All Saints

The First Sunday of November
November 5, 2023

Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness.
Let us exalt his Name together.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

Almighty God, our Rock and our Refuge:
We gather together to feel the warmth of your love,
even when we feel coldness within.
When we long for the past, grant us shelter in your presence.
When the ground beneath us shakes
or our lives seem to have lost their meaning,
point us toward your future—a future of life and hope.
Lift from us the burden of grief and the shackles of despair,
that we may walk together with you and with one another
into the new life promised by your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
in whose Name we pray. Amen.

O God, our amazing Creator,
your love is stronger than hate, and your grace extends beyond death.
Though those whom we love are never far from our thoughts,
on this day we remember before you those whom we have lost.
Because we can know longer hold them in our arms,
we trust that you have surrounded them with yours… and we thank you.

As we remember the saints,
we also lift up to you those who are still with us in this life.
We thank you for the blessings of home and family and friendship.
We pray for our nation: for unity and responsibility,
good governance and ethical business practices,
for a renewed commitment to education and equal access to healthcare.
And we pray for all anywhere whose lives are difficult.
We pray for the grieving, the sick, and the struggling.
We pray for the hungry, the oppressed, and the war-torn.

Be with us as we now hear the word and gather around your table.
For the words we speak and the actions we undertake
we dedicate to the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ,
in whose Name we pray. Amen.

The Bible tells us that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses
who help us on our pilgrimage to God.
Today you are invited to the table
to give thanks for those who have gone before,
those who surround us and inspire us.
So no matter who you are or where you are on your own life’s journey:
Come, you are welcome here.

We thank you, O Eternal One,
for the wholeness we receive directly from you hand.
But on this day, we pause to thank you as well
for the love and grace you have sent us
through those who have gone before—
those who have taught us, inspired us,
and served as examples of how to live faithful lives.
Especially this day, we remember the following saints:

[Names are read, candles lit, chimes sounded, etc.]

Be with your church as we gather around the table,
that the communion of saints may be felt in the hearts of all your people.
We pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

O God, our Help in ages past;
O God, our Hope for years to come:
You have called us to your table and set a banquet before us.
Together with our sisters and brothers in Christ,
with those who have gone before, and with those who are yet to come,
we ask your Holy Spirit to come among us,
and to settle upon the bread and the wine,
that in eating and drinking,
we might know the presence of Christ in our lives and in our church.
Strengthened by your grace,
may we serve you in union with Christians in all times and places,
that your love may be known in the world.
We ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

[written by Bruce D. Prewer] 
Go on your way rejoicing!
Surrounded as you are by such a great cloud of witnesses,
take courage as you face each new challenge;
take comfort when you pick yourself from a fall;
and, in whatever good you choose to do, precede it with hope,
accompany it with prayer, and follow it with thanksgiving.
And may the blessing of God Most Wonderful,
whom the saints have trusted as Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
be with you now and ever more. Amen.