All Saints' Day 2
People love the fall season, and they love Halloween!
Americans spend an estimated $6 billion annually on Halloween costumes, candy, and decorations, making it the country’s second-largest commercial holiday after Christmas.
Halloween comes from a Celtic term for All Hallows’ Eve, the evening before All Hallows’ Day (otherwise known as All Saints’ Day). As Christians, we are firm in our belief of resurrection as a daily practice, and Halloween is a time to delight in a faith that allows us to step close to what is scary or deathly and not succumb to the power of darkness.
All Saints’ Day is always November 1. It is a day to remember all the saints with a capital “S.” When All Saints’ falls on a weekday, it is celebrated the following Sunday – this year that’s November 6.
However, over time, people felt the need to distinguish between outstanding “Saints” and family members and friends, so they came up with the Commemoration of All Faithful Departed, appearing in the Book of Common Prayer in 1979. It is celebrated on November 2, as All Souls’ Day.
The All Saints’ service of Holy Communion for November 6 this year is meant to remind us of the power of life over death, and to honor those we love who have entered eternal life.
In the Service of Word and Prayer, we celebrate the communion of saints as we remember the dead, both in the wider Church universal and those of our local congregations. The names of persons in the congregation who have died during the past year may be solemnly read. We also pray that we may be counted among the company of the faithful in God’s eternal realm.
All Saints’ has wonderful hymnody, and typically we get to sing these hymns only one day a year. How about singing “Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones” instead of the Gloria this year? A quick Google of All Saints’ Hymns brings up the usual suspects. Go to https://www.liturgytools.net/2012/10/hymns-for-feast-of-all-saints.html for a few interesting suggestions.
The material provided below via the links can be adapted to your congregation’s needs. You change the names of the saints in the Eucharistic Prayer to include your church’s namesake, or saints you have recently preached about. You can also collect names of the departed either by email in the next week or so, or at the beginning of the service.