The Rev. Andrea Brennan presides over the service. James Snell/The Free Press

The Rev. Andrea Brennan presides over the service. James Snell/The Free Press

Fernie Anglican Church explores grief and suicide

The All Soul’s Service, a yearly time of memorial, healing, and anointing, was held at Christ Church Anglican on Saturday evening. The service, steeped in old Church tradition, sought to reflect on questions around bereavement and suicide.

“The idea that God lets things happen is an unhealthy way of looking at God,” she said. “God is something that defies gender, defies description, and defies earthly being.”

Brennan said the Gospel reading for the All Soul’s service talks about when Lazarus (a Biblical character) was dying and how Jesus, Lazarus’s friend, delays going to heal his friend, resulting in Lazarus’s death.

“When someone takes their life, what they are doing is trying to get rid of the pain that they can’t live with anymore. It’s not to punish their families. It’s because they can’t just do it anymore.”

Brennan explained that the All Soul’s Service at Christ Church is a time when people who have suffered loss, suicide or otherwise, are invited to gather and receive prayer.

“Nothing is expected of the people when they come,” she explained. “There is an order of service. We invite people to write down the names of the person, or people, that they are there to remember. Then we begin with some prayers. Then we move into the Service of the Word.”