ALL SOULS DAY SOLEMN MASS 2004




Each year, on the night of All Souls' Day, November 2nd, the people of Saint Faith's come together for a special service. The Solemn Mass by candlelight recalls and commemorates the departed, and especially those who have died in the past year. The church is lit only by candles, as may be seen in the accompanying photographs, and a special invitation is sent to all those, whether members of our congregation or not, who are known to have suffered bereavement.
 

Click on any of Chris Price's pictures to bring up a larger version.
 


 

Below you will find extracts from the Liturgy of the Word: bible readings and prayers, followed by the text of the final triumphant hymn. The service order also contained an invitation to anyone who wished to have the name of a departed loved one added to the Book of Remembrance, as well as offering the service of the church's Bereavement Visitors' Group. In both cases, please contact the Vicar.
 

A reading from the prophet Isaiah (25:6-9)

Theme: The Lord will destroy Death for ever

On this mountain, the Lord of Hosts will prepare for all people a banquet of rich food. On this mountain he will remove the mourning veil covering all peoples, and the shroud enwrapping all nations; he will destroy Death for ever. The Lord will wipe away the tears from every cheek; he will take away his people’s shame everywhere on earth, for the Lord has said so. That day, it will be said: See, this is our God in whom we hoped for salvation; the Lord is the one in whom we hoped. We exult and we rejoice that he has saved us.
 

A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Romans (5:5-11)

Theme: Having died to make us righteous, is it likely that he would now fail to save us from God’s anger?

Hope is not deceptive, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given us. We were still helpless when at his appointed moment Christ died for sinful men. It is not easy to die for a good man – though of course for someone really worthy, a man might be prepared to die – but what proves that God loves us is that Christ died while we were still sinners. Having died to make us righteous, is it likely that he would now fail to save us from God’s anger? When we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, we were still enemies; now that we have been reconciled, surely we may count on being saved by the life of his Son? Not merely because we have been reconciled but because we are filled with joyful trust in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have already gained our reconciliation.
 

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew (11:25-30)

Jesus exclaimed: ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for hiding these things from the learned and clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that it what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’
 

Lighting of a Candle

All are invited to come forward and to light a candle as a sign of prayer for our departed loved ones, and to kneel for a few moments in prayer at the altar.
 

Prayers by Candlelight

Prayers for the departed are offered; those who have died since the last All Souls’ Day service are remembered by name.

The prayers conclude with the choir’s singing of the Russian Contakion of the Departed.

Give rest, O Christ, to thy servant with thy saints:
Where sorrow and pain are no more,
Neither sighing, but life everlasting.
Thou only art immortal, the creator and maker of man:
And we are mortal, formed of the earth,
And unto earth shall we return.
For so thou didst ordain when thou createdst me, saying:
‘Dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return.’
All we go down to the dust,
And weeping o’er the grave, we make our song:
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Give rest, O Christ, to thy servant with thy saints:
Where sorrow and pain are no more,
Neither sighing, but life everlasting.
 

Final Hymn

Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son.
Endless is the victory thou o’er death hast won;
Angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
Kept the folded grave-clothes where thy body lay.

Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son.
Endless is the victory thou o’er death hast won.

Lo, Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
Lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
Let the church with gladness hymns of triumph sing,
For her Lord now liveth, death hast lost its sting:

Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son.
Endless is the victory thou o’er death hast won.

No more we doubt thee, glorious prince of life;
Life is nought without thee: aid us in our strife;
Make us more than conquerors through thy deathless love;
Bring us safe through Jordan to thy home above:

Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son.
Endless is the victory thou o’er death hast won.
 
 
 

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