Dear Friends in Christ,
This Sunday, Nov. 1 we celebrate All Saints Day. I did a little research and discovered that this is a very old tradition in the church. It began with the Catholic Church and has been somewhat altered, but continued in Protestant churches today.
All Saints’ Day, also called All Hallows’ Day, Hallowmas, or Feast of All Saints, in the Christian church, a day commemorating all the saints of the church, both known and unknown, who have attained heaven. It is celebrated on November 1 in the Western churches and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in the Eastern churches. In Roman Catholicism, the feast is usually a holy day of obligation.
The origin of All Saints’ Day cannot be traced with certainty, and it has been observed on various days in different places. A feast of all martyrs was kept on May 13 in the Eastern church according to Ephraem Syrus (died c. 373), which may have determined the choice of May 13 by Pope Boniface IV when he dedicated the Pantheon in Rome as a church in honour of the Blessed Virgin and all martyrs in 609. The first evidence for the November 1 date of celebration and of the broadening of the festival to include all saints as well as all martyrs occurred during the reign of Pope Gregory III (731–741), who dedicated a chapel in St. Peter’s, Rome, on November 1 in honour of all saints. In 800 All Saints’ Day was kept by Alcuin on November 1, and it also appeared in a 9th-century English calendar on that day. In 837 Pope Gregory IV ordered its general observance. In medieval England the festival was known as All Hallows, and its eve is still known as Halloween. The period from October 31 to November 2 (All Souls’ Day) is sometimes known as Allhallowtide.
This will be included in our service at Grace on Nov.1. Here are the lyrics so you can sing it at home. It has a wonderful melody and fun walking bass in the accompaniment.
Here is a choir and congregation to sing with:
1. For all the saints who from their labors rest,
who thee by faith before the world confessed,
thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
2 Thou wast their rock, their fortress, and their might;
thou, Lord, their captain in the well-fought fight;
thou, in the darkness drear, their one true light.
3 O may thy soldiers, faithful, true, and bold,
fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
and win with them the victor's crown of gold.
4 O blest communion, fellowship divine,
we feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
yet all are one in thee, for all are thine.
5 And when the fight is fierce, the warfare long,
steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
and hearts are brave again, and arms are strong.
6 The golden evening brightens in the west;
soon, soon to faithful warrior cometh rest;
sweet is the calm of paradise the blest.
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.
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,
Source: Trinity Psalter Hymnal #408
In His Service,