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SPIRITUAL COMMUNION FOR ALL SAINTS DAY



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



When we have been less-than kind in our treatment of others;

When we have not hungered for what is right:

When we have failed to be peacemakers;

Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith:

I confess to almighty God

that I have greatly sinned,

in my thoughts and in my words,

in what I have done and in what I have failed to do,

through my fault, through my fault,

through my most grievous fault;

therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,

and all the Angels and Saints,

to pray for me to the Lord our God.

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 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, vv.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

Today as we celebrate the Feast of All Saints, we are not thinking primarily of those Christians who have been canonised; rather we are celebrating all those ordinary folk, members of our own families and others who lived out their faith quietly in the rough-and-tumble of everyday life.


Each of us is called to holiness. In the Beatitudes, which form our gospel reading today, Jesus paints a portrait of what a saint looks like. In Matthew chapter 5 a saint is described as the person who is gentle: who has a hunger and a thirst for what is right: a person who is merciful: is someone who has a "pure heart", who pursues peace; whose priority is the "cause of right", whether or not its pursuance makes them unpopular or not.


In the devotional works of the Middle Ages, for example ‘The Imitation of Christ’ by Thomas a Kempis, the purpose of Christian discipleship was simply to be Christlike, and being Christlike was more about imitating the virtues which were characteristic of Christ than following the rules, which is what Jesus tells us in the Beatitudes . The Beatitudes present positive action points, whereas the Ten Commandments are a set of rules which tell us what we ought NOT do.


A dear friend of mine talked of a condition suffered by many Christians - "a hardening of the oughteries".- I ought to do more exercise, I ought to eat less, especially not chocolate or those other things that are so nice but bad for me. I ought to stop worrying, I ought to pray more, I ought to be a better person, I ought to tidy up after myself, I ought to finish the jobs I started, I really ought to put the iPad down…. Saints are people who are not to be bound by rules of what NOT to do, but who are prepared in a positive manner to imitate the positive behaviour of Christ, to mimic the Beatitudes.


Gracious God, you have so richly blessed us with life,

with love and joy, with hope in the midst of despair.

Help us to be the salt of the earth.

Help us to be the light of the world,

sharing with others that which we have received,

boldly proclaiming the good news of your love,

finding the seeds of your kingdom within us

and letting your way grow in our lives

and throughout the world. Amen.



NICENE CREED

I believe in one God, the Father almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,

the Only Begotten Son of God,

born of the Father before all ages.

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;

through him all things were made.

For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven,

and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,

and became man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,

he suffered death and was buried,

and rose again on the third day

in accordance with the Scriptures.

He ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory

to judge the living and the dead

and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father and the Son,

who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,

who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins

and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead

and the life of the world to come. Amen.

THE PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL (Bidding Prayers)



Lord Jesus, you said,

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Keep us from being preoccupied with money and worldly goods, and with trying to increase them at the expense of justice.


Lord Jesus, you said,

"Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth."

Help us not to be ruthless with one another, and to eliminate the discord and violence that exists in the world around us.


Lord Jesus, you said,

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."

Let us not be impatient under our own burdens and unconcerned about the burdens of others.


Lord Jesus, you said,

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be filled."

Make us thirst for you, the fountain of all holiness, and actively spread your influence in our private lives and in society.


Lord Jesus, you said,

"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy."

Grant that we may be quick to forgive and slow to condemn.


Lord Jesus, you said,

"Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God."

Free us from our senses and our evil desires, and help us to fix our eyes on you.


Lord Jesus, you said,

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God."

Aid us to make peace in our families, in our country, and in the world.


Lord Jesus, you said,

"Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of justice,

for the kingdom of heaven in theirs."

Make us willing to suffer for the sake of right rather than to practice injustice; and do not let us discriminate against our neighbours and oppress and persecute them.

(from "This is Church")

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.



Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give him thanks and praise!

It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God.

For today by your gift we celebrate the festival of your city, the heavenly Jerusalem, our mother, where the great array of our brothers and sisters

already gives you eternal praise.

Towards her, we eagerly hasten,

as pilgrims advancing by faith,

rejoicing in the glory bestowed upon those exalted members of the Church

through whom you give us, in our frailty, both strength and good example. And so, we glorify you with the multitude of Saints and Angels,

as with one voice of praise we acclaim:

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts.

Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.

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.

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.


...based upon 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.

God is the glory and joy of all his saints, whose memory we celebrate today. May his blessing be with us always. Amen.

May the prayers of the saints deliver us from present evil; may their example of holy living turn our thoughts to the service of God and neighbour. Amen.

God's holy Church rejoices that her children are one with the saints in lasting peace. May we come to share with them in all the joys of our Father's house. Amen.

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.


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.

Let us go forth in peace.

Thanks be to God.

The Lord bless us, and preserve us from all evil,

and keep us in eternal life. Amen.


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