A Taste of the Heavenly Banquet: All Saints Day Communion Prayer

All Saints Day is one my favorite traditions in liturgical churches. It is an occasion to remember the faithful who have died in the past year, commend their spirits to God, and celebrate that we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses. Below is a Great Prayer of Thanksgiving written for use on All Saints Day, with a place to include the names of loved ones who have died in the past year. May it remind you of the everlasting, boundary-breaking, community-forming love of our God.

 

The Lord be with you. And also with you.

Lift up your hearts. We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.

 

Thanks and praise to you, O God,

creator and lover of the universe.

You created all that was;

you nurture all that is;

you imagine all that will be.

You are the pattern of community,

three-in-one God of mercy.

From the beginning of time,

you have created us for relationship:

relationship with one another,

relationship with the earth,

and relationship with you.

 

When we reject your call to community,

when we choose isolation over partnership

and brokenness over healing,

you call us back, again and again

with words of grace and songs of repentance.

 

We give you thanks for Jesus Christ,

our host and our guest at this table.

Through his birth, you took on flesh,

affirming the goodness of our bodies and our world.

Through his life, you took on suffering,

teaching the truth of hope in desperation.

Through his death, you took on death,

revealing the depth of your love for us.

Through his resurrection, you brought new creation,

sharing the truth of life everlasting.

 

Pour out your holy spirit upon us, O God,

and upon these gifts of fruit and grain.

Make them for us your body and spirit,

that we may taste your presence in our midst.

 

This is the joyful feast of the Lord:

a taste of the heavenly banquet to come.

We remember that we are not alone at this table,

for we join our voices with saints across all time and place,

who forever sing your praise:

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might.

Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest!

 

We remember, O God, the saints who join us at the table,

and we commend their spirits to you:

(Read the names of people in your community who have died this year, leaving room for silence between each name. You may choose to ring a bell after each name.)

 

This is the joyful feast of the Lord:

a taste of the heavenly banquet to come.

We remember that we are not alone at this table,

for we join our voices with saints across all time and place,

who forever sing your praise:

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might.

Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest!

 

On the night of his betrayal, Jesus shared a meal with friends.

He took bread and, after giving thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying,

“This is my body, broken for you. Take. Eat. Do this in remembrance of me.”

In the same manner, he took the cup, and he filled it, saying,

“This is the cup of the new covenant, sealed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink of it, do this in remembrance of me.”

Whenever we eat this bread and drink this cup,

we proclaim the saving life, death, and resurrection of our Lord, until he comes again.

 

Amen. 

 

 

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