A Seasonal Contemplation
A Community of the Living and the Dead
by Rev. Michaël Merle
The night of the thirty-first of October is Halloween (All Hallows' Eve) and marks the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day (All Saints' Day). This ancient feast day in the Christian calendar sets November aside as the month of the year when those who have crossed the threshold into the worlds of Spirit are very consciously remembered.
In the tradition of the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican Church, in particular, the second of November is All Souls' Day. Here the soul journey of those who have died and have not yet entered the peace and rest of Heaven are remembered. This purgative time was described by Rudolf Steiner as the experience of kamaloca: "Man passes through the kamaloca period which lasts roughly a third of the length of his earthly life - in reverse sequence...He really does go through his whole life backwards, right to the moment of birth. This is what is behind the beautiful words of Christ, when He was speaking of man's entry into the spiritual world or the Kingdom of Heaven: 'Except ye...become as little children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven!' In other words, man lives backwards as far as his first moments and being absolved of everything, he can enter the Kingdom of Heaven, and be in the spiritual world from then onwards." (The Being of Man and his Future Evolution: Lecture 6: Illness and Karma - Berlin, 26 January 1909, GA107) Kamaloca is an experience of living through the pain we have caused others - both consciously and unconsciously. This experience is not a punishment but rather a necessary purgation - a purifying so that we can experience an absolution and our being is thus truly purified in love.
November carries the signature that we form one community of the living and the dead. Those who have crossed the threshold of life on earth to life in the Spirit remain part of our community of faith. The active remembering of those who have died is a true service of love for the wholeness of the communion of saints, of which we are all a part. The tradition of such is one of this community's many virtues: a group gathers on the last Saturday of every month in remembrance of those who have died.
This sense of the oneness of our humanity sets the scene for our stepping into the beginning of our Festive Year with the celebration of Advent. In conclusion of the month of November with the Remembering of the Dead and on the last Sunday of the Church year Rev. Reingard Knausenberger will be giving an address following the tea after the Act of Consecration of Man, entitled: 'Is Reincarnation a Matter-of-course?', which will focus on the realities we face beyond the threshold.
Who are we?
The Christian Community recognizes the Christian way to be a path of freedom. Fostering the freedom and responsibility of the individual is seen as a fundamental part of the Christ's message and deeds. All who come with an attitude of reverence and open-minded questioning will find the greatest measure of intellectual freedom.
In the Southern African Region, including South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, there are four congregations with resident priests. Johannesburg is one of these four congregations.
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The Act of Consecration of Man
Saturday (in German) 09h00
Sunday Service for Children
2nd & 4th Sundays 10h00 - 11h00