Readings:

Eucharistic:

Year A
Psalm 34:1-10,22; Revelation7:9-17;
1 John 3:1-3;
Matthew 5:1-12;

Year B
Psalm 24;
Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-9
or Isaiah 25:6-9;
Revelation 21:1-6a;
John 11:32-44

Year C
Psalm 149;
Daniel 7:1-3,15-18;
Ephesians 1:11-23;
Luke 6:20-31
 

Daily Office:
AM: Psalm 111, 112; 2 Esdras 2:42-47; Hebrews 11:32-10:2

PM: Psalm 148, 150; Wisdom 5:1-5, 14-16; Revelation 21:1-4, 22-22:

Preface for All Saints

 
PRAYER (traditional language)
O Almighty God, who hast knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship, in the mystical body of thy Son Christ our Lord: Grant us grace so to follow thy blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those indescribable joys which thou hast prepared for those who truly love thee: through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, in glory everlasting.

PRAYERS (contemporary language)
O Almighty God, who 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 indescribable joys which you have prepared for those who truly love you: through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting.

 


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Last updated: 15 Sept. 2009
 

THE FEAST OF ALL SAINTS

(1 NOV)

  
[Note that these readings are from the old Episcopal Lectionary].

FIRST READING: Ecclesiasticus 44:1-10,13-14
(a commemoration of patriarchs, prophets, and other heroes of ancient Israel.)

Let us now praise famous men,
and our fathers in their generations.
The LORD apportioned to them great glory,
his majesty from the beginning.
There were those who ruled in their kingdoms,
and were men renowned for their power,
giving counsel by their understanding,
and proclaiming prophecies;
leaders of the people in their deliberations
and in understanding of learning for the people,
wise in their words of instruction;
those who composed musical tunes,
and set forth verses in writing;
rich men furnished with resources,
living peaceably in their habitations --
all these were honored in their generations,
and were the glory of their times.

There are some of them who have left a name,
so that men declare their praise.
And there are some who have no memorial,
who have perished as though they had not lived;
they have become as though they had not been born,
and so have their children after them.

But these were men of mercy,
whose righteous deeds have not been forgotten.
Their posterity will continue for ever,
and their glory will not be blotted out.
Their bodies were buried in peace,
and their name lives to all generations.

ALTERNATE FIRST READING: Isaiah 26:1-4,8-9,12-13,19-21
("Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee.... Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust.")

PSALM 34
(The Lord watches over those who trust in Him.)

EPISTLE: Ephesians 1:1-23
(The heavenly glory in union with Christ that awaits the redeemed.)

THE HOLY GOSPEL: Matthew 5:1-12
(From the Sermon on the Mount: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." etc.)

PRAYERS (traditional language)
O Almighty God, who hast knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship, in the mystical body of thy Son Christ our Lord: Grant us grace so to follow thy blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those indescribable joys which thou hast prepared for those who truly love thee: through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, in glory everlasting.

Almighty God, who by thy Holy Spirit hast made us one with thy saints in heaven and on earth: Grant that in our earthly pilgrimage we may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know ourselves to be surrounded by their witness to thy power and mercy. We ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, in whom all our intercessions are acceptable through the Spirit, and who liveth and reigneth for ever and ever.

Almighty and everlasting God, we yield unto thee most high praise and hearty thanks for the wonderful grace and virtue declared in all thy saints, who have been the chosen vessels of thy grace, and the lights of the world in their several generations: for Abraham, the father of believers, and Sarah his wife; for Moses the lawgiver, and Aaron the priest; for Miriam and Joshua, Deborah and Gideon, and Samuel with Hannah his mother, and for all the holy patriarchs; for Isaiah and all the prophets; for the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ our Lord and God; for Peter and Paul and all the apostles; for Mary and Martha, and Mary Magdalene; for Stephen, the first martyr, and for all the martyrs; and for all other thy righteous servants, known to us and unknown; and we beseech thee that, rejoicing in their fellowship, encouraged by their examples, and aided by their prayers, we also may run with steadfastness the race that is set before us, and finish our course in faith; and that at the day of the general resurrection, we, with all those who are of the mystical body of thy Son, may be set on his right hand, and hear that his most joyful voice: "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." Grant this, O Father, for the sake of the same thy Son Jesus Christ, our only Mediator and Advocate.

PRAYERS (contemporary language)
O Almighty God, who 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 indescribable joys which you have prepared for those who truly love you: through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting.

Almighty God, who by your Holy Spirit have made us one with your saints in heaven and on earth: Grant that in our earthly pilgrimage we may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know ourselves to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy. We ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, in whom all our intercessions are acceptable through the Spirit, and who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Almighty and everlasting God, we give you most high praise and hearty thanks for the wonderful grace and virtue declared in all your saints, who have been the chosen vessels of your grace, and the lights of the world in their times: for Abraham, the father of believers, and Sarah his wife; for Moses the lawgiver, and Aaron the priest; for Miriam and Joshua, Deborah and Gideon, and Samuel with Hannah his mother, and for all the holy patriarchs; for Isaiah and all the prophets; for the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ our Lord and God; for Peter and Paul and all the apostles; for Mary and Martha, and Mary Magdalene; for Stephen, the first martyr, and for all the martyrs; and for all your other righteous servants, known to us and unknown; and we beseech you that, rejoicing in their fellowship, encouraged by their examples, and aided by their prayers, we also may run with steadfastness the race that is set before us, and finish our course in faith; and that at the day of the general resurrection, we, with all those who are of the mystical body of your Son, may be set on his right hand, and hear his most joyful voice: "Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." Grant this, O Father, for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, our only Mediator and Advocate.


The litany of saints that follows is chanted annually at the Church of St. Stephen and the Incarnation in Washington, D.C., at the principal eucharist celebrating All Saints' Day. It was composed around 1979, largely by William MacKaye, former religion editor of the Washington Post, though some of the images were taken from A Liberation Prayer Book of the Free Church in Berkeley, California, and has been adapted here and there in the subsequent years. Naturally, the selection of names reflects the personal biases of the compiler. A selection by me would inevitably reflect my biases, if I had any, and if you adapt this litany for use in your worshipping community, the adaptations will reflect yours.

The litany is intended to be chanted in procession. The procession moves from station to station around the church during the singing of the verses of "For all the saints." Each section of the litany is then chanted at a station. The final sections-- to martyrs, to all saints, to Mary, and to Jesus--are chanted at stations in the center aisle as the procession makes its way toward the sanctuary. The litany concludes with the singing of the Gloria in excelsis. (The usual salutation and the Collect for Purity are omitted.)

A LITANY OF ALL THE SAINTS

Cantor Let us go forth in peace.
People In the name of Christ. Amen.

For all the saints, who from their labor rest,
Who thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy Name, O Jesus, be for ever blessed.
Alleluia, alleluia!

Holy ones present at our beginnings:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
Abraham and Sarah,
Isaac and Rebecca,
Jacob and Rachel and Leah,
makers of the covenant, forebears of our race:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
Elizabeth and Simeon,
Joseph, Monica and Helen,
exemplars in the love and care of children:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
John the baptizer, map-maker of the Lord's coming:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!

Thou wast their rock, their fortress, and their might:
Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well-fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, the one true Light.
Alleluia, alleluia!

Holy ones who showed the good news to be the way of life:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
Thomas the doubter;
Augustine of Canterbury;
Francis Xavier;
Samuel Joseph Schereschewsky;
all travelers who carried the Gospel to distant places:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
Bernard and Dominic;
Catherine of Siena, the scourge of popes;
John and Charles Wesley, preachers in the streets;
all whose power of speaking gave life to the written word:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
Benedict of Nursia,
Teresa of Avila;
Nicholas Ferrar;
Elizabeth Ann Seton;
Richard Meux Benson;
Charles de Foucauld;
all founders of communities:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!

O may thy soldiers, faithful, true, and bold,
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
And win, with them, the victor's crown of gold.
Alleluia, alleluia!

Holy ones who gave their lives to the care of others:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
Louis, king of France;
Margaret, queen of Scotland;
Gandhi the mahatma, reproach to the churches;
Dag Hammarskjold the bureaucrat;
all who made governance an act of faith:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
Peter of the keys, denier of the Lord;
Ambrose of Milan, who answered the Church's summons;
Hilda, abbess at Whitby;
Robert Grosseteste, bishop of Lincoln, protector of the Jews;
Jean-Baptiste Vianney, cure d' Ars,
patient hearer of catalogues of sins;
all faithful shepherds of the Master's flock:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
Mary Magdalen, anointer of the Lord's feet;
Luke the physician;
Francis who kissed the leper;
Florence Nightingale;
Albert Schweitzer;
all who brought to the sick and suffering the hands of healing:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!

O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
Yet all are one in thee, for all are thine.
Alleluia, alleluia!

Holy ones who made the proclaiming of God's love a work of art:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
Pierluigi da Palestrina;
John Merbecke;
Johann Sebastian Bach;
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart;
Benjamin Britten;
Duke Ellington;
all who sang the Creator's praises in the language of the soul:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
David and the Psalmists;
Caedmon;
John Milton, sketcher of Paradise;
William Blake, builder of Jerusalem;
John Mason Neale, preserver of the past;
all poets of the celestial vision:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
Zaccheus the tree-climber;
Brother Lawrence;
Therese of Lisieux, the little flower;
Andrew of Glasshampton;
all cultivators of holy simplicity:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!

And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
And hearts are brave again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia, alleluia!

Holy ones haunted by the justice and mercy of God:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
Amos of Tekoa, who held up the plumbline;
John Wycliffe, who brought the Scripture to the common folk;
John Hus and Menno Simons, generals in the Lamb's war;
Martin Luther, who could do no other;
George Fox, foe of steeple-houses;
all who kept the Church ever-reforming:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
Paul the apostle, transfixed by noonday light;
Augustine of Hippo, God's city planner;
Thomas Aquinas and John Calvin, architects of the divine;
Charles Williams, teacher of coinherence;
Karl Barth, knower of the unknowable;
all who saw God at work and wrote down what they saw:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
John, the seer of Patmos;
Anthony of the desert;
Julian, the anchoress of Norwich;
Hildegarde, the sybil of the Rhine;
Meister Eckardt;
Bernadette of Lourdes;
all who were called to see the Master's face:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
Joachim of Fiora, prophet of the new age;
Johnny Appleseed, mad planter of Eden;
Sojourner Truth, pilgrim of justice;
Benedict Joseph Labre, priest and panhandler;
all whose love for God was beyond containment:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!

The golden evening brightens in the west;
Soon, soon to faithful warriors cometh rest;
Sweet is the calm of paradise the blest.
Alleluia, alleluia!

Holy ones who died in witness to the Christ:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
Stephen the deacon, the first martyr, stoned in Jerusalem:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
Justin, Ignatius and Polycarp, who refused the incense to Caesar:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
Perpetua and Felicity, torn by beasts in the arena at Carthage:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
Thomas Cranmer, Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley,
burned in Oxford:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
Maximilian Kolbe and Edith Stein, put to death at Auschwitz:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
James Reeb, Jonathan Daniels, Michael Schwerner,
Medgar Evers, Viola Liuzzo, shot in the South:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
Martin Luther King, shot in Memphis:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
Janani Luwum, shot in Kampala:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
Oscar Romero, shot in San Salvador:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
Martyrs of Rome, of Lyons, of Japan, of Eastern Equatorial
Africa, of Uganda, of Melanesia,
martyrs of everywhere:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!

But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of Glory passes on his way.
Alleluia, alleluia!

Holy ones of every time and place:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
Glorious company of heaven:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
All climbers of the ladder of Paradise:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
All runners of the celestial race:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!

[The people may call out saints' names]

Great cloud of witnesses:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!

Mary most holy, chief of the saints:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
Mary most holy, yes-sayer to God:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
Mary most holy, unmarried mother:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
Mary most holy, gate of heaven and ark of the covenant:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!

From earth's wide bounds, from ocean's farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
Singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost:
Alleluia, alleluia!

Jesus our liberator, creator of all:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
Jesus our liberator, redeemer of all:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
Jesus our liberator, sanctifier of all:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!
Jesus our liberator, the alpha and the omega, the beginning and
the end:
STAND HERE BESIDE US!

The Gloria in Excelsis is sung, and the eucharist begins.

by James Kiefer