I sing a song of the saints of God: A Homily for All Saints’ Sunday

I love cemeteries; I have loved cemeteries for a very long time. The best ones are sacred places of beauty and repose, where one can wander and ponder the lives of those who lie buried. I suppose I first encountered the sacred power of graveyards when I visited the Jewish cemetery of the German town of Worms, which was established in the Middle Ages and chronicled the life and struggles of that community through the centuries to the Nazi period. But it was in New England where I come to love spending time in cemeteries. There were the colonial cemeteries in Boston and elsewhere, like Copps Hill, or Old North burial ground, the churchyard of St. Paul’s Newburyport, or the old burying ground in that same city. I could wander in them for hours, reading inscriptions of famous men and women, and of those who were known only to a few friends and family. I also liked to visit Mt. Auburn cemetery, said to be the first in America to be created as much as a beautiful landscape as for more utilitarian reasons. Continue reading