All Souls Day
For all the saints who from their labours rest,
who thee by faith before the world confessed,
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, still 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.
O blest communion, fellowship divine!
we feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
Yet all are one in thee, for all are thine.
And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
steals on the ear the distant triumph-song,
and hearts are brave again and arms are strong.
The golden evening brightens in the west;
soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest:
sweet is the calm of Paradise the blest.
But lo, there breaks a yet more glorious day;
the saints triumphant rise in bright array:
the King of Glory passes on his way.
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
In the name of Christ, who died and was raised by the glory of
God the Father: grace, mercy and peace be with you.
And also with you.
We have gathered here tonight to remember and give thanks
for those we have loved and who have died.
To hold them before God.
And to hold before God the love and the pain their loss brings.
We pray for each other here this evening:
For those who know what it is like to lose someone close...
For those who care for and support the bereaved...
And for family and friends not with ua but grieving non the less.
Heavenly father, through your holy spirit
draw close to each of us
and minister your peace and healing,
that we may have hope for the future
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Life has many mysteries.
We do not have all the answers.
Jesus told us he was going ahead to prepare a place for us.
Let us live as people of hope and expectation.
There is a land of pure delight,
where saints immortal reign;
infinite day excludes the night,
and pleasures banish pain.
There everlasting spring abides,
and never-withering flowers;
death, like a narrow sea, divides
that heavenly land from ours.
Sweet fields beyond the swelling flood
stand dressed in living green;
so to the Jews old Canaan stood,
while Jordan rolled between.
But timorous mortals start and shrink
to cross the narrow sea,
and linger shivering on the brink,
and fear to launch away.
O could we make our doubts remove,
those gloomy doubts that rise,
and see the Canaan that we love
with unbeclouded eyes;
Could we but climb where Moses stood,
and view the landscape o'er,
not Jordan's stream, nor death's cold flood,
should fright us from the shore!
Father in heaven,
we thank you that you made us in your own image
and gave us gifts in body,... mind... and spirit.
We thank you now for our loved ones
and what they meant to each of us.
As we honour their memory
make us more aware that you are the one
from whom comes every perfect gift,
including the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ.
A reading from the book of Wisdom 3.1-5,9
The souls of those who have pleased God are safe in his hands and protected from pain.
Only in the minds of the foolish are those people dead and their death considered a disaster, or a destruction.
In fact, they are at peace and destined never to die, though others may have thought they were being punished.
They will be richly rewarded, because God tested them for a while and found them worthy of being his children.
All of God's faithful people will understand truth and live with him in love, because God is kind and merciful to those he chooses to be his holy people.
The Lord's my Shepherd, I'll not want;
he makes me down to lie
in pastures green; he leadeth me
the quiet waters by.
My soul he doth restore again,
and me to walk doth make
within the paths of righteousness,
e'en for his own name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through death's dark vale,
yet will I fear none ill;
for thou art with me, and thy rod
and staff me comfort still.
My table thou hast furnishéd
in presence of my foes;
my head thou dost with oil anoint,
and my cup overflows.
Goodness and mercy all my life
shall surely follow me;
and in God's house for evermore
my dwelling-place shall be.
We thank you that you sent your Son Jesus Christ
to die for us and rise again.
His cross declares your love to be without limit;
his resurrection, that death our last enemy is doomed.
By his victory we are assured of the promise
that you will never leave us or forsake us;
That neither death nor life,
nor things present nor things to come,
can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Let us pray that we will understand the gospel message, take it into our hearts and rejoice in the wonderful freedom and new life that awaits us after we die. Free from illness, disability and pain. Washed in the light of love.
Jesus, our way and truth and life,
you drew your disciple Thomas from doubt to faith:
reveal the resurrection faith to the doubting and the lost.
God, we want to believe.
Help our unbelief.
God, we feel the pain of loss and separation.
Help us heal that pain.
God, we want so much for our loved ones to return and tell us that all is well.
Help us to believe the message of hope that Jesus gave us.
God we thank you for all we were given by those who have died.
Let us journey on with those memories and use them well in our lives.
God, we pray we will live our lives as if each day was a precious gift.
May we know that at our end we shall be with united with those we have loved and who have left us.
Hear us, O merciful Father;
as we remember in love
those whom we have placed in your hands.
Acknowledge, we pray, the sheep of your own fold,
lambs of your own flock,
sinners of your own redeeming.
Enfold them in the arms of your mercy,
in the blessed rest of everlasting peace,
and in the glorious company of the saints in light. Amen
WE REMEMBER THE DEPARTED
The names of the departed are read out.
we bless you that in bearing your image
our loved ones have brought light to our lives
for we have seen:
in their friendship reflections of your compassion
in their integrity demonstrations of your goodness
in their faithfulness glimpses of your eternal love.
Grant to each of us, beloved and bereft,
the grace to follow their good example
so that we with them
may come to your everlasting kingdom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who died and rose again
and open the gate of glory,
to whom be praise for all eternity.
Let us spend a few moments in silence
to remember our dearly departed.
Perhaps there is something
that you would have liked to have said to them:
something you would like to say sorry for,
or perhaps you would just like to say thank you
for what they gave to you during their life.
So in the quiet of your heart
offer up your own prayers to God.
CANDLES OF REMEMBRANCE
Jesus is the light of the world.
Whoever follows Jesus will not walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.
Jesus rose from the dead to bring God’s new life.
Light in the midst of darkness
Life in the midst of death.
We often find it difficult to let go of our loved ones and leave them in God’s keeping. Let our candles be a sign of God’s love for all our loved ones, demonstrating your faith that all who trust in the risen Christ are safe in God’s keeping.
Grief is not forever, but Love is....
Death is not the extinguishing of the light, but the putting out of the lamp because dawn has come.