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ALL SAINTS

SPIRITUAL COMMUNION


Making a Spiritual Communion is particularly fitting for those who cannot receive the sacrament . In making our communion spiritually, we are joining with Christians everywhere, to be nourished by the one who tells us, ‘I am the Bread of Life’. In making a Spiritual Communion, you may wish to pray all or part of the following, as you are able.


You may wish to find a space for prayer in front of a cross, a candle, or in a special place. You might choose to make your Spiritual Communion at a particular time of day. Reflect on the day and on your relationships.


- What good things have come from God today?

- Where have I fallen short?

- What might I do tomorrow?




✠In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Where we have put our trust in things other than God,

let us confess our sins in penitence and faith:


You were sent to heal the contrite of heart:

Kyrie, eleison.

You came to call sinners:

Christe, eleison.

You are seated at the right hand of the Father to intercede for us:

Kyrie, eleison.


May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins,

and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.



THE COLLECT FOR THE DAY


Almighty ever-living God, by whose gift we venerate

in one celebration the merits of all the Saints,

bestow on us, we pray, through the prayers of so many intercessors,

an abundance of the reconciliation with you

for which we earnestly long.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.


FIRST READING Apocalypse 7:2-4,9-14


I, John, saw another angel rising where the sun rises,

carrying the seal of the living God;

he called in a powerful voice to the four angels

whose duty was to devastate land and sea,

‘Wait before you do any damage on land or at sea or to the trees,

until we have put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.’

Then I heard how many were sealed:

a hundred and forty-four thousand, out of all the tribes of Israel.


After that I saw a huge number, impossible to count,

of people from every nation, race, tribe and language;

they were standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb,

dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands.

They shouted aloud,

‘Victory to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’

And all the angels who were standing in a circle round the throne,

surrounding the elders and the four animals,

prostrated themselves before the throne,

and touched the ground with their foreheads,

worshipping God with these words,

‘Amen. Praise and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving

and honour and power and strength to our God for ever and ever. Amen.’


One of the elders then spoke, and asked me,

‘Do you know who these people are, dressed in white robes,

and where they have come from?’

I answered him,

‘You can tell me, my lord.’

Then he said,

‘These are the people who have been through the great persecution,

and they have washed their robes white again in the blood of the Lamb.’



RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 23 (24)


Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.


The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness;

the world and those who dwell in it.

For he founded it upon the seas

and established it upon the rivers.

Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.


Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?

or who may stand in his holy place?

One whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,

who desires not what is vain.

Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,

a reward from God his saviour.

Such is the race that seeks him,

that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.

Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.


GOSPEL ACCLAMATION cf. Matthew 11:28


Alleluia, alleluia!

Come to me, all you that labour, and are burdened,

and I will give you rest, says the Lord.

Alleluia!


GOSPEL - Matthew chapter 5, verses 1 to 12.


Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the hill.

There he sat down and was joined by his disciples.

Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them:


‘How happy are the poor in spirit;

theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Happy the gentle:

they shall have the earth for their heritage.

Happy those who mourn:

they shall be comforted.

Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right:

they shall be satisfied.

Happy the merciful:

they shall have mercy shown them.

Happy the pure in heart:

they shall see God.

Happy the peacemakers:

they shall be called sons of God.

Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right:

theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

‘Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you

and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account.

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.’



HOMILY


Like many medieval churches from eras long-past,

this Church told vividly the Christian story in a blaze of colour

in stained-glass windows and through the extravagance

of beautifully-crafted murals.

Sadly, the murals were painted directly on to plasterwork,

and by the mid-twentieth century they were crumbling.

In the 1970s the murals were painted-over;

however the painting of Christ in Majesty, far above the high altar, escaped, and Moses and Elias, originally obliterated,

are gradually making a re-appearance. “Were the rest of the paintings to be made visible again,

the interior would be of even greater note.”


The stained glass is described as being of outstanding quality, crafted by the-then renowned Clayton and Bell, installed in the 1860s.


The North side windows portray scenes from the Old Testament, beginning with the Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, at the west end; and on the South side New Testament themes,

with the Good Samaritan in the Sacred Heart Chapel,

stretching out to the Publican and Sinner, at the west.

These windows filter the light from outside and transform it

into a riot of attractive colour.


Pope Francis, speaking on this feast a year or two back,

described saints in a way that others have:

Like stained glass windows, the saints allow the light of God

to permeate the darkness of sin in the world.

Just as light enters a church through multi-coloured windows,

the lives of saints shine forth "according to their own shade,"


Through true saints the gentle light of God can pass through.


This feast reminds us that saints are not restricted only to those

who grace stained-glass windows; All Saints isn’t just about the Premier League Saint Peter, Saint John the Beloved or Saint Mary Magdalene; it’s about those people, everyday people, people through whom God’s light radiates.

Today in our Gospel Jesus proclaims the beatitudes, a road-map

for "a blessed and happy life," which the saints have followed.


The Beatitudes do not require of anybody "extravagant gestures"

or superhuman strength, but they are an inspirational guide

for those who live through the joys and hardships of daily life.


All Saints is a feast that celebrates the lives of people who deserve recognition for helping to further God's work in the world;

people through whom the light of God shines,

and who radiate the colour of the Kingdom through their Beatitudinally-lived lives.


Living the beatitudes:


· Poverty of spirit, as opposed to Pride

· “Mourning”, as opposed to Happiness at any cost

· Meekness, as opposed to the constant search for Power

· A hungering and a thirsting for what is right –

as opposed to being consumed by a Pursuit of the personal good

· Being merciful, rather than ruthlessly pursuing our own ends

without feeling for others

· Looking for peace, as opposed to a lack of concern for the world's problems


These Beatitudes are a list of signs that God is at work

in and through us.

If, for instance, a person is less wrapped-up in themselves

and motivated by a genuine concern for others,

then that person is living proof that God is real.

If a person is a peacemaker – then the Spirit of peace is obviously working hard there.


‘In the end what matters is not how good we are

but how good God is.

Not how much we love Him

but how much He loves us.

And God loves us, whoever we are,

whatever we’ve done or failed to do,

whatever we believe or can’t.’ – Desmond Tutu



We are all called to be saints.

We have been crafted to be windows on to the world through which the light of Christ can bring colour

into the dreariness of Godless living.

Like our hidden murals,

we are the background through whom the image and beauty of God

can be discerned.






THE PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL (Bidding Prayers)

Let us pray in communion with all the saints on earth and heaven, with the martyrs and the faithful in all ages.


God of Peace, we pray that those in authority may follow the example of the saints who worked for peace and love. Guide the leaders of all nations that justice may prevail throughout the world.


Let not the needy be forgotten, nor the hope of the poor be taken away.


Make us instruments of your peace and let your glory be over all the earth.


God of Compassion, bring healing and hope to those who grieve, suffer pain or have been affected in any way by Covid. God of Healing, we bring to you those whose lives are darkened by pain, fear or weariness. Come to our aid; help us to bear what must be carried, and take from us all resentment and bitterness, replacing it with the abundance of peace. We remember the elderly, the housebound, and the lonely. And we pray for all those who selflessly minister to the needs of others.


We remember those who have died and we pray for those who mourn for them. May we all be aware of your compassion, Lord, which calms our troubled hearts and shelters our anxious souls.


Make us thirst for you and actively spread your influence in our private lives and in society. Grant that we may be quick to forgive and slow to condemn.


We pray for our Church. Make us vulnerable that we may speak with calm humility. Make us outward looking that we may care deeply and make us a community of peacemakers and bridge builders.

We ask Mary, Mother of Jesus and Mother of the Church, to offer our prayers with her own, as we say

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now,

and at the hour of our death. Amen.


Keep, O Lord, Your Church, with Your perpetual mercy;

and, because without You our human frailty cannot but fall,

keep us ever by Your help from all things hurtful,

and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation;


Merciful Father,

accept these prayers for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.



SPIRITUAL COMMUNION


At the Saviour’s command

and formed by divine teaching, we dare to say:


Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come,

thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us;

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.


Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil,

graciously grant peace in our days,

that, by the help of your mercy,

we may be always free from sin

and safe from all distress,

as we await the blessed hope

and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.


For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours

now and for ever.


Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,

grant us peace.



Jesus said, ‘I am the bread of life.

Whoever comes to me will never be hungry,

and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’ John 6.35


I adore You, Lord Jesus, in the Sacrament of Your love,

the ineffable Eucharist. I desire to receive You into the poor dwelling that my heart offers You. While waiting for the happiness of sacramental communion, I wish to possess You in spirit. Come to me, O my Jesus, since I, for my part, am coming to You! May Your love embrace my whole being in life and in death. I believe in You, I hope in You, I love You. (Cardinal Rafael Merry del Val- The Vatican Website)


Give thanks for the saving death and resurrection of Jesus

and ask him to be with you now.


Thanks be to you, Lord Jesus Christ,

for all the benefits you have given me,

for all the pains and insults you have borne for me.

Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,

I ask you to come spiritually into my heart.

O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother,

may I know you more clearly,

love you more dearly,

and follow you more nearly, day by day.

after the Prayer of St Richard of Chichester


Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your disciples,

‘I am with you always’.

Be with me today, as I offer myself to you.

Hear my prayers for others and for myself,

and keep me in your care. Amen.



THE ANGELUS


The angel of the Lord brought tidings unto Mary. And she conceived by the Holy Ghost.


Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now,

and at the hour of our death. Amen.


Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it unto me according to thy word. Hail Mary. Holy Mary.

And the Word was made flesh. And dwelt amongst us. Hail Mary. Holy Mary.


Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.


Let us pray. We beseech thee, O Lord, pour thy grace into our hearts,

that as we have known the Incarnation of thy Son Jesus Christ

by the message of an angel, so by his ✠ Cross and Passion

we may be brought unto the glory of his Resurrection;

through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Lord preserve us from all evil,

and keep us in eternal life.

And may the blessing of almighty God,

the Father, the Son, ✠ and the Holy Spirit,

come down upon us

and remain with us for ever. Amen.


Let us go forth in peace.

Thanks be to God.





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