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Confessional Lutheran theology, hagiography, philosophy, music, culture, sports, education, and whatever else is on the fevered mind of Orycteropus Afer

01 November 2014
  The Feast of All Saints
1 November

All Saints DayThe first day of November (or a Sunday close to it) is traditionally observed as All Saints' Day. On this day the Church — particularly Western Christendom — remembers those who have finished the course of this life in faith and are now at rest with the Lord.

On All Saints' Day, we thank God for the faith of our fellow saints and for their example in the Christian life. But most of all, we praise God for His faithfulness to His saints, for keeping them in His merciful favor. God promises to be faithful to us just as He has been faithful to our fellow saints before us.

The day came about in large part because of a glut of canonized saints, including many of the martyrs of the early centuries, in the Roman Catholic Church. So many had been established that the calendar overflowed with saints' days. Therefore, the Church combined many of the "lesser" saints and moved them to the joint commemoration we still celebrate on 1 November.

Until recent times, much of Lutheranism kept a multi-tiered approach to the remembrance of the saints. Some, such as the apostles and evangelists, retained their traditional feast days. Others were also listed, not with major feasts but by various commemorations. All Saints' Day remained a catch-all for some of the special heroes of the faith, both biblical and in later history.

The following day, the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed, was reserved as a time of remembering and thanking God for the saints who had lived among us and who had direct influence upon our lives. The current LCMS calendar drops this distinction in favor of one celebration.

For more on why we continue these special celebrations, see Remembering the Saints at Ask the Pastor.

Lection

Psalm 149
Revelation 7:(2-8) 9-17
1 John 3:1-3
Matthew 5:1-12

Collect

Almighty and everlasting God, You knit together Your faithful people of all times and places into one holy communion, the mystical body of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Grant us so to follow Your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living that, together with them, we may come to the unspeakable joys You have prepared for those who love You; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

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