All Saints Day

Holy Communion 1 November 2020  All Saints' Day

The Gathering      we sit

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Lord be with you      and also with you.


Prayer of Preparation

Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Invitation to confession we sit or kneel

Since we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, looking to Jesus in penitence and faith.             cf Hebrews 12.1


Kyrie Eleison

You raise the dead to life in the Spirit:
Lord, have mercy.        Lord, have mercy.

You bring pardon and peace to the sinner:
Christ, have mercy.      Christ, have mercy.

You bring light to those in darkness:
Lord, have mercy.     Lord, have mercy.

Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent, have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins, confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and keep you in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Collect    we sit

Almighty God, 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, Amen.


First Reading     Revelation 7.9-17

9After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. 10They cried out in a loud voice, saying,  ‘Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!’

11And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, 12singing, ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honour and power and might be to our God for ever and ever! Amen.’

13Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, ‘Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?’ 14I said to him, ‘Sir, you are the one that knows.’ Then he said to me, ‘These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

15For this reason they are before the throne of God, and worship him day and night within his temple, and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them. 16They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat; 17for the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’

This is the word of the Lord.      Thanks be to God.

 

Psalm  34.1-10          we stand

1             I will bless the Lord at all times; ♦
his praise shall ever be in my mouth.

2             My soul shall glory in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.

3             O magnify the Lord with me; ♦ let us exalt his name together.

4             I sought the Lord and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.

5             Look upon him and be radiant ♦
and your faces shall not be ashamed.

6             This poor soul cried, and the Lord heard me
and saved me from all my troubles.

7             The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him ♦ and delivers them.

8             O taste and see that the Lord is gracious;
blessed is the one who trusts in him.

9             Fear the Lord, all you his holy ones, ♦
for those who fear him lack nothing.

10           Lions may lack and suffer hunger,
but those who seek the Lord lack nothing that is good.

Gospel Reading

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew 5.1-12

Glory to you, O Lord.

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

This is the Gospel of the Lord.   Praise to you, O Christ.


Sermon

No Christian is solitary. Through baptism we become members one of another in Christ, members of a company of saints whose mutual belonging transcends death:

One family, we dwell in him,
one Church, above, beneath;
though now divided by the stream,
the narrow stream of death. (Charles Wesley)

All Saints’ Day and the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed on All Souls’ Day both celebrate this mutual belonging. All Saints’ Day celebrates men and women in whose lives the Church as a whole has seen the grace of God powerfully at work. It is an opportunity to give thanks for that grace, and for the wonderful ways in which it shapes a human life; it is a time to be encouraged by the example of the saints and to recall that sanctity may grow in the ordinary circumstances, as well as the extraordinary ones, of human
living.

The Commemoration of the Faithful Departed celebrates the saints in a more local and intimate way, it is about our family and friends. It allows us to remember with thanksgiving before God those whom we have known more directly: those who gave us life, or who nurtured us in faith. Those who may never quite become a saint, but whose lives made a difference to ours, whose example and love are written in the marrow of our bones.

The life, death and resurrection of Christ is the means to our being part of the who family of faith, part of the household of God. Through Jesus we are redeemed, like in a pawn shop we have been brought back. Back into the family of God.

Redemption is a work of God’s grace; it is God who redeems us in Christ and there is nothing to be done beyond what Christ has done. But we still wait for the final act of God’s new creation in Christ; those who are Christ’s, whether or not they have passed through death, are joined in prayer that God’s kingdom will be revealed finally and in all its fullness. We also sense that it is a fearful thing to come before the unutterable goodness and holiness of God, even for those who are redeemed in Christ.

On All Saints Day we remember – that is make members again those who live on a distant shore, those whose life on earth is over but life in heaven is just starting.  And as we re-member them, so we can have hope and faith that we too will be held in the love of God, part of God’s family and nothing can separate us from God. We are saints in waiting but we are waiting not in hope alone, but in the promise of Jesus. A promise we can trust with all our hearts.


We stand:      Let us declare our faith in God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The Creed

We say together in faith: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.

We believe in God the Father, who created all things:

for by his will they were created and have their being.

We believe in God the Son, who was slain:

for with his blood, he purchased us for God, from every tribe and language, from every people and nation.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit:

the Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come!’ Even so come, Lord Jesus! Amen.

cf Revelation 4.8,11;5.9;22.17,20

Prayers of Intercession       we sit or kneel

Prayers: The Church of England Common Worship for All Saints Day

In faith and hope we pray, Lord of mercy,       Lord, hear us.

Almighty God, you bring your chosen people together
in one communion, in the body of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
We rejoice in your light and your peace with your whole Church in heaven and on earth. Lord of mercy,  Lord, hear us.

Give to all who mourn a sure confidence in your loving care, that we may cast all our sorrow on you and know the consolation of your love. Lord of mercy,       Lord, hear us.

Give your faithful people pardon and peace, that we may be cleansed from all our sins and serve you with a quiet mind.
Lord of mercy,  Lord, hear us.

Give us strength to meet the days ahead in the joyful expectation of eternal life with those you love. Lord of mercy, Lord, hear us.

Give to us who are still in our pilgrimage, and who walk as yet by faith, your Holy Spirit to lead us in holiness and righteousness
all our days. Lord of mercy,       Lord, hear us.

May all who have been made one with Christ in his death and in his resurrection die to sin and rise to newness of life.
Lord of mercy,      Lord, hear us.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.


The Eucharistic Prayer        we stand

The Lord be with you      and also with you.

Lift up your hearts.          We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give thanks and praise.

It is indeed right, our duty and our joy, always and everywhere to give you thanks, holy Father, almighty and eternal God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. And now we give you thanks, most gracious God, surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses and glorified in the assembly of your saints. The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. We, your holy Church, acclaim you. In communion with angels and archangels, and with all who served you on earth and worship you now in heaven, we raise our voice to proclaim your glory, for ever praising you and saying:

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.       We sit or kneel

We praise and bless you, loving Father, through Jesus Christ, our Lord;
and as we obey his command, send your Holy Spirit, that broken bread and wine outpoured may be for us the body and blood of your dear Son.
On the night before he died he had supper with his friends and, taking bread, he praised you. He broke the bread, gave it to them and said: Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me.

When supper was ended he took the cup of wine. Again he praised you, gave it to them and said: Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.
So, Father, we remember all that Jesus did, in him we plead with confidence his sacrifice made once for all upon the cross. Bringing before you the bread of life and cup of salvation, we proclaim his death and resurrection until he comes in glory. Christ has died: Christ is risen: Christ will come again.

Lord of all life, help us to work together for that day when your kingdom comes and justice and mercy will be seen in all the earth. Look with favour on your people, gather us in your loving arms and bring us with all the saints to feast at your table in heaven. Through Christ, and with Christ, and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honour and glory are yours, O loving Father, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer As our Saviour taught us, so we pray:

Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.


Breaking of the Bread

We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.

Though we are many, we are one body, because we all share in one bread.


Giving of Communion

God’s holy gifts for God’s holy people.

Jesus Christ is holy, Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Most merciful Lord, your love compels us to come in. Our hands were unclean, our hearts were unprepared; we were not fit even to eat the crumbs from under your table.  But you, Lord, are the God of our salvation, and share your bread with sinners. So cleanse and feed us with the precious body and blood of your Son, that he may live in us and we in him; and that we, with the whole company of Christ, may sit and eat in your kingdom. Amen.   We receive communion.


Prayer after Communion

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. Amen.


Blessing     we stand

God, who has prepared for us a city with eternal foundations, give you grace to share the inheritance of the saints in glory; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. In the name of Christ. Amen.

Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above):
Invitation to Confession (All Saints' Day) ©  1988 Continuum (Mowbray) (Adapted)
Kyrie Confession (Spirit & All Souls) ©  David Stancliffe  Some material included in this service is copyright: ©  The Archbishops' Council 2000  Collect (All Saints’ Day) ©  The Crown/Cambridge University Press: The Book of Common Prayer (1662)