November 4, 2012 | Year B All Saints

All Saints, All of Us
All Saints' Sunday

This is a special liturgy for us. It includes this moment when everyone is invited to stand, one after another, and say aloud the names of those we "love and see no more." Powerful, moving and a way to stand in community to remember, be heard, and name the saints who walked among us and see no more.

I'm going to list songs we are planning to do this All Saints' and some we have used in years past.
This year our service will be co-led by some of our children. The kids will be readers, lead the prayers, the psalm and assist with the offertory. Also the 5th and 6th graders have written our prayers of the people this week. I'll re-post with that text soon!

Isaiah 25:6-9
Psalm 24
Revelation 21:1-6a

Themes: Remembrance and new birth. Loss, love, life.

Here is the psalm we'll be using, again from Psalms in Ordinary Voices.
Psalm 24 by Thelma Wong and Sarah Bellows Meister (students)

Of David

This gentle earth and all that it cradles,
each life, each possibility for hope,
was born of goodness and of grace,
founded in love and cast in kindness.

Who shall reach the highest heights
to stand in communion with the Good?
Those whose lives are marked by service, 
who mend what they find broken,
be it places, lives, or hope.
They shall find themselves always blessed,
as they have blessed the lives they touch.
For such is sacred community:
a circle of souls in harmony, turning towards each other.
O Sisters, open your hearts-
that comfort and love may come in!
O Brothers, open your hearts-
that comfort and love may come in!
Lift up your hearts in eternal compassion!
Lift up your hearts in perpetual peace!
What act is more sacred?
What prayer is more holy?
Open your hearts, and dwell humbly and gently in truth.

White River Press

Gathering: The Leaves Fall Patiently

Text, Sara Teasdale (August 8, 1884 – January 29, 1933)
Music written by Ann Strickland for a Loretto Community equinox service.
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

All This Joy
Words and music by John Denver!
A member of the congregation brought this song to my attention. 
Had never heard it before. We sing it quite a bit now and it is a big favorite.
Simple and beautiful.

Calling All Angels by  Jane Siberry
This we've done as a solo. Wow.

This year we will add Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton

Gospel: In My Life
John Lennon (and Paul McCartney)
Already posted a sweet version by Dave Matthews

Last year a member of the music circle suggested Do You Realize
 by The Flaming Lips
Here is a great version with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.
We used hand bells, a soloist sang the verses, guitar and piano accompaniment and our kids singing group sang along on the chorus. It was amazing.

This year one of our kids suggested
I Will Follow You Into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie.
One of our high school students is rewriting some of the lyrics, as they are all not appropriate.
That in itself is such a great exercise. The kids will lead this one. 

During Communion
Last year was Just Breathe by Eddie Vedder. Suggested and sung by one of high school students.

This year Turn to Stone by Ingrid Michaelson (posted already)
Also an original piece by one of high school students.

Song after Communion
I'll Remember You by Bob Dylan
The version that inspired this is from the movie Masked and Anonymous. Amazing really.
We did this piano only, a high school student sang it as a solo.

Closing Hymn
We've closed with a bluesy, rousing, New Orleans style When the Saints. Most excellent.
This year Angels Watchin' Over Me arranged by our own Darden Burns. The kids will lead!


  1. Oh. My. Goodness. Your blog is such a balm to my soul! I pastor a small, country church in western PA whom I ADORE but who can't sing to save their lives. The creativity of the songs you and your church members choose and write is INSPIRING to me. I plan to use what you post in personal times of worship because what you post refreshes my sou. So, thanks for that.

    1. Hi Allison,
      Looking back on the blog today and realized I did not reply! How is music going with your congregation?


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