There are two major commemorations in the Christian Church at the beginning of November: All Saints and All Souls. Some people have mixed these two commemorations together on the same day, but really, they have two different functions: All Saints speaks of our forebears in the Christian faith that against great odds, showed extraordinary love for Jesus Christ. All Souls speaks of all the faithful departed, remembering especially those close to us whom we have loved and lost. When we add Armistice/Remembrance Day into that mix, Christians spend a lot of time of November remembering. This is well and good.
When we remember people and events of the past, one of the things that comes alongside of that is that we recount the blessings that we have received because of that person/event. For instance: members of St. Mary’s have been remembering our history recently because we have sent out a few of our stained-glass windows to be repaired. Each of these windows was given in memory of either somebody who was a part of the parish or was a part of the town’s history. You may know that there are two windows that normally reside at the back of the church that were made by Leo Mol, that are dedicated to the “thankful remembrance to the officers, NCOs & men of the XII Manitoba Dragoons”. These windows will return in the near future after some well-deserved repairs.
All of us have been blessed because of the work of the XII Manitoba Dragoons, a local reserve armored regiment that participated many wars (including the First and Second World Wars) before being disbanded in 1964. During the Second World War, the regiment landed at Normandy, where it participated in the liberation of a town called Bruges, Belgium (who donated the small window that still is in St. Mary’s).
We come together as a town on Remembrance Day to remember the work of all those who have blessed us by sacrificing their own lives so that we may have peace and concord. I invite you to join us on November 11th at 10:45am at the Aud to remember those in your own lives who have sacrificed their own lives so that we may be blessed with the peace and concord that we know and love so much.
The Rev'd Fr. Matt Koovisk
Rector of St. Mary’s, Virden; St. Mark’s, Elkhorn; St. John’s, Reston and Christ Church, Melita