Dear Saints of Christ the King,
I bring to you a very traditional reading for All Saints from the esteemed book of Ecclesiasticus (also called Sirach) 44:1-10,13-14. It begins a beautiful commemoration of patriarchs, prophets, and other heroes of ancient Israel.
I encourage you all to take time to read this wonderful book in its entire, but tonight, All Hallows E’en, I turn your attention to chapters 44 through to the end. You will find a wonderful praise to God for the gift of the holy men of old, our fathers in the faith.
Let us now praise famous men,
And our fathers in their generations.
The Lord apportioned to them great glory,
his majesty from the beginning.
There were those who ruled in their kingdoms,
and were men renowned for their power,
giving counsel by their understanding,
and proclaiming prophecies;
those leaders of the people in their deliberations
and in understanding of learning for the people,
wise in their words of instruction;
those who composed musical tunes,
and set forth verses in writing;
rich men furnished with resources,
living peaceably in their habitations –
all these were honored in their generations,
and were the glory of their times.
There are some of them who have left a name,
So that men declare their praise.
And there are some who have no memorial,
who have perished as though they had not lived;
they have become as though they had not been born,
and so have their children after them.
But these were men of mercy,
Whose righteous deeds have not been forgotten.
Their posterity will continue for ever,
and their glory will not be blotted out.
Their bodies were buried in peace,
and their name lives to all generations.
Almighty God, who by thy Holy Spirit hast made us one with thy Saints in heaven and on earth: Grant that in our earthly pilgrimage we may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know ourselves to be surrounded by their witness to thy power and mercy. We ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, in whom all our intercessions are acceptable through the Spirit, and who liveth and reigneth for ever and ever. Amen.
Blessings this Halloween,