To all of you who are God's beloved and called to be saints, grace and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord's peace stay with you. R/ And also with you.
Introduction by the Celebrant
On this celebration of All Saints, we ask ourselves: What is our idea of saints? Are they to us idealistic dreamers out of touch with the world and with people, passive and joyless like their plaster statues? Today's liturgy tells us a different story. They are ordinary people like us, of the same flesh and blood as we. But they had the courage to be different, to do the ordinary things of life in the extraordinary way of Christ from whom they drew their courage. They put us to shame with their quiet but strong gentleness, their integrity, their commitment to God and to people in justice and truth and peace. Let us ask the Lord here with us for the strength to follow him the way they did.
Do we firmly believe that we sinners are called to be saints? Let us examine ourselves. (PAUSE) Lord, you tell us: Happy the poor in spirit. We have heard you, but it is hard to do. On our self-sufficiency and selfishness, Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Christ, you tell us: Happy the merciful. But the miseries of others affect us little. On our hardness and unconcern, Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.
Lord, you tell us: Happy the peacemakers. We do not easily share the peace of forgiveness and committed service. On our pride and violence, Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Have mercy on us, Lord, and forgive us all our sins. Give us the courage to live your gospel and lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.
Let us pray to God that the saints may inspire us to follow Christ as they did (PAUSE) God of hope and Lord of the future, through the saints you inspire us today with new hopes in the future of the world and of people.
Make us realize, Lord, that with your strength our boldest dreams can come true and even be surpassed: that justice, peace and love are worth living and dying for, and that one day you will crown your own work in us through Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
Liturgy of the Word
First Reading Introduction: Victors With ChristSt. John gives us a vision of hope in the ultimate future: those who live the gospel of will be victorious with him; their number will be immense.
Second Reading Introduction: Children of God
The key to all holiness is love: the certainty that God loves us - he loved us first - and that we are his sons and daughters. This assurance makes us capable of all hope and love.
Gospel Introduction: The Beatitudes: God's Values
The values of the gospel differ sharply from those of the world, yet they are to be lived in the world to make it God's world. The beatitudes are the inspiration of a Christian's life.
We are called children of God, and that is what we really are. Let us pray then in all trust and love to God, who is our Father, and let us say: R/ Lord of glory, hear our prayer.
- For all people on earth, that their friendship, love and happiness may be a sign and foretaste of the eternal happiness that you want to give to all, let us pray:
- For all Christian Churches, that they may grow in solidarity and come closer in unity, let us pray:
- For those who suffer from poverty and misfortunes, from persecution and injustice, that they may be convinced that Christ is on their side, let us pray:
- For those who lack the courage to break with temptation and sin and for those who dare not commit themselves to follow the gospel of Christ, that the saints may inspire them and us, let us pray:
- For all of us here, that we may build community, and that the seeds of holiness may grow in our hearts and deeds, let us pray:
- For our beloved dead, that they may rest secure in the love and joy of the Lord, let us pray:
Lord our God, you want us to be happy with your own happiness. Fill our everyday lives with your saving presence. Make us seek the kind of happiness that is real and lasting today, tomorrow and for ever. R/ Amen.
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God, Jesus, your Son, had the courage to be different and unconventional. In this bread and this wine we place our willingness to walk in his way.
As you change them through your Spirit into Jesus himself, transform us, weak as we are and timid, into new people, ready to take the risk of reshaping the world into your own image.
And though we cannot yet see the outcome now, reassure us that you will bring to a successful end what you let us begin in pain and effort, through Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer
It is with joy that we thank the Father for the great things his grace has worked in our brothers and sisters, the saints. Let us offer this eucharist with Jesus that, like the saints, we may try to become more like him.
Introduction to the Lord's Prayer
God has filled our hearts with much love. He wants us to be called his children, and this is indeed what we are. And so with Jesus we can truly say to him: R/ Our Father...
Deliver us, Lord, from every evil and grant us peace in our day. Give us the courage to go with the saints the way your own Son went to you, in joys and hardships, in the strength of our weakness, as we wait in joyful hope for the coming in glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.R/ For the kingdom...
Invitation to Communion
This is the Lamb of God who shared our sufferings to make us share in his glory. Happy are those who hunger and thirst for God, for they shall be satisfied. R/ Lord, I am not worthy...
Prayer after Communion
Holy God, gentleness, integrity, reconciliation, poverty and littleness before you, suffering that is liberating - these are not easy to put into practice, yet they are the stuff of which saints are made. Give us your strength, Lord, for we ourselves are incapable of carrying out a task made for giants. Give us your Son to be our companion on the journey, for we are sure that we can do it with him, who is our Savior and our Lord for ever. R/ Amen.
The saints were people like us, weak, with faults like the ones we have; only, they did not take these failings for granted.
They led the same lives as we do, only in a more courageous way. We are called to the same holiness to which God called them.
May you respond to God's call with the strength and blessing of the almighty and loving God: the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.
Let us go with the saints and with one another the way to God. R/ Thanks be to God.