All Saints Day/All Hallows Eve Prayer with Libation

A 21st Century Worship Resource
by Marilyn Thornton

Pour libation as names are called. More than one reader may be used.

Note: In Africana Christian worship, a libation is a small amount of liquid, usually water, poured out in memory or in honor of an ancestor -- living or dead. In Africana Christian worship, libations are never meant as worship, but as a gesture of inclusion, remembrance and respect -- much as candles are traditionally used at All Saints' Worship observances. The candles lit at All Saints' Worship observances are an acknowledgement that our loved ones in Christ are not gone forever, the light that was lit in their hearts when they came into the family of God continues to shine in the presence of God. The symbolism of water poured in libation suggests that the ancestors -- respected members of our community, both living and dead -- who are physically absent from the assembly are part of us, and that a portion of what we have, usually water, has been reserved for them as though they were present. Just as candles are lit in memory or in honor of departed saints in traditional All Saints' Day observances, water may be poured out in memory or in honor of departed saints or living saints in Africana All Saints' Day observances.

On this Day of the Saints,* let us give honor to those who hallowed this earth by their prayers and by the way they walked in the light of God. Let us remember the giants of faith on whose shoulders we stand.

Abraham Jacob
Deborah Ruth
David Esther

On this Day of the Saints,* let us give honor to those who empowered by the Holy Spirit established God's church, giving life, blood, soul, and strength that we might have a right to the tree of life.

Mary Jesus
Paul Lydia
Athanasius Augustine

On this Day of the Saints,* let us give honor to those whose belief in the God of Freedom was so strong that Freedom rings stronger and longer today. Let us remember these warriors of liberation and service on whose shoulders we stand.

Nat Turner Henry Highland Garnet
Harriet Tubman Sojourner Truth
Frederick Douglass Ida B. Wells Barnett

On this Day of the Saints,* let us give honor to those who hallowed the struggle for justice by the love that they have shown to create a beloved community. Let us remember these blessed ones whose example we should follow.

Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Fannie Lou Hamer Nelson Mandela
Bishop Desmond Tutu Marian Wright Edelman

On this Day of the Saints,* let us give honor to those who built our families, who sacrificed for our well-being, who built up our church, who founded institutions of learning, who braved the storm, who fought the good fight and who may still be fighting on. We stand on their shoulders!

The worshiping community is invited to call out the names of the saints,* they wish to honor from their families and communities.

[When all have finished]

Merciful God, we thank you for the Saints!

 


 

* A saint is defined as a person who is sanctified to God through Jesus Christ.

Categories: 21st Century Africana, 21st Century Liturgy, Other