Today and tomorrow we remember all the dead, those in heaven and those still be on the way there: God alone knows where each soul is. Today’s feast celebrates the saints in heaven, holy men and women of every time and place: we hope some of our people are among them.
Alternative Opening Prayer (from the 1998 ICEL Missal)
All-holy God, you call your people to holiness.
As we keep the festival of your saints,
give us their meekness and poverty of spirit,
a thirst for righteousness, and purity of heart.
May we share with them the richness of your kingdom
and be clothed in the glory you bestow.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.
Introduction to the Scripture Readings
Apocalypse 7:2-4, 9-14 This was written to reassure Christians suffering during Nero’s persecution. Christians today are protected as they were.
1 John 3:1-3 St John assures us of God’s love and the hope for the future that comes with it.
Matthew 5:1-12 The Gospel lists the kinds of people to whom the kingdom of heaven already belongs.
Introduction (by the Presider) Let us bring our prayers to God, who created the earth and its fullness.
- For all the baptised — that they may enter the company of the saints (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For people of every nation — that they may work to rid this world of injustice (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For Christians suffering persecution today — that they may have courage (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For those whose lives are plagued by doubt and despair — that they may have God’s grace to help them (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For all the sick — that their friends who have reached heaven may encourage them (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For people who are lonely — that they may experience God close to them (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
The presider prays for the dead: For all who have gone before us in faith (especially N and N), that they may stand with the saints before the throne of the Lamb (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) God of heaven and earth, you reward those with clean hands and pure hearts: in our unworthiness we bring our prayers to you, through Christ our Lord.
PREFACE OF ALL SAINTS
It is truly right and just,
our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
holy Father, almighty and eternal God.
Today we keep the festival of your holy city,
the heavenly Jerusalem, our mother,
where around your throne
the saints, our brothers and sisters,
sing your praise for ever.
Their glory fills us with joy,
and through their communion with us in the Church
you give us inspiration and strength
as we press forward on our pilgrimage of faith.
In company with them and with all the angels
we cry out with a single voice
in praise of your glory: Holy holy holy Lord ….
SOLEMN BLESSING FOR ALL SAINTS
The priest may say the following invitation or similar words.
• Bow your heads for God’s blessing.
The priest says the solemn blessing with hands outstretched over the people.
• Today God’s holy Church rejoices
that her sons and daughters
have joined the company of heaven and are at peace.
May God, the glory and delight of all the saints,
bless and keep you through endless days.
• May God deliver you from present evils
through the prayers of the saints
and by their example of holy living
turn your thoughts to the service of God and neighbour.
• May you enter one day your true inheritance
and with all the saints live in the heavenly city.
• May the blessing of almighty God,
the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit,
come upon you and remain with you for ever.
SONGS AT MASS (Suggestions) For All The Saints; Christ be our Light; Come To Me All Who Labour…