


4 replies on “All Souls Eve – remembering those who went before us”

Tonight the candle will be lit again. I’ll leave the gate open and set an extra place at the table. For all that have gone before and for anyone that needs it tonight. My three young sons will be with me and I hope the example will stick.

I passed your door a few times and was always made welcome. It will never be forgotten.

Sadly a lit candle in the window is a beautiful symbol which many of our younger people have never heard of because of our failure to pass on many of our rich pagan traditions. It was meant to show the souls of our dear departed the way home again. Again, as you say, nothing to do with religion or belief, just a powerful symbol which we should cherish in this materialistic world.

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