Monday, November 3, 2014

All Saints Day

Today we celebrated “All Saints Day” at church.  We paused to remember those who have gone before us; those who have influenced us in our Christian walk.  We started the worship service with the following litany:

With all the Saints, we come to worship God, who made us and knows us;
We come to celebrate God’s presence among us!
With all the Saints, we come to follow Jesus, who leads us to new life;
We come with joy, knowing in Christ we have eternal life!
With all The Saints, we enter worship knowing that the Spirit is alive among us!

During the service we remembered our loved ones, as we listened to God's word.  After reading A Litany of Praise for All the Saints we shared the names of those we personally wanted to remember.  I lifted up my grandparents, Paul G. and Eleanor Harris who belonged to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for many years; and for all the years of my life, they attended Central Christian Church in Jacksonville.  Their only son, my father, Paul D. Harris met my mother Betty Moore through the Youth Program of their churches.  She was living with her sister, brother-in-law, and their two girls and attended Riverside Avenue Christian Church, where I now attend.  My parents raised my two brothers and I in the church; while we did not always attend a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), we did attend church.  It is thanks to them that I have the faith and Christian background and foundation that helped me to raise my own children.

Another way to honor our loved ones is through music.  Our choir, of which I am a member, shared a beautiful anthem, “The Question”, words and music by Joseph M. Martin.  The first part of the anthem questions God, “Lord, who am I?”

Lord, when I consider,
the wonders of the night,
the music of the stars,
Your dazzling dance of light;

Lord, when I consider
 the wonders of Your hand,
the birds that soar on high,
the oceans vast and wide;
When I survey the miracle of life,
I declare Your majesty.
I behold Your mystery.
Within my heart I cry;
Lord, who am I?
Lord, who am I?

In the words that follow, God answers our question in these beautiful words:

You are My treasure,
My precious one.
You are the reason
I sent my only Son.
You are My chosen,
My new creation,
My own beloved,
the apple of My eye.

You are My temple,
My dwelling place.
You are a vessel
for my amazing grace.
You are my candle,
Light of the world.
You are my silver,
My priceless pearl.

O how I love you.
O how I love you.
I am your Shepherd.
You are My lamb.
Your name is written
in the palm of My hand,
And I have set you as
a seal upon My arm.
Nothing can separate you
from my perfect love.
Nothing can take you
from My heart.

The anthem continues with the same beautiful words sung over and over sharing God’s wondrous love.  The choir members left the Sanctuary with a sigh that we were actually able to sing without tears falling down our faces.

Today I joined with others to celebrate God’s love and grace.  Today I remembered “all the saints” who raised me in this love that God offers.  Have you found this love; the love and grace offered by Him?  I pray you will find what you need in Him...


  1. I'm a choir member too! I've sung in choirs since I was knee high to a grasshopper and have a real love for choral music. Very few things move me in quite the same way as a beautiful chorale or anthem. Our music this morning was selected by our pastor Father K. He is very particular about the liturgy and really loves a certain kind of music. We actually sang mostly hymns but we did sing Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus during communion and I sang a solo at the offeratory (the Pie Jesu from Faure's Requiem). Today is, for Catholics, the Feast of All Souls (All Saints was yesterday) where we remember all who have died and pray that God grant them eternal rest in His Presence. For us, the entire month of November is a month of remembrance of all those who have died -- both canonized saints and not. They read the names of every person who has died in our parish during the past year at each of the weekend Masses during November.

    Thank you for sharing the words of that beautiful anthem. I can definitely understand why it might be hard to sing something like that without tears. God bless you my friend!

    1. Thank you for sharing!! I LOVE to hear Pie Jesu daughter is a musician; she started out at a special arts school as a piano major and then did a double with a piano/voice major. She did the same when attending Wheaton College near Chicago. Our celebration of All Saints Day is very much like yours in remembering those who have died in the past year...but this year, instead of listing them in our bulletin, we had like an "open mic" where people in the congregation could share. Thank YOU for taking the time to read and for commenting...I continue to follow your blog and will read as you post!!

  2. Thank you for sharing your experience and the importance of remembering that our journey on earth is influenced by godly people who lead us and mentor us into our own relationship with God. The words of the song you sang are just beautiful.

    1. Thank you for continuing to read my posts...I seem to be having an over flow of words lately! I love to sing - with our choir or alone, but NEVER a solo!!!

  3. I love music! I don't think I've ever heard "The Question." Now I'm going to have to look it up, because the words are just beautiful!

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. I should have tried to find it on u-tube so it could be heard. It really IS beautiful, especially when it gets to the part that keeps repeating the words in an echo like way...Glad to have sung it; but would love to hear it also! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  4. I have never really celebrated All Saints Day, but this year I have learned a lot more about it. I was glad I got to read about your experience too!

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting...we usually celebrate on the Sunday closest to the actual day, I think Nov. 1st...

  5. Thanks for sharing "The Question". I've never heard it before, but it is beautiful. You can hear the influence of the Psalms in the lyrics.

    1. It IS a beautiful anthem, especially when it moves into the parts and sounds like an echo...with the men's voices echoing the women's. I loved singing it - thanks for reading and sharing!

  6. What a beautiful song! While I've never celebrated All Saints Day, I do remember those who have gone before me who have influenced my life, especially my grandma, who passed away in January. Her funeral was a true celebration of life... thanks for this beautiful post!

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting! We all "celebrate" our "saints" in many ways and remembering your grandma is your way of celebrating her life! Thank you for sharing, and sorry for the loss of your grandma.

  7. What a great way to remember all of those who have gone before us, great lyrics, my favorite part was... "You are a vessel for my amazing grace.You are my candle, Light of the world." Thanks for sharing it Barbara. :)

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting...the song really touched a lot of peoples' hearts yesterday...and the choir all remarked about getting through it without crying...which we could do afterwards!!

  8. It's beautiful to remember those who have gone before us especially on such a universal feast day.

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting. Glad you stopped by!


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