All Saints

November 1 or November 7, 2021

Lectionary Texts

Isaiah 25.6-9 foresees the coming war, the destruction of Jerusalem, and the dominance of ruthless people—and yet beyond that, a great feast symbolizing God’s establishment of a new reality that will “swallow up” death and destruction — not just for Israel but for all the world, as one community.

Psalm 24 says all Creation belongs to God. To get close to God, we devote ourselves to true living.

Revelation 21.1-6 also foresees a new reality—not just among human nations, but the entire cosmos: a new Creation. It is symbolized, an in Isaiah, by the city of Jerusalem, the end of death and sorrow, and abundant water to drink. “Behold,” God says, “I make all things new.”

In John 11. 32-44 Lazarus has died. When Jesus comes, both Martha and Mary, Lazarus’ sisters, insist that Jesus could have saved him. Jesus weeps at his tomb, and then calls the dead man to come out.

Call to Worship

For all the saints who have led us through the ages, we praise you.
      For all the saints in our own lives
      who have loved us and shown us your grace, we thank you.
With all the communion of saints, we glorify you.
      Alleluia! God of all the saints, transform us by your grace. Alleluia!
Leader: God, you have sent us saints who have guided and inspired us; and we thank you.
      All: You have given us saints who have loved and us and transformed us. We praise you.
May we be your saints, shining with your light, radiant with your love.
      Alleluia! Come, Holy Spirit, and transform us by your grace. Alleluia!

Collect / Prayer of the Day

Gracious God, we give thanks for the saints who have gone before us: people of all ages, even children, who have shined a light on the way with their love. Make us holy with the same love they had. Help us to hear your Word and to be changed by your Spirit in us, sanctified for your purposes, in the name of Christ. Amen.

God of love, in the company of your saints, we are lifted by their faith. With them we are warmed by your grace and led by your Spirit. Sanctify us with them: restore in us our true, holy calling as your beloved people. May love be our worship; love be our lives. Amen.

Beautiful God, we are brought together in your grace. We are blessed in one another’s company. We are transformed by your Word. Speak to us, and help us listen with our deepest hearts, so that we may become more and more ourselves, more true to the glory you have planted within and among us, and more faithful to one another. In your embodied Word, Christ living among us, come, Lord, and speak. Amen.

Listening Prayer

(suitable as a Collect, preparation for hearing scriptures, or invitation to prayer)

God of love, as Jesus called Lazarus out of the tomb,
so you call us out of all that entombs us,
all that binds us, all that diminishes life.
Call to us; give us new life;
draw us into the light of a new day.

Eucharistic Prayer

Beloved, God is with you.
      And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
      We lift them up to the Holy One.
Let us give thanks to the Beloved, our God.
      It is good to give God thanks and praise.

God of love, we thank you, for in love and for love
you create us in the image of your love.
      You claim us as your people and set us free from all that oppresses.
You have given us saints through the ages,
people who shone with your love and lit the way for us.
      You redeem us and empower us to join you
      in creating a world of mercy and justice.

Therefore with all the communion of saints we sing your praise:
      Holy One, all creation shines with your glorious presence.
       Hosanna in the highest.
       Blessed are they who come in your love.

Blessed is Jesus, who embodied your love for us,
and showed us how to love one another.

[The Blessing and Covenant….] *

With praise and thanksgiving we remember your loving acts in Jesus Christ.
       We offer ourselves as a living and holy sacrifice,
       in union with Christ’s offering for us.
And we proclaim the mystery at the heart of our faith:       
      Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

Pour out your Spirit on these gifts,
that they may be for us the Body and Blood of Christ.
       Pour out your Holy Spirit on us,
       that as the Body of Christ we may embody your love.
       Sanctify us, that we may live as your saints,
       in loving service to all the world.
       In this meal, in your Word living among us,
       and in your Spirit within us, perfect your love in us. Amen.

* The Blessing and Covenant
[I usually don’t print the words. I want people to be looking at the bread, not their bulletins.]

On the night in which he gave himself for us,
Jesus took bread, blessed it,. broke it, and gave it to his disciples,
saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup,
blessed it with thanks and gave it to them, saying,
“Drink of this, all of you. This is my blood,
poured out for you and for many, in a new Covenant,
which is the forgiveness of sin.”
As long as we break this bread and share this cup
we remember his death and resurrection, until he comes again.

Suggested Songs

(Click on titles to view songs and hear audio clips on the Music page.)

Blessed [Original tune. Includes 4-part version for choir]

Dear God, receive me anew, mourning and poor in my soul,
hungry for what makes me whole.
Bless me by making me simple like you.

Refrain: Blessed are the ones who have nothing but God,
for God and God alone shall fill their lives.

Mercy please grant me anew. Make my heart pure by your grace,
humble, that I may see your face.
Bless me by making me gentle like you. Refrain

Courage please give me anew, peace in the world to make,
and to suffer for your Gospel’s sake.
Bless me by making me faithful to you. Refrain

Eternal Life [Original tune. Includes 4-part version for choir.]

This is how we will know eternal life:
we will love one another.
I lay down my life, all that is mine alone,
that we may be raised together.

We are not bound by any earthy thing
when our lives we surrender to God
whose love is eternal life,
and so we will love one another.

For Your Saints [ Tune: Joyful, Joyful]

God, we thank you for your saints and for their time among us here,
In their faith, their service and their ready smile we’ve felt you near.
In their steadfast love of others and their persevering grace,
we have known your living presence; we have seen your human face.

God, we thank you for the faith that lifts our hearts and lights our way,
for your hidden, healing presence walking with us day by day.
As we face death’s shadows, still we walk with courage and with love,
persevering in the faith that you have granted from above.

“Children, I will never leave you or forsake you,” you have said.
You have been our helper, God, so there is nothing that we dread.
By your grace that never fails us, guide, sustain and lead us on,
‘till we step with grateful hearts into the light of heaven’s dawn.

God Bless the Saints [Tune: Blest Be the Tie that Binds ]

God bless the saints we’ve known,
who loved us through the years,
who shared our struggles and cherished our joys
and held us and wiped our tears.

God bless the teachers and guides
whose wisdom brightens our days,
whose courage lifts our struggling hearts,
and shines your light on our ways.

God bless the quiet ones
who serve in humble ways
without their seeing the fruit of their faith,
yet live in prayerful praise.

God, help us be your saints
who trust your loving grace,
that we may be a holy blessing
in our own time and place.

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