There are moments in the Christian year when we feel keenly both the absence of being able safely to worship together in our churches and particularly the absence of loved ones whose loss we continue to grieve.
The coming weekend is All Saints and All Souls tide where we usually offer in prayer the names of the departed. Each life is precious as we offer them by name to God. We may have people written on our hearts who we wish to name before God at this All Souls’ tide. We bring them to Him whether we know them to have been people of faith or whether their faith is known to Him alone. It is an opportunity to pray for those known to us personally as well as to pray for those who have no one to pray for them.
I offer below some prayers to help us mark this sacred season of thanksgiving and remembrance.
They have become bright stars in the heavens
They have joined the firmament of the living God
The saints who through our Saviour’s death
Traverse the route beyond death to vibrant life
The knowing, the loving, the ever present truth
Of life greater than death, here, and beyond the present touching
For this we praise you our almighty Redeemer.
A prayer from New Zealand
God of life and death,
The Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.
We pray for those who have died, giving thanks for them and all that they meant to us.
Confident of Christ’s victory on the cross,
We remember in love all who have died
And all whose names we bring to you to be commemorated today
May we come to share in the eternal banquet of your son Jesus Christ.
Give us thankful hearts for his redeeming love.
Our diocese has also produced an All Saints and All Souls service which will be streamed on its Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/DioceseofCoventry/ and Youtube channel at 10.30 am on Sunday, 1st November. The service contains some very moving elements including an act of remembrance for those who have lost loved ones in the last year or two and also a sermon by Bishop Christopher.