All Saint’s Day

November 1, 2021
Ordinary Time

Today’s Readings: 

  • What is All Saint’s Day?
  • Isaiah 25:6-9
  • Psalm 24
  • Revelation 21:1-6a
  • John 11:32-44

Invitatory

Alleluia. The Lord is glorious in his saints: Come, let us adore him. Alleluia.

“Since the eyes of your heart have been enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints…”

Ephesians 1:18

The Collect

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. Amen.

Hymn: “Around the Throne, A Glorious Band”

By Rowland Hill

Representative Text:

1 Around the throne a glorious band,

The saints in countless numbers stand,

Of ev’ry tongue, redeemed to God,

Arrayed in garments washed in blood.

2 Through tribulation great they came;

They bore the cross, despised the shame;

From all their labors now they rest

In God’s eternal glory blest.

3 They see their Savior face to face;

They sing the triumphs of his grace;

And day and night, with ceaseless praise,

To him their loud hosannas raise:

4 “Worthy the Lamb, for sinners slain,

Through endless years to live and reign;

You have redeemed us by your blood,

And made us faithful priests to God.”

5 O may we tread the sacred road

That saints and holy martyrs trod;

Wage to the end the glorious strife,

And win, like them, the crown of life! [8]

Painting of various saints by Fra Angelico

What is All Saint’s Day?

“Remembering saints [the departed faithful] and martyrs and dedicating a specific day to them each year [originally on May 13] has been a Christian tradition since the 4th century AD.” [1] However, it was in 615 AD that Pope Boniface IV formally established the date as the Feast of All Martyrs “commemorating the dedication of the Pantheon, an ancient Roman temple, into a Christian church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the martyrs.” [2] Pantheon means “temple of all the gods.” The transformation of the Pantheon into a Christian church, therefore, was a huge triumph of Christianity over paganism.

“By 741, the feast included not only martyrs, but all the saints in heaven… In 844, Pope Gregory IV transferred the feast to November 1st, timing it around the harvests to be able to provide food for the pilgrims,” and the name of the feast day was changed to the Feast of All Saints (All Saints Day). [3]

“All Saints Day was focused on exemplary Christians. This doesn’t mean they were ‘perfect’ Christians. It means that some aspect of God’s grace shined brightly in their lives, and was seen and acclaimed by many others.” [4] 

“We commemorate the Patriarchs, the Prophets, and Mary, Joseph, the Apostles and so many other biblical saints. We also commemorate the saints of the Christian Church including martyrs like Perpetua, teachers like Augustine, and mystics like St. Teresa of Avila.” [5]

“Later, All Souls Day was added on November 2nd, as a way to acknowledge all believers.” [6]

“This focus on the past helps us gain wisdom for the present. By focusing on these saints, we can learn from them. And since there is only one Body of Christ in heaven and on earth, we also celebrate our communion with them. Of course, this is mystical communion, which means that its out of our control. But we know it is real. We are in fellowship with those who have gone before us, since we are all in Christ. This helps us satisfy our human longing for communion with those who have gone before.” [7]

Let us pray.

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. Amen.

Communion of saints – Baptistry – Padua, Italy

Old Testament: Isaiah 25:6-9

On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples

a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines,

of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear.

And he will destroy on this mountain

the shroud that is cast over all peoples,

the sheet that is spread over all nations;

he will swallow up death forever.

Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces,

and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth,

for the Lord has spoken.

It will be said on that day,

Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.

This is the Lord for whom we have waited;

let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

The Psalm: Psalm 24

Domini est terra

1 The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, *

the world and all who dwell therein.

2 For it is he who founded it upon the seas *

and made it firm upon the rivers of the deep.

3 “Who can ascend the hill of the Lord? ” *

and who can stand in his holy place?”

4 “Those who have clean hands and a pure heart, *

who have not pledged themselves to falsehood,

nor sworn by what is a fraud.

5 They shall receive a blessing from the Lord *

and a just reward from the God of their salvation.”

6 Such is the generation of those who seek him, *

of those who seek your face, O God of Jacob.

7 Lift up your heads, O gates;

lift them high, O everlasting doors; *

and the King of glory shall come in.

8 “Who is this King of glory?” *

“The Lord, strong and mighty,

the Lord, mighty in battle.”

9 Lift up your heads, O gates;

lift them high, O everlasting doors; *

and the King of glory shall come in.

10 “Who is he, this King of glory?” *

“The Lord of hosts,

he is the King of glory.”

The Epistle: Revelation 21:1-6a

I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

“See, the home of God is among mortals.

He will dwell with them as their God;

they will be his peoples,

and God himself will be with them;

he will wipe every tear from their eyes.

Death will be no more;

mourning and crying and pain will be no more,

for the first things have passed away.”

And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.”

The Gospel: John 11:32-44

When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus began to weep. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

Concluding Prayer of the Church

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. Amen.


Citations:

[1] The BBC. (2011, October 20). Religions – Christianity: All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. Retrieved October 26, 2020, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/holydays/allsaints_1.shtml

[2] Catholic Culture. (n.d.). Liturgical Year : October : History of All Hallows’ Eve. Retrieved October 26, 2020, from https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/overviews/months/10_2.cfm

[3] Ibid. 2

[4] Goebel, G. (2019, January 08). All Saints Day: What Is It? Why Is It Important? – Anglican Pastor. Retrieved October 27, 2020, from https://anglicancompass.com/what-is-all-saints-day/

[5] Ibid. 4

[6] Ibid. 4

[7] Ibid. 4[8] Author: Rowland HillHill, R. (n.d.). Around the throne, a glorious band. Hymnary.org. Retrieved October 31, 2021, from https://hymnary.org/text/around_the_throne_a_glorious_band.

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