United Church of Christ

All Saints Day - November 1



Music using this liturgy online you will want to use only music in the public domain, or with the permission of the composer, unless you have a streaming license, with a provider like OneLicense.net.

If you are conducting worship on Zoom or a similar interactive meeting platform, it will work better if only the speaker is heard and everyone else is muted as there is a delay and potential feedback issues.

If you include Holy Communion you may want to encourage your congregation to gather Communion elements at home. Here is an adaptation of such an invitation: Please prepare some bread, a slice or a small loaf of any kind of bread or cracker. In some parts of the world tortilla, rice cake, or cassava are used as this element which is defined not as a wheat product but as the most common food of the people. Let it be something you alone or you with others in your house may break and share. Prepare a cup or cups of juice — perhaps grape or cranberry — or wine, with or without alcohol. Remember, in John's gospel, Jesus' first miracle was to turn water into wine. If all you have is a glass of water, it's enough.

Set these elements in the living room or kitchen wherever you experience worship electronically with our faith community. Perhaps you want to put them on a lovely cloth or fabric that reminds you of a special time or a person deeply connected with you in the communion of saints. Perhaps you will light a candle or place beside the bread and the cup, a flower, plant or the photograph of someone you wish to bring with you into the circle of faith.[i]

LECTIONARY TEXTS

Revelation 7:9-17, Psalm 34:1-10, 22, I John 3:1-3, Matthew 5:1-12

GATHERING RITUAL

One:            Let us gather, Friends, with the Saints in Light:
Many:         Who live to praise and glorify God,
                   The One who promises comfort to all who grieve.

 

Place votive candles on a table in an accessible and visible location within the worship space.  If your Communion Table/Altar is large enough to include at least as many candles as you will have people in attendance and serve Communion from as well, then this would be the ideal place for the candles.  Place the Paschal candle, or other large candle on or near the table.  Invite people to come forward and light one of the votive candles in memory of a loved one who has died and place it back on the table.  The candle’s light will symbolize the presence of those who have gone from our sight but not our hearts.

As people are coming forward invite your musician to play a meditative piece.

If you are unable to worship in person, this can easily be adapted with a single person lighting several candles. One candle could be lit for every member of the congregation who has died in the last year, perhaps reciting their names as the candles are lit. Or you may light candles and simply invite the congregation to remember their loved ones who rest with the saints in light.

SOLEMN DECLARATION

One:             +In the name of the Creator, the Christ and the Holy Spirit.
Many:          Amen.

OPENING SENTENCES

Bless the Sovereign at all times.
Salvation belongs to our God.
The Sovereign heard our cry and delivered us from our fear.
Salvation belongs to our God.
All who take refuge in the Sovereign will be comforted.
Salvation belongs to our God.                          

OPENING PRAYER

Sovereign of Creation,
          all that we have comes from you.
Physically distanced, we gather in your presence,
          surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
          people from every tribe and nation,
          every kindred and tongue,
          to lift our voices in praise,
          to be transformed into your saints,
          to be sent out to gather others to share the eternal banquet.
Hear the praise we offer,
          work in us and through us.
You alone are holy,
          you alone are the Most High,
          you alone are worthy of our praise.
Glory to you O God,
          and to the Lamb, our Shepherd,
          and to the Spirit that unites us all,
today and ever more.
Amen.

READING SACRED TEXTS

SERMON

CONFESSION OF SIN

The chorus of an old hymn, echoing today’s passage from Revelation, asks,
           “Are you washed in the blood,
           In the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb?
           Are your garments spotless?
           Are they  bright as snow?
           Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?”
We may not use that particular imagery anymore, but the truths of the questions remain. 
           Does the experience of sin weigh on you? 
           Have you surrendered to God all that you have done or left undone that would separate you from God or God’s creation? 
           Have you been forgiven? 
I invite you to take these moments of quiet reflection to cast your cares upon God.  Let the river of life refresh you and carry your sin as far from you as the east is from the west.  Let God wipe the tears from your eyes and welcome you home.
Let us pray.

                                                 Time for personal reflection and confession.

Salvation belongs to you, O God.  Forgive us our sin.  Renew us, refresh us and help us rebuild our lives so that they are reflections of your love for all people.  We pray in the name of the Lamb that was slain.  Amen.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON

                    Salvation belongs to our God.
                    Our sins are forgiven.

RESPONSE

Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.       (Rev. 7: 12b)

STATEMENT OF FAITH

MORNING PRAYERS – See General Prayer in Book of Worship: United Church of Christ (BOW) p. 507

OFFERTORY INVITATION

Our mission is to engage in God’s mission to
            feed the hungry,
            give drink to the thirsty
            and wipe the tears from every eye.
This is accomplished through our gifts of time, talent and treasure.
Give generously so that God’s will might be
            done on earth as it is in heaven.

OFFERTORY DEDICATION

Living God,
we are your people, we carry your presence.
Use us and our gifts to accomplish your mission in the world.
Multiply our effort to meet every need.
This we pray in the name of Christ,
whom with you and the Holy Spirit,
reign in our hearts and lives,
one God now and forever. Amen. 

HOLY COMMUNION

          God be with you.                                    And with your spirit
         
Lift up your hearts                                  We lift them up to God.
          Give thanks to God.                                It is right to give God thanks and praise.

Communion Prayer – See BOW 45

Preface

We remember all who have gone before us into your eternal splendor especially those in memory of whom we lit candles at the beginning of our worship and those of our faith community who have died in the last year . . . (You may include here the names of members of the congregation that died in the past year).
We join them and all the angels and saints of heaven in the hymn of unending praise.

Musical Sanctus by Mark Miller

Still Speaking “Sanctus” by Mark A Miller
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1k9fza-ZTEgSVWub7h9A4hf_Bm-DnoSOW/view?usp=sharing

© 2020Mark A Miller, all publishing rights reserved. Permission given congregations to play recording during worship or education programs, and to stream online.

The Words of Institution/Remembrance (see BOW p. 47)

Prayer of Consecration

Holy God, descend your Spirit upon these gifts of grain and grape,
whether on this table or in the homes of your people,
that they might be for us the presence of the living Christ.
Pour out your Spirit upon us so that we might be reflections of your likeness
in a hurting world so that others might know the blessings
of living in communion with you and one another. 
Through Christ, with Christ and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honor are yours Almighty God, now and forever. 
Amen.

Breaking and Pouring       

The Prayer of Our Savior

The Distribution

The Blessing

                    One:   May the presence of Christ, Body and Spirit, keep and preserve you to everlasting life.

Thanksgiving

                    One:   Let us pray.
                    All:    Thank you most Holy God, for meeting us in this simple meal. 
                     May your presence within us ripple beyond us, ever expanding,
                     until the day when you gather all your saints from the four winds
                     to share in your eternal banquet. 
                     In all our words and actions may your name be praised
                     now and forever more.  Amen.

SENDING

Go forth from this time of worship
as a flowing stream through a parched desert,
pouring the love of God upon the hearts and lives
of all you meet so that hope might take root and blossom.
As you go, know that the
+        God who created you,
the Christ who redeems you
and the Spirit who empowers you
is with you today and ever more.
Amen.

+ You may make a sign of the cross.

Written by the Rev. Dr. Bob Gross, OCC, Senior Pastor at Evangelical and Reformed United Church of Christ, Waukesha, WI.  Rev. Gross is a member of the Order of Corpus Christi, (OCC), which is an ecumenical covenantal community that seeks to be a contemporary expression of the Mercersburg Tradition.

Copyright 2020 Local Church Ministries, Faith INFO Ministry Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH  44115-1100.  Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education.  All publishing rights reserved. 

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