Today is Universalist Memorial Day

As we lope to church, let’s recall that the Universalist General Convention commended so many years ago

that the first Sunday of October, in each year, be set apart as Memorial Sunday, for commemorating those friends who, during the year, have been taken away by death.

I think it’s place there to anticipate the great and general thanksgiving and memorial — All Souls Day — a month later. Few, if anyone observes the day (also called the Sunday of the Commemoration) today, and some of the Universalist Christians who might chose it would rather observe the ecumenical World Communion Sunday, which is also today.

This service, from the extinct Church of the Redeemer, Chelsea, Mass. — a fountainhead of liturgical innovation — offers hints for its observance, and the date makes me suspect that many of the dead remembered died in the Civil War.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. Very interesting. I suspect you’re correct in seeing a Civil War connection. There were many commemorative observances, north and south, that spring up in its aftermath well before an “official” Memorial Day was established.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.