Celebrating the feast of All Saints' began in the fourth century. At first, it was observed on the Sunday after the feast of Pentecost; this was to link the disciples who received the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the 'foundation of the Church, with those who were martyrs, giving their lives as witnesses for the faith. In the eighth century, a pope dedicated a chapel to All Saints in St Peter's at Rome on 1 November. Within a century, this day was observed in England and Ireland as All Saints' Day.
Revelation 7. 9-17
Psalm 34. 1-10
1 John 3. 1-3
Matthew 5. 1-12
Wisdom 3. 1-9
or Isaiah 25. 6-9
Psalm 24. 1-6
Revelation 21. 1-6a
John 11. 32-44
Daniel 7. 1-3, 15-18
Ephesians 1. 11-23
Luke 6. 20-31
On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear. And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations; he will swallow up death forever. Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken. It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
This is the word of the Lord. Isaiah 25. 6-9A reading from the prophecy of Isaiah.
Do not let the foreigner joined to the Lord say, "The Lord will surely separate me from his people"; and do not let the eunuch say, "I am just a dry tree." For thus says the Lord: To the eunuchs who keep my sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant, I will give, in my house and within my walls, a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off. And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, all who keep the sabbath, and do not profane it, and hold fast my covenant -- these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. Thus says the Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, I will gather others to them besides those already gathered.
This is the word of the Lord. Isaiah 56. 3-8A reading from the prophecy of Daniel.
In the first year of King Belshazzar of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head as he lay in bed. Then he wrote down the dream: I, Daniel, saw in my vision by night the four winds of heaven stirring up the great sea, and four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another.
As for me, Daniel, my spirit was troubled within me, and the visions of my head terrified me. I approached one of the attendants to ask him the truth concerning all this. So he said that he would disclose to me the interpretation of the matter: "As for these four great beasts, four kings shall arise out of the earth. But the holy ones of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever -- forever and ever."
This is the word of the Lord. Daniel 7. 1-3, 15-18A reading from the book of Wisdom.
The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch them. In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died, and their departure was thought to be a disaster, and their going from us to be their destruction; but they are at peace. For though in the sight of others they were punished, their hope is full of immortality. Having been disciplined a little, they will receive great good, because God tested them and found them worthy of himself; like gold in the furnace he tried them, and like a sacrificial burnt offering he accepted them. In the time of their visitation they will shine forth, and will run like sparks through the stubble. They will govern nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord will reign over them forever. Those who trust in him will understand truth, and the faithful will abide with him in love, because grace and mercy are upon his holy ones, and he watches over his elect.
This is the word of the Lord. Wisdom 3. 1-9A reading from the Second Book of Esdras.
I, Ezra, saw on Mount Zion a great multitude that I could not number, and they all were praising the Lord with songs. In their midst was a young man of great stature, taller than any of the others, and on the head of each of them he placed a crown, but he was more exalted than they. And I was held spellbound. Then I asked an angel, "Who are these, my lord?" He answered and said to me, "These are they who have put off mortal clothing and have put on the immortal, and have confessed the name of God. Now they are being crowned, and receive palms." Then I said to the angel, "Who is that young man who is placing crowns on them and putting palms in their hands?" He answered and said to me, "He is the Son of God, whom they confessed in the world."
So I began to praise those who had stood valiantly for the name of the Lord. Then the angel said to me, "Go, tell my people how great and how many are the wonders of the Lord God that you have seen."
This is the word of the Lord. 2 Esdras 2. 42-48
|R||Fear the Lord, you that are his saints,|
[for those who fear him lack nothing].
Proclaim with me the greatness of the Lord;
let us exalt his name together.
I sought the Lord and he answered me
and delivered me out of all my terror. R
Look upon him and be radiant,
and let not your faces be ashamed.
I called in my affliction and the Lord heard me
and saved me from all my troubles. R
Taste and see that the Lord is good;
happy are they who trust in him!
Come, children, and listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord. R From Psalm 34
|R||Those who trust in him will understand truth|
[and the faithful will abide with him in love].
Who can ascend the hill of the Lord?
and who can stand in his holy place?
Those who have clean hands and a pure heart,
who have not pledged themselves to falsehood,
nor sworn by what is a fraud. R
They shall receive a blessing from the Lord
and a just reward from the God of their salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
of those who seek your face, O God of Jacob. R From Psalm 24
|R||May the Father of glory give us the spirit of wisdom,|
[may we live for the praise of his glory].
Let them praise his name in the dance;
let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the Lord takes pleasure in his people
and adorns the poor with victory. R
Let the faithful rejoice in triumph;
let them be joyful on their beds.
Let the praises of God be in their throat
and a two-edged sword in their hand. R
To wreak vengeance on the nations
and punishment on the peoples;
To bind their kings in chains
and their nobles with links of iron;
To inflict on them the judgement decreed;
this is glory for all his faithful people. R Psalm 149
In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God's own people, to the praise of his glory.
I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
This is the word of the Lord. Ephesians 1. 11-23A reading from the First Letter of John.
See 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. Beloved, 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. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
This is the word of the Lord. 1 John 3. 1-3A reading from the Revelation to John.
After 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. They cried out in a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!" And 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, singing, "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honour and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen."
Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, "Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?" I 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. For 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. They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat; for the Lamb at the centre 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."
This is the word of the Lord. Revelation 7. 9-17Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: "Blessèd are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessèd are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessèd are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessèd are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessèd are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Blessèd are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessèd are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessèd are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessèd are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
"Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
This is the gospel of Christ. Matthew 5. 1-12Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke.
Jesus looked up at his disciples and said: "Blessèd are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessèd are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. Blessèd are you who weep now, for you will laugh. Blessèd are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.
"But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep. Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.
"But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you."
This is the gospel of Christ. Luke 6. 20-31Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.
When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to him, "Lord, come and see." Jesus began to weep. So the Jews said, "See how he loved him!" But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?" Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, "Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days." Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, "Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me." When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go."
This is the gospel of Christ. John 11. 32-44