All Saints’ Day/Sunday
Nov. 1 or 3
Also: All Souls’ Day (Nov. 2)
Editor’s note: This celebration of the Church, which in the language of earlier English-speakers is rightly celebrated on Nov. 1 as “All Hallows’ Day” (or on the Eve of All Hallows, Oct. 31, or “Hallowe’en”), remembers specifically the faithful who have passed from this life into the next through death, and celebrates the power of the Resurrection over death itself. It was created specifically to assure that those who by their remarkable faith were deserving of having a feast day set aside to their honor would be remembered. The feast established for Nov. 2, “All Souls’ Day,” was in its founding designed to mark an observance of the death of those of us who are perhaps “less remarkable” in our faith, and to lead all of us to face the story of life with those we are nurturing in faith (our children) by a visit to the parish graveyard. It might well be an occasion for those who would take note of it today to deal with the pastoral reality of a world which is widely in denial of the reality of death (or the powerful illusion of death, if that is one’s theological understanding of what happens when we cease to reside in this earthly frame), and make occasion to mark the brevity of life.
Other Resources for the day’s observance may be found in prior entries:
Scripture (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by TextWeek.com – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):
Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources:
For All Saints’ Day/Sunday
For All Souls’ Day
Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal
Hymn of Praise: 637-For all the saints, 649-Give thanks for life
See also Hymn for All Saints’ Day (by the editor)
Hymn of Invitation: 67-O God, our help in ages past 75-I was there to hear your borning cry
Communion Hymn: 385-An upper room did our Lord prepare 392-Draw us in the Spirit’s tether
Dismissal/Missional Hymn: 431-Go, my children with my blessing See also: 433-434
More hymn suggestions, as well as helpful references for use of the arts in worship, are available from the United Church of Christ website. Also see some fine Hymn References from Oremus Hymnal: http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/yearc.html
Dealing with the Psalm of the Day:
Since Chalice Hymnal does not provide a complete Psalter, there will be occasions when suggestions may be made for alternate Psalm use (or hymn equivalent). A metrical version of the Psalter, for those Psalms not provided in Chalice Hymnal, is being prepared by Rev. David Chafin. Where practical, these may be offered here as well. You may also want to visit http://www.modernpsalter.com/ or
This week: Psalm 27 is available in the hymnal on p. 736
Psalm 27 (1, 5-13 sing vs. 1, 4-8) – Metrical setting by David T. Chafin
1. The Lord God is my light, and my salvation near;
Who shall cause me in fright to hide my heart in fear?
While God my strength, my life sustains, secure from fear my soul remains.
2. When evildoers came to make my life their prey,
They stumbled in their shame and fell in great dismay;
Though hosts make war on every side, still fearless I in God abide,.
3. My one request has been, and still this prayer I raise,
that I may dwell within God’s house through all my days,
the Lord God’s beauty to admire, and in God’s temple to inquire.
4. When troubles round me grow, when fears and angers throng,
securely I will dwell in God’s pavilion strong;
Within the shelter of His tent God hides me till the storm is spent.
5. Uplifted on a rock above my foes around,
amid the battle shock my song shall still resound;
Then joyful offerings I will bring, the Lord God’s praise my heart shall sing.
6. Lord, hear me when I pray, and answer me in grace;
Lord, as I hear you say, “Come now and seek my face,”
my heart and lips their answer speak; your face, my Savior, I will seek.
7. Hide not your face from me; in rage turn not away;
My help and Savior be; forsake me not, I pray.
Should father, mother, all forsake, the Lord on me will pity take.
8. Teach me your way, O Lord,; make plain to me my path.
Because of enemies, protect me from their wrath.
Do not my soul, O Lord, expose to false accusers, cruel foes.
9. Faint-hearted I would be had you not promised, Lord,
to show your grace while life to me you do accord.
Wait on the Lord, and have no fears. Yes; trust and wait. The Lord is near.
66.66.88 “Darwall’s 148th” (see Chalice #699 for tune)
Words of Greeting/Call to Prayer (created or adapted by the editor)
We gather this morning to celebrate the lives of persons we name as saints. Some of them are living, others have completed their physical lives here on earth. Some have touched us personally, others have touched and called into question the institutions and structures of our society. But all have shaken our being—all have been examples of lives and wholeness, working for justice. We celebrate these persons and their lives in all aspects of God’s creation!
Call to Worship (from Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-9)
L: The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God
and no torment will ever touch them.
P: In the eyes of the foolish they seem to have died,
and their departure was thought to be an affliction,
L: And their going from us seemed to be their destruction;
P: But they are at peace.
L: Those who trust in God will understand truth,
and the faithful will abide in love.
P: Because grace and mercy are upon God’s chosen,
and God watches over the saints.
Prayer of Approach (adapted by the editor)
L: The Lord be with you.
P: And also with you.
L: Let us pray: Eternal God, you have called us to be members of one body. Join us with those who in all times and places have praised your name; that with one heart and mind, we may show the unity of your church, and bring honor to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
Intercessions (adapted by the editor from Common Worship)
Note: Not every section of this intercession need be used.
In peace, let us offer our prayers to God. In response to my words, “Lord, hear us,” please respond “Lord, graciously hear us”.
In every age you have raised up holy men and women to reflect the light of Christ and to teach us the way of holiness. We thank you for those who have been teachers in the school of Christ: give understanding to those who study the faith that the Church has handed on, and clarity to those who communicate the gospel in a changing world … Lord, hear us.
All: Lord, graciously hear us.
We thank you for those who have been shepherds of your people: give a pastoral heart to deacons, priests and bishops, and the needful gifts to all your people in their ministry …Lord, hear us. R
We thank you for those who have been Christian rulers in the world, and for those who carried the good news to lands where it had not been before: give wisdom to all who have power and influence among the nations, and establish God’s sovereignty among people of every race …Lord, hear us. R
We thank you for those whom you have called to live in community: establish mutual love among those drawn into fellowship in your service, and bless with Christ’s presence all the communities to which we relate …Lord, hear us. R
We thank you for those who have lived out their vocation in family life:give your grace to all who nurture children and all who care for the aged,and enfold in your love all your sons and daughters …Lord, hear us. R
We thank you for those who have brought wholeness through the medicine of the gospel: give skill to all who minister healing and reconciliation in your name, and comfort all who cry out to you from any sort of distress …Lord, hear us. R
We thank you for the noble army of martyrs by the shedding of whose blood the Church has been enriched: keep under your protection those who are persecuted for the cause of Christ, and acknowledge, we pray, (here, read the names of the dead, if not read elsewhere in the service), and all
those who have passed through death trusting your promises …Lord, hear us. R
Hasten, Lord, the day when people will come from east and west, from north and south, and sit at table in your kingdom, and we shall see your Son in his glory. And now we offer prayer for those needs which lie closest to our hearts in silence.
Open prayer may be offered and silence is kept. The Collect and Lord’s Prayer follow.
Collect of the Day (Book of Common Prayer, 1979)
Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one
communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son
Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints
in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those
ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love
you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy
Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting.
Service of Table (by the editor using traditional responses)
When Preceding Elders’ Prayers
Indented sections are printed in congregational bulletin
L: The Lord be with you.
P: And also with you.
L: Lift up your hearts.
P: We lift them up to the Lord.
L: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
P: It is right to give God thanks and praise.
It is always right and good to give thanks to you, Lord God of Abraham and Sarah, of Deborah and Moses, God of Isaac and Rebecca, of Mary and Joseph. You have brought all things into being by your love and grace, and have called them good; and you have called together a people of faith to praise you, and filled them with your Spirit. As we remember your people of all times and places which have lived in faith and hope of your eternal resurrection, and joining with the whole company of your people in heaven and on earth,
L: …we praise your name and join their unending hymn of praise:
P: Holy, holy, holy Lord God of power and might.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.
Here among your saints in this community, we remember those who have touched our own so intimately: (Here the names of the dead are spoken)
These are your own beloved children. Help us to remember them with joy and thanksgiving as we come to your table today. Send the power of your Spirit upon us and upon these gifts that we may bring you praise in Christ Jesus our Lord, as we gather within his body, and in the days to come as we live to serve you in this age, and for the ages of ages to come.
(Proceed with hymn, Words of Institution/fracture, prayers of the Elders)
(The following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)
1. Loving God, as bread broken and scattered, your church looks to you to make us one again. Help us who receive this bread, remembering your love for us in Jesus Christ, to be strengthened in our faith and hope, knowing that in reality we are one with Christ and one with each other, enjoying the timeless feast which you have spread for us through your beloved Son.
2. Send your Spirit upon us who gather here in faith, and upon these gifts of bread and cup. May we who drink this wine be filled with your Spirit and renewed to join the great un-numbered host who sing your praise now and throughout eternity, until we join with them in the celebration of your victory at your heavenly table, for we offer you our praise and our lives through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Conclusion: Through him, with him, and in him, in the power of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor be to you, O God, now and forever. Amen.
[if not previously offered: “And now with the confidence of your children, we offer the prayer our Savior taught us, ‘Our Father…’”]
RESOURCES from COMMON WORSHIP
For All Saints’ Day:
you have knit together your elect
in one communion and fellowship
in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord:
grant us grace so to follow your blessed saints
in all virtuous and godly living
that we may come to those inexpressible joys
that you have prepared for those who truly love you;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
God, the source of all holiness and giver of all good things:
may we who have shared at this table
as strangers and pilgrims here on earth
be welcomed with all your saints
to the heavenly feast on the day of your kingdom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
God of holiness,
your glory is proclaimed in every age:
as we rejoice in the faith of your saints,
inspire us to follow their example
with boldness and joy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.
Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2012. Compiled by Simon Kershaw October 2012 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2012; Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010. The Revised Common Lectionary is copyright © the Consultation on Common Texts 1992. The Daily Eucharistic Lectionary is adapted from the Ordo Lectionum Missae of the Roman Catholic Church reproduced by permission of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. Adaptations and additions to the RCL and the DEL, together with Second and Third Service lectionaries and the Weekday Lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer are copyright © the Archbishops’ Council 1997-2010. http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary
Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails, archived here at the Disciples Center for Faith and Giving Site, for each Sunday’s service.
You may also want to visit Worship Connection at MinistryMatters.com, which offers numerous helps, including electronic versions of print resources for worship and preaching planning.
Intercessions and other helpful planning materials geared to the Lectionary (using Roman Catholic version, but normally quite useful for all traditions) for preaching and worship are supplied for several weeks in advance at The Sunday Website of St. Louis University.
Liturgies created by Moira Laidlaw (Uniting Church in Australia) as a part of her doctoral dissertation are often helpful. Read more here.
NOTE: We hope you return to this posting often (and are subscribed to the feed by email, on Facebook or your favorite reader), since the content of each week’s posting may change several times before Sunday. We’d also like to include your content, even after the fact, since everything will roll around again in 3 years, and your contributions may find new life in the great cycle of the lectionary.