May Almighty God, to whose glory we celebrate this festival of all the Saints, be now and evermore your guide and companion in the way. Amen.
May God, who has bound us together in the company of the elect, in this age and the age to come. Attend to the prayers of his faithful servants on your behalf, as he hears your prayers for them. Amen.
May God, who has given us, in the lives of his saints, patterns of holy living and victorious dying, strengthen your faith and devotion, and enable you to bear witness to the truth against all adversity. Amen.
And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you for ever. Amen.
– The Book of Occasional Services 2003, p. 28-29.
This blessing for the Feast of All Saint’s offers a succinct summary of the day, our relationship with the saints, and, in general, the spiritual life: presence, prayers, and practice. These three aspects are deeply interrelated and in some way mutually dependent.
- Presence: There are several aspects of presence within this blessing: between God and humanity, between us and the saints, between us and each other, and finally, between us and our selves. Presence implies participation in one another’s life and is characterized by unity, wholeness, self-giving, and integration.
- Prayers: The saints pray for us and we for them. If we can pray for those here on earth and ask their prayers for us, why not the saints? To do otherwise is, in some way, a denial of the resurrection. The saints are not dead, for as the burial liturgy reminds us “life has changed not ended.”
- Practice: The saints are our teachers and guides in our own practice of “holy living and victorious dying.” They are trustworthy because they patterned their lives upon and embody the holy living and victorious dying of Christ. We see in their lives what this looks like in the various times, places, and circumstances of earthly life.
The Feast of All Saints is not simply a day to be remembered and celebrated once a year. It is a way of life, a way of being. Every day is one of presence, prayer, and practice. This is what it looks like: