Worship in the Home: November 1, 2020

Posted on October 28, 2020 by ELCA Worship

Worship in the Home

All Saints Day, Year A
November 1, 2020

In this time of world-wide crisis, congregations throughout this church are not able to gather for worship as the body of Christ. While you cannot be together in person, we can hear the word of God and hold each other in prayer. We offer this brief resource as an aid for prayer in the home. As with our prayers in the gathered assembly for worship, you are encouraged to prepare or adapt them locally for your context.

 

All Saints celebrates the baptized people of God, living and dead, who are the body of Christ. As November heralds the dying of the landscape in many northern regions, the readings and liturgy call us to remember all who have died in Christ and whose baptism is complete. We gather with the faithful of every time and place, trusting that the promises of God will be fulfilled and that all tears will be wiped away in the new Jerusalem.

Find a peaceful place to pray, perhaps a table. You may wish to light a candle near where you pray. One person may lead in this acclamation and then pray the Prayer of the Day.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all.
Amen.

Let us pray.
A brief silence is kept before the prayer.

Almighty God, you have knit your people together in one communion in the mystical body of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Grant us grace to follow your blessed saints in lives of faith and commitment, and to know the inexpressible joys you have prepared for those who love you, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Amen.

 

Then the readings for this day may be read, as follows:

First Reading:  Revelation 7:9-17

9After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. 10They cried out in a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12singing,
“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom
and thanksgiving and honor
and power and might
be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

13Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?” 14I said to him, “Sir, you are the one that knows.” Then he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
15For this reason they are before the throne of God,
and worship him day and night within his temple,
and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them.
16They will hunger no more, and thirst no more;
the sun will not strike them,
nor any scorching heat;
17for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd,
and he will guide them to springs of the water of life,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.

 

The Psalm may be sung or read in response to the First Reading.

Psalm 34:1-10, 22

1I will bless the LORD | at all times;
the praise of God shall ever be | in my mouth.
2I will glory | in the LORD;
let the lowly hear | and rejoice.
3Proclaim with me the greatness | of the LORD;
let us exalt God’s | name together.
4I sought the LORD, who | answered me
and delivered me from | all my terrors.
5Look upon the LORD | and be radiant,
and let not your faces | be ashamed.
6I called in my affliction, and | the LORD heard me
and saved me from | all my troubles.
7The angel of the LORD encamps around those who | fear the LORD
and de- | livers them.
8Taste and see that the | LORD is good;
happy are they who take ref- | uge in God!
9Fear the Lord, you saints | of the LORD,
for those who fear the | LORD lack nothing.
10The lions are in want and | suffer hunger,
but those who seek the LORD lack nothing | that is good.
22O LORD, you redeem the life | of your servants,
and those who put their trust in you will | not be punished.

 

Second Reading: 1 John 3:1-3

1See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. 3And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.

 

Gospel: Matthew 5:1-12

The holy gospel according to Matthew.
Glory to you, O Lord.

1When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

The gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.

 

Reflection

Having read these readings, think on this:

We can hardly avoid knowing, in these days, that we are surrounded by so much death: those hurt by the coronavirus; those killed by the violence of terrorism and war; our own beloved dead. And we ourselves are often afraid. All Saints Sunday comes with these texts to speak life and comfort. With all the children of God, with all the baptized, living and dead, with our own congregation, with all the unknown and unheralded ones who in making peace and showing mercy bore witness to God — with all of them we sing to God and to the Lamb. That “Lamb,” Jesus Christ, is himself the most profound example of all the values praised in the Beatitudes. We are washed and saved in his blood. Now we will undertake again to live in the Spirit of those values: joy, mercy, simplicity. And this week, in civic responsibility, we will pray to elect public officials who themselves manifest something of that Spirit.

 

If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “For All Your Saints, O Lord” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 427), For All the Saints” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 422). “Death Be Never Last” (All Creation Sings 1030). Links to hymns in the public domain are provided below.

For All Your Saints, O Lord

Death Be Never Last

 

Then pray these intercessions:

Let us remember all the saints who have served the church and the world as we offer our prayers to God, responding to each petition with the words “Save us from all our troubles.”

A brief silence.

We praise you, O God, for all the saints who have ministered in your church.  Give us now, we pray, pastors, deacons, teachers, and lay leaders who will guide your people in the way of truth. Bless all who minister during this difficult time.

A brief silence.

Hear our prayer, O God,
save us from all our troubles.

We praise you, O God, for all the saints who lived in communion with animals, with the earth and the seas. Bless the earth, that all creatures will live out your intention for their place in creation.

A brief silence.

Hear our prayer, O God,
save us from all our troubles.

We praise you, O God, for all the saints who were peacemakers. Give us now government authorities who will strive for peace between and within their nations.

A brief silence.

Hear our prayer, O God,
save us from all our troubles.

We praise you, O God, for all the saints who strove for equality and justice. Guide us during this election week, that those who seek the common good will be elected; protect those who vote; and preserve our nation from all forms of civil discord.

A brief silence.

Hear our prayer, O God,
save us from all our troubles.

We praise you, O God, for all the saints who worked to renew society. Give us now persons who will struggle against prejudice, lethargy, and evil, and will work to improve the lives of others.

A brief silence.

Hear our prayer, O God,
save us from all our troubles.

We praise you, O God, for all the saints who ministered to the needy. Give us now people who will care for those in need. We pray for those in need, the war-torn, the unemployed, those who experience discrimination, those who are weighed down with anxiety, and those whose needs are known only to you.

A brief silence.

Hear our prayer, O God,
save us from all our troubles.

We praise you, O God, for all the saints who nursed the sick. Support physicians, nurses, and all medical staff, especially as they confront the continuing crisis of the coronavirus.

A brief silence.

Hear our prayer, O God,
save us from all our troubles.

We praise you, O God, for all the faithful who have suffered in body, mind, or spirit. Give wholeness to the sick, especially to those with the coronavirus. Send your healing power on those whose names we call out to you now. . . .

A brief silence.

Hear our prayer, O God,
save us from all our troubles.

We praise you, O God, for all the saints, both the famous and the forgotten, who lived in faith and now live in you. We thank you, O God, especially for those whom we name here now: . . .
Bring us at the last with them to be in your triune presence.

A brief silence.

Hear our prayer, O God,
save us from all our troubles.

Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to you, O God, forever and ever.
Amen.

 

If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “O God, Our Help in Ages Past” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 632), Shall We Gather at the River” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 423). Links to hymns in the public domain are provided below.

O God, Our Help in Ages Past

Shall We Gather at the River

 

Then conclude with these prayers:

Let us pray.
A brief silence is kept before the prayer.

Glory to you, O God, for your creative Word:
making and mending all things,
evoking the cosmic hymn of praise,
and singing a love-song for your beloved:
your vineyard, your flock, your people.
With all creation we sing, Glory!  Glory!

Blessed are you for your liberating Word:
speaking through Moses and the prophets,
encountered in the Gospels,
and proclaimed in the assembly:
your freedom, forgiveness, and life for the world.
With the whole world we say, Blessing!  Blessing!

Holy are you, O God, for your living Word:
among us wherever we gather,
welcoming everyone to your feast,
and, with grace and generosity,
bringing to earth the kingdom of heaven.
With saints and angels, we cry, Holy!  Holy!

Clothe us in your loving Spirit,
flowing from the Crucified and Risen One,
and keep us awake to your presence
in the people and places you call us to serve.
Glory, praise, and blessing are yours, Holy God,
now and forever. Amen.  Amen.

 

Gathered into one by the Holy Spirit, let us pray as Jesus taught us:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and forever.
Amen.

 

Then speak the Blessing:

May the God of all creation,
in whose image we are made,
who claims us and calls us beloved,
who strengthens us for service,
give you reason to rejoice and be glad!

The blessing of God,
Sovereign,  Savior, and Spirit,
be with you today and always.
Amen.

 

Devotional Music Links: For your individual or group devotion, you may choose to listen to the following choral recordings made available through Augsburg Fortress: “Softly and Tenderly;” “Through the Legacy of Years;” “Children of Heaven.”

 

Readings for the Week:
Monday Matthew 5:1-12. Tuesday (commemoration of Martín de Porres, renewer of society, died 1639) Lamentation 2:13-17. Wednesday Proverbs 16:21-33. Thursday Psalm 70. Friday Amos 3:1-12. Saturday (commemoration of John Christian Frederick Heyer, died 1873); Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg, died 1719); Ludwig Nommensen, died 1918; missionaries) Matthew 24:1-14. Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost Amos 5:18-24 or Wisdom 6:12-16; Psalm 70; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 25:1-13.

Daily Prayer Resources are available, including simple forms of Morning, Evening, and Night Prayer; Responsive Prayer; and prayers for mealtimes and other occasions.

Due to copyright restrictions, we are only able to provide downloadable hymns that are in the public domain. Other suggestions provided above may be found in Evangelical Lutheran Worship. To purchase a copy of Evangelical Lutheran Worship for the home, visit the Augsburg Fortress website or call 1-800-328-4648. Selected hymns from the forthcoming All Creation Sings will be available in Worship in the Home as copyright restrictions allow.

Reflection text: Gordon Lathrop. Intercessory Prayer: Gail Ramshaw

Portions from Evangelical Lutheran Worship and sundaysandseasons.com, © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress.

Readings from Readings for the Assembly © 1995, 1996, 1997 Augsburg Fortress. Citations from the Revised Common Lectionary © 1992 Consultation on Common Texts. Scripture quotations from NRSV Bible, Copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America, adapted and edited with permission by Gordon Lathrop and Gail Ramshaw.

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