Church of England Diocese of Birmingham St. Matthew with St. Chad, Smethwick

All Saints & All Souls

31 Oct 2020, midnight

Feast of All Saints (All Hallows) 1st November 2020 & Commemoration of the Faithful departed (All Souls) 2nd November 2020

Opening prayer: As we gather, God’s spirit is with us, thanks be to God.

Read: Matthew 11v25-30

Lucy prays: May the words of my mouth and the thoughts and meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, our strength and our redeemer. Amen

Lucy reflects: On the 1st November each year the Church keeps the Feast of All Saints, which is olden days was called the Feast of All Hallows. This is a day when we give thanks for all the Saints, for the people considered to be: sacred and blessed, godly and devout, righteous and virtuous. In the Church of England, the title of Saint includes: people considered to be devout and spiritual; people whose way of living is worthy to be imitated; as well as people in heaven, whose existence is affirmed in the prayers known as Creeds. For saints are all of the people who are made holy by God, some with the formal title of Saint and others quite ordinary, just like you and me, people who simply become more Christlike by the way they live their lives. And whether they are alive in the world or among the faithful dead in heaven, they are our elder brothers and sisters in Christ. A great crowd who strengthen and encourage us in our spiritual journey of searching for God and seeking the way to heaven. To become part of that great cloud of witnesses in heaven, alongside all the faithful departed, already in heaven. A people that the Church gives thanks for on 2nd November each year in its Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed. A people who have gone before us into heaven and are now with God.

A prayer of people who want to become more holy: Day by day dear Lord, of thee three things we pray. To see you more clearly, to love you more dearly and to follow you more nearly, day by day. Amen

A prayer for the dead: Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let your perpetual light shone upon them. May the souls and those of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen

Closing prayer: May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen