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Holy Communion For All Saints

Updated: Oct 31, 2020

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We meet in the name of the Father,

and of the Son,

and of the Holy Spirit.


Since we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses,

let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely,

looking to Jesus in penitence and faith.

Hebrews 12.1

Lord, you are gracious and compassionate:

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

You are loving to all

and your mercy is over all your creation:

Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Your faithful servants bless your name

and speak of the glory of your kingdom:

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Almighty God,

who forgives all who truly repent,

have mercy upon you,

pardon and deliver you from all your sins,

confirm and strengthen you in all goodness,

and keep you in life eternal;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.


The Collect

God of holiness,

your glory is proclaimed in every age:

as we rejoice in the faith of your saints,

inspire us to follow their example

with boldness and joy;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

New Testament Reading: Rev 7:9-17 read by Anthony

After this I looked, and there was an enormous crowd—no one could count all the people!

They were from every race, tribe, nation, and language, and they stood in front of the throne and of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.

10 They called out in a loud voice:

“Salvation comes from our God, who sits on the throne, and from the Lamb!”

11 All the angels stood around the throne, the elders, and the four living creatures. Then they threw themselves face downward in front of the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying,

“Amen! Praise, glory, wisdom, thanksgiving, honour, power, and might belong to our God forever and ever! Amen!”

13 One of the elders asked me, “Who are these people dressed in white robes, and where do they come from?”

14 “I don't know, sir. You do,” I answered.

He said to me,

“These are the people who have come safely through the terrible persecution. They have washed their robes and made them white with the blood of the Lamb. 15 That is why they stand before God's throne and serve him day and night in his temple. He who sits on the throne will protect them with his presence. 16 Never again will they hunger or thirst; neither sun nor any scorching heat will burn them, 17 because the Lamb, who is in the centre of the throne, will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of life-giving water.

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:1-12 read by Margaret

The Sermon on the Mount

5 Jesus saw the crowds and went up a hill, where he sat down. His disciples gathered around him, 2 and he began to teach them:

True Happiness

3 “Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor; the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them! 4 “Happy are those who mourn; God will comfort them! 5 “Happy are those who are humble; they will receive what God has promised! 6 “Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires; God will satisfy them fully! 7 “Happy are those who are merciful to others; God will be merciful to them! 8 “Happy are the pure in heart; they will see God! 9 “Happy are those who work for peace; God will call them his children! 10 “Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires; the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them!

11 “Happy are you when people insult you and persecute you and tell all kinds of evil lies against you because you are my followers. 12 Be happy and glad, for a great reward is kept for you in heaven. This is how the prophets who lived before you were persecuted.

Sermon by Buff

This is All Saints’ Day.

It’s a celebration of those who have died in faith and gone before us to heaven, and a day to reflect on what being a saint really means.

Where are all the saints?

If we start in the Revelation reading, we have a description of heaven. Revelation should be read with caution. It needs a health warning. But it’s like a cartoon or parody or satire. We’re supposed to be shocked, find weird pictures taking root in our imaginations. It’s the kind of writing that looks beyond the surface of everything we can see and feel here and now, and tells us the truths behind it all.

However, our reading today is more straight forward – it gives us an idea of what heaven is like. All the saints are in heaven. After death, they are with God; worshipping and praising him.

Who are all the saints?

What’s it like to be one of all the saints?

We might wonder what heaven is like. The picture here is about wearing white robes, waving palm branches and singing. I don’t think we need to worry that we don’t like the sound of that, we’d rather do other things for eternity. The white robes tell us that our sins are wiped out- white robes means the people who are in heaven are pure. The waving palms and singing is about worship- and again it’s not like that’s the only thing people do to worship. It’s a picture, a symbol that tells us worship goes on. Maybe we’d like to imagine what it would be like to be permanently in tune with God. Communicating with God without a barrier- seeing God for who he is. That’s worship. We might then do all sorts of other things but with that attitude – the attitude of worship!

There are some specific things about heaven. Mainly what’s not there.

Never again will they hunger or thirst; neither sun nor any scorching heat will burn them, 17 because the Lamb, who is in the centre of the throne, will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of life-giving water.

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

We don’t understand the details of what we will do in heaven but we do know what won’t be there. No more hunger or thirst; no more physical need; no more physical danger.

And that wonderful sentence- And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

I think that means – God will make it up to us. Those who have suffered for whatever reason in this life, it will be made right in heaven, personally, by God himself.

So far so good- we look forward to heaven.

But we’re not there yet.

What about being a saint here and now?

Just to be clear, although we recognise some people as particular “Saints” for doing heroic things or being extraordinary people in how they’ve served God and other people, the saints in the bible are those people who follow God. So that’s all of us here.

And the beatitudes- (the list of attitudes that we heard in our gospel reading) is one of the ways that marks out a saint.

Our reading called people happy but we might call them blessed or close to God. It’s not that we’re happy (for instance) when we mourn but we can find that God is close to us- even when we’re in grief because that’s possible for someone who follows God. Saints find comfort in grief.

And those who are humble or spiritually poor – that’s those who know they’re less than perfect- they belong to God!

Those who strive to do right (hunger and thirst after righteousness), will be satisfied. It’s a wonderful thing to find satisfaction, purpose and meaning in life. Saints find this!

And those who are kind or merciful will find that that’s how God sees them.

Peacemakers are prized by God!

And finally, if we are treated unfairly or opposed because of how we follow God, then, we rejoice. We joined in with the saints up and down the ages who have been treated in the same way.

But what different does all this make to us today?

What difference does all the talk of heaven mean for us?

Firstly, there are people here and in our communities who are grieving; who are frightened of death or losing someone they love.

It’s always been like that but the fear is much worse and closer to home with COVID.

The wild picture of heaven in Revelation is to comfort us. Heaven is real. We can join in because for what Jesus has done for us (rather than trying to reach there by our own actions).

Every type of person is welcomed.

There is an end to suffering.

God will make it up to us.

When we are frightened of death, we’re reminded that heaven is real.

In many places online today there are services we can join to remember those who have died. The cathedral has a special service at 4 pm. There’s a diocesan service too.

God comforts us in our grief. He is there with us. And he gives us hope.

And we can all be saints now. Not religious, caped superheroes but ordinary people following our extraordinary God.

And again in this weird time, we may well be struggling ourselves.

The beatitudes remind us that God is with those who mourn; those who feel that they are poor in spirit, those who are struggling to do the right thing.

There is help for us too, especially with our mental health.

I’ve started to post a series of podcasts from the Church of England about supporting our mental health. Just 5 mins a day- particularly focussed on things that can help us in this time.

We still able to meet (not socially) but for specific support so we can do the LIFE course together.

So we look forward to heaven and seeing again those whom we have lobed and lost, we can also find that God is with us here in the nitty gritty of life. We are saints together.

The Creed

Do you believe and trust in God the Father?

We believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.

Do you believe and trust in his Son Jesus Christ?

We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died, and was buried;

he descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again;

he ascended into heaven,

he is seated at the right hand of the Father,

and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

Do you believe and trust in the Holy Spirit?

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting.


Our prayers lead by Jennie

Merciful Father

accept these prayers

for the sake of your Son

Our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

The Peace

The peace of the Lord be always with you

and also with you.

Let us offer one another a sign of peace.

Song: Guide me O thou Great Redeemer

Holy Communion

The Lord be with you

and also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give thanks and praise.

Almighty God, good Father to us all,

your face is turned towards your world.

In love you gave us Jesus your Son

to rescue us from sin and death.

Your Word goes out to call us home

to the city where angels sing your praise.

We join with them in heaven's song

Holy, holy, holy Lord,

God of power and might

Heaven and earth are full of your glory

Hosanna in the highest

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord

Hosanna in the highest

Father of all, we give you thanks

for every gift that comes from heaven.

To the darkness Jesus came as your light.

With signs of faith and words of hope

he touched untouchables with love and washed the guilty clean.

This is his story.

This is our song:

Hosanna in the highest.

The crowds came out to see your Son,

yet at the end they turned on him.

On the night he was betrayed

he came to table with his friends

to celebrate the freedom of your people.

This is his story.

This is our song:

Hosanna in the highest.

Jesus blessed you, Father, for the food;

he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and said:

This is my body, given for you all.

Jesus then gave thanks for the wine;

he took the cup, gave it and said:

This is my blood, shed for you all

for the forgiveness of sins.

Do this in remembrance of me.

This is our story.

This is our song:

Hosanna in the highest.

Therefore, Father, with this bread and this cup

we celebrate the cross

on which he died to set us free.

Defying death he rose again

and is alive with you to plead for us and all the world.

This is our story.

This is our song:

Hosanna in the highest.

Send your Spirit on us now

that by these gifts we may feed on Christ

with opened eyes and hearts on fire.

May we and all who share this food

offer ourselves to live for you

and be welcomed at your feast in heaven

where all creation worships you,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit:

Blessing and honour and glory and power

be yours for ever and ever. Amen.

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours

now and for ever.


We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.

Though we are many we are one body because we all share in one bread.

Jesus, Lamb of God

have mercy on us.

Jesus bearer of our sins,

have mercy on us.

Jesus, redeemer of the world,

grant us peace.

Draw near with faith.

Receive the body of our Lord Jesus Christ

which he gave for you,

and his blood which he shed for you.

Eat and drink

in remembrance that he died for you,

and feed on him in your hearts

by faith with thanksgiving.

Song during Communion

Prayer of Spiritual Communion

Thanks be to you, Lord Jesus Christ,

for all the benefits you have given me,

for all the pains and insults you have borne for me.

Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,

I ask you to come spiritually into my heart.

O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother,

may I know you more clearly,

love you more dearly,

and follow you more nearly, day by day. Amen

The Blessing

May God,

who kindled the fire of his love in the hearts of the saints,

pour upon you the riches of his grace.


May he give you joy in their fellowship

and a share in their praises.


May he strengthen you to follow them in the way of holiness

and to come to the full radiance of glory.


And the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always.


Songs: O when the Saints go marching in




The Dismissal

Following God’s saints in the ways of holiness and truth,

go in the peace of Christ.

Thanks be to God.


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