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Intercessions for All Saints Day – Year B – 1 November 2015 – series 2

The River of Life circa 1805 William Blake 1757-1827 Bequeathed by W. Graham Robertson 1949 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N05887

The River of Life circa 1805 William Blake 1757-1827 Bequeathed by W. Graham Robertson 1949 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N05887. The River of Life flows from the throne of God to the Tree of Life (Book of Revelation).

The Collect

Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: grant us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living that we may come to those inexpressible joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,  Amen.

¶ The Liturgy of the Word

First Reading: Wisdom of Solomon 3.1-9

The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch them.In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died, and their departure was thought to be a disaster, and their going from us to be their destruction; but they are at peace. For though in the sight of others they were punished, their hope is full of immortality. Having been disciplined a little, they will receive great good, because God tested them and found them worthy of himself; like gold in the furnace he tried them, and like a sacrificial burnt-offering he accepted them. In the time of their visitation they will shine forth, and will run like sparks through the stubble. They will govern nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord will reign over them for ever. Those who trust in him will understand truth, and the faithful will abide with him in love, because grace and mercy are upon his holy ones, and he watches over his elect.

Psalm 24.1-6

Refrain: The Lord of hosts: he is the King of glory.

The earth is the Lord’s and all that fills it, * the compass of the world and all who dwell therein.
For he has founded it upon the seas * and set it firm upon the rivers of the deep.
‘Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord, * or who can rise up in his holy place?’
‘Those who have clean hands and a pure heart, * who have not lifted up their soul to an idol, nor sworn an oath to a lie;
‘They shall receive a blessing from the Lord, * a just reward from the God of their salvation.’
Such is the company of those who seek him, * of those who seek your face, O God of Jacob.

Refrain: The Lord of hosts: he is the King of glory.

O Lord of hosts,
purify our hearts
that the King of glory may come in,
your Son, Jesus our redeemer.

 

Second Reading: Revelation 21.1-6

I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.“

Alleluia, alleluia.
You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, God’s own people,
called out of darkness into his marvellous light.
Alleluia.

Gospel Reading: John 11.32-44

When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odour, for he has been there four days.” Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”


There is something very pleasing about the years in which All Saints Day falls on a Sunday: it is such a resounding reply to the secular misunderstanding of All Hallows Eve as Hallowe’en. I know today’s collect well, having said it many times over the years. But this morning my brain latched onto the word ‘knit’. I know the author did not mean it like this, but I now cannot get out of my head the image of God as a benevolent and beneficent Madame Defarge, knitting the names of every Christian into the longest scarf in the universe, the Body of Christ and the River of Life.

 

Prayers of Intercession

Let us pray to God, whose saints have witnessed to His glory.

¶The Church of Christ

Lord, we are impatient in everything to do with your Church to reach our goal without delay, with no intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new. We know that no progress can come without  passing through stages of instability, and that this may take a very long time. And we have faith that your hand is leading us. Teach us to accept the anxiety of feeling ourselves suspended over a chasm between the past and the future.*

Lord, may we too drink from the water of life: in your mercy, hear our prayer

 

¶Creation, human society, the Sovereign and those in authority

Lord, throughout the ages you have raised up a great cloud of witnesses from all nations and from all tongues. May we in our generation be strengthened by their example, and may their inspiration reach beyond the shores of Christendom to illumine the hearts of all who dwell on this earth, particularly those in government and who have power over others.

Lord, may we too drink from the water of life: in your mercy, hear our prayer

 

¶The local community

Lord, teach us once again to recognise the divine spark in each other, for there are so many ways of serving you to bring about your kingdom on earth. We thank you for those without number who have followed you through the centuries of earthly change down to the present day. Help us, too, to leave behind our egos and to follow you all our days.

Lord, may we too drink from the water of life: in your mercy, hear our prayer

 

¶Those who suffer

Lord, we pray for all those whose lives show signs of real heroism amongst all the troubles that humankind is heir to. May the weak know your strength, and the troubled know your peace. May the fearful be filled with your love and find courage. May the lonely find solace in companionship with you.   May those who can feel only their pain be comforted by your presence. And may all those in need be enfolded in your love.

Lord, may we too drink from the water of life: in your mercy, hear our prayer

 

¶The communion of saints

Lord, grant to the faithful departed a share in the inheritance of the saints…..

As we offer our prayers for them, may we too be brought at the last to the same blessed communion of saints in heaven.

 

Merciful Father, accept these prayers….

* Based on a prayer by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.

Prayer after Communion

God, the source of all holiness and giver of all good things:
may we who have shared at this table
as strangers and pilgrims here on earth
be welcomed with all your saints
to the heavenly feast on the day of your kingdom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above): Some material included in this service is copyright: © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Pub. Hodder & Stoughton Invitation to Confession (All Saints’ Day) © 1988 Continuum (Mowbray) (Adapted) Wisdom of Solomon 3.1-9 © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA Some material included in this service is copyright: © The Archbishops’ Council 2000 Intro to Peace (All Saints; Peter & Paul; Aposts & Evangelists) © The Archbishops’ Council Collect (All Saints’ Day) © The Crown/Cambridge University Press: The Book of Common Prayer (1662)

2 comments on this post:

Joyce Hackney said...
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Laura, I couldn’t shift from my mind the image you projected until I’d checked the Greek in Rev Ch 5 vs 1- 6. I now love the idea of The Almighty Ultimate Time-Lord with an evergrowing multi-coloured scarf. The verses do not say when the Biblion (aka ‘scroll’ ) was sealed. I see no reason it had to be of parchment. Wool would be much more convenient. It was certainly known in John’s time and although lilies of the field do not spin, angels might do so for all we know. The writing on both sides represents perhaps stocking-stitch ( knit a row, purl a row ) so the patterns are different.

29 October 2015 14:02
Lay Anglicana said...
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My mind’s eye version is now gathering wings, thanks to you, Joyce 🙂

31 October 2015 13:52

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