They’re called “The Beatitudes,” a series of blessings given by Jesus to the faithful who heard His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5—7). If you were listening carefully to the Gospel Lesson, you might have noticed that the first eight beatitudes or blessings are given to believers in general: “Blessed are the poor,” “Blessed are those who mourn,” etc. But the last beatitude is given directly to the disciples: “Blessed are you when they reviled and persecute you,” etc. As someone said, “The cross casts its shadow before Christ, the disciples, and the people—the stage is set for the passion of Jesus and his Church” (Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship, p. 118). Today, I’d like to focus on the cross casting its shadow over four groups of saints, each depicted on your bulletin cover (van Eyck, Ghent Altar Piece): Apostles, Prophets, martyrs, and the whole Christian church.
Archive for the 'All Saints Day' Category
“O almighty God, who hast knit together Thine elect in one Communion and fellowship in the mystical body of Thy Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, grant us grace so to follow Thy blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living that we may come to those unspeakable joys which Thou hast prepared for those who unfeignedly love Thee; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.”
– Collect for All Saints’ Day (TLH p. 93)
As most of you know, the Collect of the Day is a prayer that collects the themes of the day into one carefully-crafted prayer for congregational use. It serves as a transition from the Entrance Rite to the Scriptures lessons, summarizes the propers of the day, and gives us a prayer to use the rest of the week. The collect for All Saints’ Day is especially fitting since it beautifully captures the prayers of the saints, for the saints.
Chromatius And that he might more openly show the grace of the apostles and the author of this very great blessing, he added, “They shall walk from strength to strength; God shall look down upon Zion.” That is to say, the Son of God, who gave blessings to the apostles on Zion. On this mountain […]
ALL SAINTS’ DAY November 1 The Feast of All Saints had its beginning in Syria circa 360. It was there observed on the Friday after Easter in honor of all holy martyrs. The Greeks commemorated all saints on the Octave of Pentecost, the West on May 13. In Rome, Agrippa built the Pantheon in honor […]
Sermon on the Propers for All Saints’ Day All Saints Observed The Confirmation of Seth Johnson 2 November 2008 + In the Name of Jesus +O almighty God, who hast knit together Thine elect in one Communion and fellowship in the mystical body of Thy Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, grant us grace so to […]