A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.

Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Prayers of the People: Saints Alive!, All Saints' Day

For All Saints' Sunday, November 1, 2015 (23rd Sunday after Pentecost), Year B, Readings: Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-9, Ps 24, Revelation 21:1-6a, John 11:32-44

Those who trust in him will understand truth, and the faithful will abide with him in love...
[Wisdom of Solomon 3:9]

They will receive blessing from the Lord, and vindication from the God of Salvation. [Ps 24:5]

Then I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God...
[Revelation 21:2a]

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." 
[John 11:44]

          Today we celebrate All Saints' Day, but who were they besides names on calendars and churches? What do Saints have to do with my everyday life? 
          The word “saint” comes from the Greek word hagios, which means “consecrated to God, holy, sacred, pious." The people we think of as "saints" or who have been given the official title of saint, all seem to be all of that definition and more. Special people who are set apart for a special purpose and given all they need to accomplish God's purpose, those are saints. Well, except that God has called ALL of us to be saints, to be sanctified (made holy) in Christ, to build up the Body of Christ, and to seek and serve Christ in all persons. Too bad we can't just leave the work to those who are beatified or canonized by an official Church process. The Beatitudes in Matthew 5:1-12 give us a comprehensive list of those who will be blessed by God. It also gives us a clear direction on what attributes to adopt in our own lives to draw on all of our God-given gifts and self-developed flaws, to be a part of the total Creation, and to seek to be accepted into the great reward that is heaven. The award-winning poet, Mary Oliver says it thusly:

When it’s over, I want to say:  all my life I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened, or full of argument

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

So, let us Sing a Song of the Saints of God and all mean to be one, too.


Leader:  ~ God of Blessing and Salvation, on this day we celebrate all Saints who have opened their hearts to use their divine gifts and human flaws on behalf of all Creation. Guide us to recognize and act on any saintly moments that appear in each day, as we honor all who give of themselves entirely to Your calling.

Lord of Hosts, King of Glory  
RESPONSE: Help us unbind our faith and abide in You    

~ God of Blessing and Salvation, grant us the courage to continually raise our voices to the leaders of our World, our Country, and our Community, to be the change-agents to eradicate violence, injustice, and poverty everywhere. We pray especially for: Barack, our President; Jack, our Governor; Tom, our County Executive; and Dennis, our mayor.

Lord of Hosts, King of Glory  
Help us unbind our faith and abide in You

~ God of Blessing and Salvation, deliver from distress those whose spirits languish in illness of body, mind, or spirit, and endow those who give them care, with patience, gentleness, and love. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need…

Lord of Hosts, King of Glory  
Help us unbind our faith and abide in You

~ God of Blessing and Salvation, soothe the pain of all who grieve as those who have left us now shine forth in the New Jerusalem, where hope is immortal and peace is eternal. We pray especially for:

Lord of Hosts, King of Glory  
Help us unbind our faith and abide in You

~ God of Blessing and Salvation, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…

Lord of Hosts, King of Glory  
Help us unbind our faith and abide in You

~ God of Blessing and Salvation, continue to bless and inspire those who intentionally live into Your Call to guide us to inwardly transform our lives. May we then work together to transform our world in faithfulness and love. We pray especially for: Katharine, our Presiding Bishop; Michael, our Presiding Bishop-Elect; Wayne, our own Bishop; David, our rector; Lloyd, our Rector Emeritus; Emily, our Associate Priest.

Lord of Hosts, King of Glory  
Help us unbind our faith and abide in You
The Celebrant adds:  God of all Saints and all Sinners, even as we often fail, help us to continue to try to live our lives in humility and faith and act on those qualities of saintliness that will bring us to Your eternal life. We ask through Jesus, our Redeemer, and in the Unity of the Holy Spirit, who with You are One God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

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