ALL SOULS CIRCLE OF REMEMBRANCE

OCTOBER 31, 1999
R.M. FEWKES


It is fitting that in this harvest season, the time of All Saints and All Souls, we gather to offer thanksgiving for the gift of life and to hold in sacred remembrance those who once lived and walked among us, the dead who are not dead, who live evermore in the undying memory of the heart.

I hold before you one of the ancient silver chalices once given to the parish by Mrs. Hannah Cushing, wife of Chief Justice Wm. Cushing of this church, who ruled against the institution of slavery in Massachusetts long before the Civil War put an end to it in the nation.

Many hands, ministers and parishioners, have held this cup over the years. It has been used to serve communion and as a Christening Cup for the dedication of children. Let this cup be for us a symbol of the Cup of Life in which the living and the dead are held in sacred remembrance.

The cup which is given into our hands and which we hold becomes ours to give to others in generations yet to come, that they, like we, may receive the cup of life, anointed and running over with goodness and mercy.

Let us now pass the cup among us holding it for a moment in our hands as a symbolic gesture of communion with those who have gone before and have joined their lives with ours in freedom of faith and conscience.

As the cup is passed let us share in litany the names of those whose lives are one with ours in memory and hope and the heritage of the spirit. As the ministers conclude each line of litany with the invitation: STAND HERE BESIDE US, let the congregation respond: JOIN OUR CIRCLE OF FAITH.

We would here speak the names of those among us--members, friends and relatives--
who have died in the past year and have received the ministry of this church:
FRED G. HEREDEEN, KENNETH W. VINING, JOHN DeSILVA, ALLEN M. KELLY,
BETTY LOUISE TUBMAN, ELIZABETH TARBOX

STAND HERE BESIDE US.

We call to mind the names of those who founded a village church up river 350 years ago in February 1642 because they wanted more freedom in their faith and worship--
William Vassal, Thomas and Suza King, William Hatch, Anna Stockbridge, and others, and the first minister of this congregation, William Witherell...

STAND HERE BESIDE US.

We call to mind the names of those who had the vision to build such a lovely and enduring temple of the spirit--Hon. Cushing Otis and Thomas Otis Esq., Ebenezer and Betsey Fogg, James N. Sparrell, Sarah Delano, John Nash, Snow Bryant, Abner Litchfield, Lucy Ellis, and so great a cloud of witnesses in 1830...

STAND HERE BESIDE US.

We remember the names of former ministers who have ministered and spoken within the walls of this meeting house--Sam'l Deane, Sam'l J. May, Wm. Fish, Howard Gale, Alfred "Jimmy" Wilson, Herman Gertz, Napolean "Bill" Lovely, Charles Engvall, and other leaders of a free faith in South Scituate and Norwell...

STAND HERE BESIDE US.

We speak the names of those in living memory who have left their imprint upon the gathered life of this church and the legacy of its meeting house and properties--
Horace and Isabella Fogg, Henry C. Ford, Horace and Ida Jo Ross, John and Grace Beal, Howard and Ella Torrey, Malcolm and Connie Blake, Geo. and Mgt. Dumas, Lyman and Geneva Wadsworth, Quentin and Persis Coons, Polly Hansen, Clarke and Mary Atwater, Allen and Eleanor Lester, Carrie Newcomb, Helen L. Fogg, Wayland and Jessie Bailey, Richard and Mgt. McMullan, Clinton and Mildred MacCoy, Orville and Edith Devine, Gretchen Coolidge, Wilder A. Gaudette, and countless others past naming but not forgotten...

STAND HERE BESIDE US.

Francis David, Michael Servetus, John and Judith Murray, Channing, Emerson and Parker, Wm. Lloyd Garrison, Olympia Brown, Clara Barton and Susan B. Anthony, and other Unitarian Universalist leaders of bygone eras who bequeathed to us a heritage of freedom, reason, tolerance, compassion and service...

STAND HERE BESIDE US.

Jesus the Christ of Love, Socrates the Seeker of Truth, Buddha Lord of Compassion, apostles of peace and nonviolence: Gandhi the Mahatma, Martin Luther King, Jr., Sojourner Truth, Mother Teresa, Peace Pilgrim, and religious reformers and prophets of every age and tradition...

STAND HERE BESIDE US.

Let us remember the names of those near to us and dear who once graced our lives with their love and their presence and who yet live within us in the enduring memory of the heart.

In silence or in speech let each of us remember the dead who are not dead as long as memory endures and the Cup of Life is passed from generation to generation...Those who feel so moved may speak the names of those they wish to remember...(Pause)

All who have died and affect our lives in ways past knowing or remembering, all who live and touch our lives in ways beyond showing or declaring, kumbayah, come by here...

STAND HERE BESIDE US.

Song: Kumbayah my Lord, Kumbayah...

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CLOSING WORDS: "THE HORIZON OF OUR MINDS"

Let the horizon of our minds include all people: the great family here on earth with us; those who have gone before and left to us the heritage of their memory and of their work; and those whose lives will be shaped by what we do or leave undone.
--Samuel McChord Crothers