Weekly Worship Material for 01.11.2020

All Saints Sunday 1st November 2020 prepared by Rev’d Kim Shorley

This service has a meditative feel to it and if able please have to hand a candle and something to light it with

Call to worship

By day and by night around the throne they sing: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty: Who was, and is, and is to come.

 

Singing the Faith 11

1 Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty!

Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee:

holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty,

God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity!

 

2 Holy, holy, holy!  All the saints adore thee,

casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;

cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,

who wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.

 

3 Holy, holy, holy!  Though the darkness hide thee,

though the sinful human eye thy glory may not see,

only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,

perfect in power, in love, and purity.

 

4 Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty!

All thy works shall praise thy name in earth and sky and sea;

holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty,

God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity!

Reginald Heber (1783–1826)  (alt.)

 

Revelation 7: 9-17

The Multitude from Every Nation

9 After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. 10They cried out in a loud voice, saying,

‘Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!’

11And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, 12singing,

‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom

and thanksgiving and honour

and power and might

be to our God for ever and ever! Amen.’

13 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, ‘Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?’ 14I said to him, ‘Sir, you are the one that knows.’ Then he said to me, ‘These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

15 For this reason they are before the throne of God,

   and worship him day and night within his temple,

   and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them.

16 They will hunger no more, and thirst no more;

   the sun will not strike them,

   nor any scorching heat;

17 for the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd,

   and he will guide them to springs of the water of life,

and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’

 

Prayer of Adoration

For the blessings of the saints who have preached your word from generation to generation,

and then within our hearts found such fertile ground.

For these, your saints

Bless their faithfulness.

For the blessings of your saints who have shown your love from generation to generation,

until it touched our hearts, warmed and softened them.

For these, your saints

Bless their faithfulness.

For the blessings of your saints who have shared your grace from generation to generation,

until it filled our hearts, changed and transformed them.

For these, your saints

Bless their faithfulness.

Prayer of Confession

As individuals and as a community we hold before God our regrets and our failings of the past week

Silence

Most merciful God, we confess to you before the whole company of heaven that we have sinned in thought, word and deed, and in what we have failed to do.

Forgive us our sin.  

Renew us, refresh us and help us rebuild our lives so that they are reflections of your love for all people. Amen

Salvation belongs to our God.  Our sins are forgiven.

Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honour and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen. 

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Your saints are not always visible; 

they work in the background, encouraging;

they work in the night-time, praying;

they work on the front line, directing;

they work with the suffering, healing;

they work in the war zone, peace-making;

they work in the day-time, helping.

 

Your saints are not always visible,

but they are still your saints,

for which we thank you, Lord.

And now we give you thanks for all your saints who heard your call to holiness and obeyed the heavenly vision.

We rejoice in their company with us on our pilgrimage.

 

Singing the Faith 745 (vs1, 4, 6-8)  

1 For all the saints who from their   

  labours rest,

who thee by faith before the world confessed,

thy name, O Jesus, be for ever blest:

Alleluia, alleluia!

 

4 O blest communion, fellowship divine!

We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;

yet all are one in thee, for all are thine:

Alleluia, alleluia!

 

6 The golden evening brightens in the west;

soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest;

sweet is the calm of paradise the blest: Alleluia, alleluia!

 

7 But lo, there breaks a yet more glorious day:

the saints triumphant rise in bright array;

the King of Glory passes on his way!

Alleluia, alleluia!

 

8 From earth's wide bounds, from ocean's farthest coast,

through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,

singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost:

Alleluia, alleluia!

William Walsham How (1823–1867)

 

Holy God, you have called witnesses from every nation and revealed your glory in their lives.

Grant to us the same faith and love that, following their example, we may be sustained by their fellowship and rejoice in their triumph; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

 

Matthew 5:1-12 Our reading is taken from ‘The Book of Books’ by Trevor Dennis (published during his time as Vice Dean at Chester Cathedral.)  He writes in his introduction “The retellings in this book are rather different from what you would normally read if you turned to an ordinary translation of the Bible.  They aim to give you a sense of the style of each story in the original languages – sometimes poetic, sometimes funny, sometimes formal and solemn.  They try also to give an idea of what lies behind each story or poem, and show things which those who first heard them long ago would have picked up, but which are difficult for us to catch.”

The Beatitudes

‘It will be will with those who depend entirely on God, 

who have nobody else to turn to, 

for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.

It will be will with those who mourn, 

for they will be comforted.

It will be will with those who are humble, 

for they will inherit the earth.

It will be will with those who hunger and thirst for justice, 

for they will be filled.

It will be will with those who show mercy, 

for they will receive mercy.

It will be will with those who yearn for God above all else, 

for they shall indeed see God.

It will be will with those who make peace, 

for they shall be called the children of God.

It will be will with those who are persecuted 

just because they seek what is just and right, 

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’

 

Meditation: (with thanks to Beth Merrill Neel for the original idea)

So, there they were: It was one of those inelegant moments of dripping noses and red raw eyes, but it was a real moment, one of many that took place in this room.  They took a breath so as to go on, only to see a friend arrive and then another, and then another, and before you knew it, they were all here, gathering around, sitting and sobbing.  

If any of them had been in their right mind, they would have rustled up some tea and biscuits, or pinched the chocolates from the kid’s treat box; but no, they were celebrating the sacrament of tissues and tears, and nothing else was needed. 

The conversation was as ordinary as it could be.  They talked about little things, and huge things.  What plans were being made for the weekend, what will Christmas look like this year, how is your dad doing, how is the job hunt going.  It wasn’t that they were avoiding the elephant in the room, but they weren’t dissecting and classifying it either.

Saints do that, I suppose.  They come into unholy situations and by their love and light, make it, if not holy, then at least bearable with armour that looks like a favourite scarf and weapons that look more like ploughshares than swords.

Then they turned to prayer.  All of them.  It was An Important Prayer, and they did so want to get it right.  Except that one saint decided to snore quite loudly and rudely through the whole thing.  Someone giggled and stammered as they invoked the Creator, Holy God, Potentate of Time, Ineffably Sublime.  “From the sublime to the ridiculous” best categorized the prayer.  But it was real, as real as their friendship and as real as their love-soaked tissues.

At the end, it was words from a hymn that summed up their petitions.  “We pray for strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.”  

And all the saints said Amen.

May you too know the company of saints who gather around me, your kitchen table.

 

Singing the Faith 51  

1 Great is thy faithfulness, O God my 

Father,

there is no shadow of turning with thee;

thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not;

as thou hast been thou for ever wilt be:

Great is thy faithfulness!  Great is thy faithfulness!

Morning by morning new mercies I see;

all I have needed thy hand hath provided.

Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.

 

2 Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest, 

sun, moon and stars in their courses above, join with all nature in manifold witness

to thy great faithfulness, mercy and love:

Great is thy faithfulness!  

 

3 Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,

thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;

strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,

blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Great is thy faithfulness!  

Thomas O. Chisholm (1866–1960)

 

An Act of Reflection 

This time of year is marked by rituals of light and fire.  We seek to banish the darkness with flames and lamps, wrapping ourselves in warmth, keeping the shadows lit and the unknown visible.  

We light our candle

Our readings today describe the coming realm of God. How does the reality of knowing that you are a saint shape your life in prayer and in service?

 

A Pastoral Prayer for All Saints

I have lit a candle, Lord and in the stillness within its flame I glimpse your light.

I have lit a candle, Lord and in the stillness within its warmth I sense your love.

I have lit a candle, Lord and in the stillness within this moment I bring my prayer.

Living God, in whom there is no shadow or change, we thank you for the gift of life eternal,

and for all those who, having served you well, now rest from their labours.

We bring before you now those who have died and entered into glory.

 

(Names can be shared out loud/ or offered to God in silence)

 

We bless you for their life and love, and rejoice for them “all is well, and all manner of things will be well.”

God of Jesus and our God, mindful of all those choice souls who have gone on ahead of us,

teach us, and each twenty-first century disciple of every race and place, to follow their example to the best of our ability:

      to feed the poor in body or spirit,

      to support and comfort the mourners and the repentant,

      to encourage the meek and stand with them in crises,

      to affirm those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

      to cherish and learn from the merciful,    

      to be humbled by, and stand with, the peacemakers.

 

Let us clearly recognise what it means to be called the people of God, and to know we are to be your saints neither by our own inclination nor in our own strength but simply by the call and the healing holiness of Christ Jesus our Saviour. 

Amen!

Singing the Faith 413 (vs 1-2 & 4)

Send down the fire of your justice,

send down the rains of your love;

come, send down the Spirit,

breathe life in your people,

and make us the people of God.

 

1 Call us to be your compassion,

teach us the song of your love;

give us hearts that sing,

give us deeds that ring,

make us ring with the sound of your love.

Send down the fire of your justice,

 

2 Call us to learn of your mercy,

teach us the way of your peace;

give us hearts that feel,

give us hands that heal,

make us walk in the way of your peace.

Send down the fire of your justice,

 

4 Call us to witness your kingdom,

give us the presence of Christ;

may your holy light

keep us shining bright,

ever shine with the presence of Christ.

Send down the fire of your justice,

Marty Haugen (b. 1950) 

 

Blessing

May God give us grace to follow his saints in faith and hope and love; 

so that we, the saints of today may pass them onto the saints of tomorrow.  

The blessing of God the Father

and glory of Christ the Son 

and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit

be found among us and remain with us this day and all our days

Amen

 

Please be assured that we are still here if you need anything at all during this time.  

Circuit staff can be contacted by calling 01933 312778 for Rev Lesley Dinham / 01933 622137 for Rev Kim Shorley.  

Words for the hymns are re-produced from Singing the Faith Music Edition. CCLI reproduced under licence No. 1905000


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