22nd Sunday After Pentecost / 1st November 2020
ORDER OF SERVICE
You can click to expand or minimise the order of service below.
HYMN 1: For all the Saints who from their labours rest, Who thee by faith before the world confest,
For all the Saints who from their labours rest,
Who thee by faith before the world confest,
Thy name, O Jesu, be for ever blest.
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.
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.
From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
Through gates of pear streams in the countless host,
Singing to Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
BLESSED BE GOD: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
And blessed be his kingdom, now and forever. Amen
From Easter to Pentecost:
Allelulia. Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia
In Lent and other penitential occasions:
Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins;
His mercy endures for ever.
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray:
Almighty God, to whom all hearts be open, all desires known and from whom no secrets are hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
This prayer is omitted during Lent and Advent:
Glory to God in the highest, and peace to God’s people on earth. Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.
Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us.
THE COLLECT OF THE DAY
The Collect of the day:
The priest now says the Collect for the day:
Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
THE FIRST READING
After this I, John, looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, saying,
“Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, singing,
“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom
and thanksgiving and honour
and power and might
be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?” I said to him, “Sir, you are the one that knows.” Then he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
“For this reason they are before the throne of God,
and worship him day and night within his temple,
and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them.
They will hunger no more, and thirst no more;
the sun will not strike them,
nor any scorching heat;
for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd,
and he will guide them to springs of the water of life,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
After the Reading the reader says:
This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
The Psalm is now said by the congregation
1 I will bless the Lord at all times; *
his praise shall ever be in my mouth.
2 I will glory in the Lord; *
let the humble hear and rejoice.
3 Proclaim with me the greatness of the Lord; *
let us exalt his Name together.
4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me *
and delivered me out of all my terror.
5 Look upon him and be radiant, *
and let not your faces be ashamed.
6 I called in my affliction and the Lord heard me *
and saved me from all my troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encompasses those who fear him, *
and he will deliver them.
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good; *
happy are they who trust in him!
9 Fear the Lord, you that are his saints, *
for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The young lions lack and suffer hunger, *
but those who seek the Lord lack nothing that is good.
22 The Lord ransoms the life of his servants, *
and none will be punished who trust in him.
THE SECOND READING
1 John 3:1-3
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
After the Reading the reader says:
This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
All stand for the Gospel reading.
The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to:
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
After the Gospel reading
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
All Saints Day falls on November 1st and its origins go back certainly as far as the 8th century in Rome, but for purely practical reasons many Christians celebrate this important feast of the Church on the nearest Sunday. What a joy it is therefore actually to be able to keep the feast this year on its ‘proper’ date!
This is, in fact, a very personal feast to each and every one of us, because it is not really about all those ‘lights of the world in their several generations’ who already have their own individual commemorations in the calendar of the Church, such as the apostles and martyrs. Paul, in his letters to the various groups of Christian scattered around the shores of the Mediterranean, often referred to ‘the faithful’ as ‘the saints who are in Jerusalem’ or wherever, and that is a far older meaning to the word ‘saints’ than we have come to associate with it in more recent times.
A frequent misconception of ‘saints’ is that they were all to be found in the past, very many centuries ago – this most assuredly is not so!. Although Anglicans have tended to avoid such things, the Roman Catholic Church has continued to ascribe sainthood to people in every age, including our own. We have recently remembered the murder years ago of Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was martyred for his faith in El Salvador. Then of course there was Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II, to name but a couple more examples. Here in Thailand, had he been a Christian rather than a shining example of Buddhism, the late King Bhumibol would most certainly by now be fast-tracking it towards beatification and sainthood. His unstinting and selfless service to his people over 70 years on the throne, particularly the poorest, the most deprived and underprivileged members of society, as he spent so much of his time with the rural poor up in the north of the country in particular, looking for ways to make their life better, already makes him a worker of miracles – one of the classic requirements in any saint of the Church. So much of his time and energy were devoted to improving the lot of his people, using his considerable expertise as an engineer to instigate many thousands of projects, particularly in respect of water management, always putting forward the idea of a ‘sustainable economy’, building dams and water courses, and even devising a method of ‘seeding’ the clouds so as to cause rain to fall for the relief of drought!
At first sight then, todays gospel passage from the Sermon on Mount might seem a strange choice, but the qualities listed therein are assuredly characteristics desirable in a saint – ‘theirs is the Kingdom of God’!
All Saints Day then is about you and I. One definition of what constitutes a saint, which I have always liked, came about when a priest was talking to a group of children in church on this very subject. When asked what they imagined a saint was like, one child volunteered the idea that, being familiar with the stained glass windows which surrounded them at that very moment, said quite simply, “Saints are people who the light shines through!” Now I’m sure many of us can think back through our lives and recall people just like that, whom ‘the light shone through’ – I most certainly can and , thank God, continue so to do. There have been countless thousands of people through the ages like that, whose virtues were never recognised by ‘the powers-that-be’, and so it is essentially them, and us, that today is all about.
Another useful definition of a saint, which gives all of us grounds for optimism, is, according to St. Augustine, “Saints are sinners who never stopped trying!” It would be nice to think, and hopefully not to fanciful, to see ourselves in that category, and therefore on our own road to ultimate sainthood. As I have observed previously, it is simply not possible to think that people like the late King Bhumibol cannot attain salvation merely because they weren’t Christians. Remember the words of Jesus, “In my Father’s house are many mansions – were it not so I should have told you!” By Thai Buddhist and Hindu tradition the Late King ascended to heaven from the top of Mount Meru as the smoke rose from the crematorium, which it represents, and I for one have not the slightest doubt that he is now reunited with the Lord Buddha and all the faithful departed in the nearer presence of Our Lord.
That brings us neatly to the flip side of today’s feast, followed as it is on November 2nd by All Souls Day, when by tradition we pray for the repose of the souls of all the Faithful Departed who may well not yet have attained the heavenly portals, with particular reference to our own families and friends. I used particularly to enjoy this in St. John’s Cathedral in Hong Kong, where one entered the names of all those you wished to be remembered at the altar on special slips of paper. These were read out during the intercessions, and all the papers were then placed in a brazier and ignited, with the addition of liberal quantities of incense to take away the very unpleasant odour of the acrid smoke. The Psalmist said, ‘Let my prayer rise up as the incense’, and this always struck me as a most meaningful way to commend to the mercy of God the Souls of all the Faithful Departed. I’m sure I was not alone in being reminded of that in the momentous events here in Thailand with the passing of King Bhumibol. Nobody could possibly have begun the journey into heaven with the support and prayers of so many countless tens of thousands of grateful and sorrowing citizens, mourning the loss of ‘their Father’. In all probability there has never been a greater earthly monarch in the entire span of history than King Bhumibol, a shy and modest man who lived always a simple lifestyle and was never more at ease than when with ‘his people’. How he hated the public, ceremonial occasions, when he looked distinctly ill-at-ease, and almost certainly was terrified at the whole prospect!
“Seeing we are encompassed by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race which is set before us” – so wrote St. Paul in his Epistle to the Hebrews. This is never more relevant than at this All Saints/All Souls tide, when we are surrounded by the prayers of all the heavenly host, urging us to keep the faith and not to become in the least discouraged, holding before us the example of their lives, as the Thai people have in King Bhumibol. We are each and every one of us ‘called to be saints’, and when I was preparing for my ordination three years ago, was particularly reminded of the need to pray, not for tasks equal to our strength, but rather for strength equal to our tasks. As Christians we have so much support in the Word of God in scripture, the sacramental food which we receive week by week in Holy Communion, and furthermore, the prayers of all those who have gone before us into God’s nearer presence.
As so often, the hymnody says it all, and expresses things far more eloquently than most of us could do so for ourselves. It is far too easy and tempting to let the words we sing merely trip off our tongues and give them not another moment’s thought, but it behoves each and every one of us to take a moment to look again at today’s texts, and see what new insight we might gain into the mysteries of God’s kingdom, to which we pray that in our turn we shall indeed be found worthy to inherit. Amen.
THE NICENE CREED
Please stand for the Nicene Creed.
Let us together affirm the faith of the Church.
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary,
and became truly human.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Let us pray for the world and for the Church:
Prayers of intercession are now said and at the end of each prayer the priest says:
Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.
Lord hear us,
Lord graciously hear us
At the conclusion of the prayers the priest says:
Almighty God, who has promised to hear our prayers.
Grant that what we have asked in faith we may by your grace receive, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Jesus said: Come to me all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
God is steadfast in love and infinite in mercy, welcoming sinners and inviting them to the Lord’s table.
Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith, confident in God’s forgiveness.
Merciful God, our maker and our judge, we have sinned against you in thought, word and deed, and in what we have failed to do: we have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves; we repent and are sorry for all our sins, Father forgive us, strengthen us to love and obey you in newness of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Almighty God, who has promised forgiveness to all who turn to him in faith, pardon you and set you free from all your sins, strengthen you in all goodness and keep you in eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The congregation stands.
We are the Body of Christ.
His Spirit is with us.
The peace of the Lord be always with you.
And also with you.
Please greet each other with a sign of peace.
HYMN 2: For all thy saints, O Lord, Who strove in thee to live.
For all thy saints, O Lord,
Who strove in thee to live.
Who followed thee, obeyed, adored,
Our grateful hymn receive.
For all thy saints, O Lord,
Who strove in thee to die,
Who counted thee their great reward,
Accept our thankful cry.
O Lord, thy name we bless,
And humbly pray that we
May follow them in holiness
Who lived and died in thee.
Thine earthly members fit
To join thy saints above,
In one communion ever knit,
One fellowship of love.
All praise to thee, O Lord,
The Father and the Son
And Holy Spirit, God adored
While endless ages run. Amen
Blessed are you, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have these gifts to share. Accept and use our offerings for your glory and the service of your kingdom.
Blessed be God forever.
Let us pray
We do not presume to come to your table, merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in your manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under your table, but you are the same Lord whose nature is always to have mercy. Grant us, therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of your dear son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that we may evermore dwell in him and he in us. Amen.
EUCHARISTIC PRAYER C
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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.
Father, we give you thanks and praise through your beloved Son Jesus Christ, your living Word, through whom you have created all things; who was sent by you in your great goodness to be our Saviour.
By the power of the Holy Spirit he took flesh; as your Son, born of the blessed Virgin, he lived on earth and went about among us; he opened wide his arms for us on the cross; he put an end to death by dying for us; and revealed the resurrection by rising to new life; so he fulfilled your will and won for you a holy people.
Therefore with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we proclaim your great and glorious name, for ever praising you and saying:
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.
Lord, you are holy indeed, the source of all holiness; grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit, and according to your holy will, these gifts of bread and wine may be to us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ; who, in the same night that he was betrayed, took bread and gave you thanks; he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me.
In the same way, after supper he took the cup and gave you thanks; he gave it to them, saying: Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it,
in remembrance of me.
Great is the mystery of faith:
Christ has died:
Christ is risen:
Christ will come again.
And so, Father, calling to mind his death on the cross, his perfect sacrifice, made once for the sins of the whole world; rejoicing in his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension, and looking for his coming in glory, we celebrate this memorial of our redemption.
As we offer you this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, we bring before you this bread and this cup and we thank you for counting us worthy to stand in your presence and serve you. Send the Holy Spirit on your people and gather into one in your kingdom all who share this one bread and one cup, so that we, in the company of [N and] all the saints, may praise and glorify you for ever, through Jesus Christ our Lord; by whom, and with whom, and in whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honour and glory be yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever.
Let us pray with confidence to the Father, as our Saviour has taught us:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
O Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
O Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
O Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace.
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.
This is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world;
Happy are those who are called to his supper.
Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.
After Communion the celebrant and the congregation say
Let us pray.
Father of all we give you thanks and praise that when we were still far off you met us in your Son and brought us home. Dying and living, he declared your love, gave us grace, and opened the gate of glory. May we who share Christ’s body live his risen life; we who drink his cup bring life to others; we whom the Spirit lights give light to the world.
Keep us in this hope that we have grasped; so we and all your children shall be free, and the whole earth live to praise your name.
Father, we offer ourselves to you as a living sacrifice through Jesus Christ our Lord. Send us out in the power of your Spirit to live and work to your praise and glory.
The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord: and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be amongst you and remain with you always.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.
HYMN 3: The Church triumphant in thy love, Their mighty joys we know;
The Church triumphant in thy love,
Their mighty joys we know;
They sing the Lamb in hymns above,
And we in hymns below.
Thee in thy glorious realm they praise,
And bow before thy throne;
We in the kingdom of thy grace:
The kingdoms are but one.
The holy to the holiest leads,
From hence our spirits rise,
And he that in thy statutes treads
Shall meet thee in the skies.
NOTE: The introductory music is ‘Vivace’ (from Voluntary in C minor) – Maurice Greene.
Here is the music for this week’s hymns, if you would like to practice beforehand.
Performed by Fr. David Price