It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Suggestions for All Saints Day Services

All Saints Day is November 1. Methodist churches often celebrate on the first Sunday of November, this year the 7th. Either way, the General Board Of Discipleship offers A Contemporary Global Celebration of All Saints Day/, written by Taylor W. Burton-Edwards.

The GBOD also offers Homiletical and Worship Notes:
Make this a festive day, and take time to give thanks and remember those from the congregation who died during the last year in the context of the great parade of men and women made holy by the Holy Spirit. Consider using a bell to toll for each person as each name is read. Consider using a brief refrain, spoken or sung, such as: "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord" or "Absent from us; present with the Lord (God)" or "Into your hands we commend their spirits."
You will find a service outline for All Saints' Day on the General Board of Discipleship's Worship Website.
See resources in the United Methodist Book of Worship (1989), 413-415.
You will find a helpful article called "Do United Methodists Believe in Saints?" in the November-December 2001 issue of Interpreter magazine (published by United Methodist Communications).
For many churches in the New York and Virginia-D.C. areas or other towns and cities that lost people tragically to the terrorism of September 11, 2001, this may still be a difficult day; but it also could be a reassuring and comforting day. It is another time to grieve in hope. It is a time to speak the names, remember the lives, and to honor those who have died, whether heroically or tragically.
Preaching on this day may be on one of the texts or may build on the texts. The first reading opens the subject of saints and holy ones. The second reading gets clear about the vision of "holy making" and God's means of working holy love in our lives by the resurrection of Jesus. The Luke reading takes us to the far edge of holy love's way — loving the enemy, the opponent. Consider focusing on saints as those who are baptized into Christ's royal priesthood — people who are stewards of sanctifying love. If you go in this direction, include a brief overview of Wesley's understanding of grace: prevenient, justifying, and sanctifying.
This is a day to celebrate Holy Communion and to experience the creed's affirmation: "I believe . . . in the communion of saints . . ."

No comments: