Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Feast of All Saints

The Feast of All Saints falls on a Sunday this year, and will be celebrated across many denominations as a time for reflecting on those saints who came before us, the ones we know and the ones we don't, the ones that shape our lives today and the ones yet to come.  In addition to many rousing hymns (see the links below for a start), the liturgy also often includes a spoken or sung litany of the saints, either traditional or contemporary.  Also, if so inclined, you can take an online quiz to find out which saint would like to be your friend.

We continue today, as we have throughout this year, with an updated version of this hymn by Horatio Bolton Nelson, which includes a middle stanza on the saint(s) we commemorate each feast day.

By all your saints still striving,
For all your saints at rest,
Your holy name, O Jesus,
Forevermore be blessed!
For those passed on before us,
We sing our praise anew
And, walking in their footsteps,
Would live our lives for you.

Apostles, prophets, martyrs,
And all the sacred throng,
Those named and those unnumbered,
Who raise the ceaseless song;
All these, passed on before us,
O Christ, we now adore,
And, walking in their footsteps,
Would serve you more and more.

We pray for saints we know not,
For saints still yet to be,
For grace to bear true witness
And serve you faithfully,
Till all the ransomed number
Who stand before the throne
Ascribe all power and glory
And praise to God alone. 

Horatio Bolton Nelson, 1864; alt.
Henry T. Smart, 1835

Prolific Victorian composer Henry Smart had a birthday last week, on October 26.

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