These Are They

These Are They

All Saints Day, Year A

All Saints Day falls on a Sunday this year. John Wesley considered it one of the greatest celebrations in the life of the church. “How superstitious are they who scruple giving God solemn thanks for the lives and deaths of his saints!” said Wesley in 1756. Year after year, he commented on the celebration of the saints. It was a festival he dearly loved.

Revelation 7:9-17

Note to the Teacher

Learning Outcomes:

Students will understand what a legacy is and the impact others have on our lives.

The Ice Breaker allows students to think about the interactions we have with things and people and how we can remember the people we have interactions with.

The Discussion enables students to make a connection with scripture and our experiences with losing people in our lives.

The Activity allows youth to explore how we memorialize our heroes and the people we love.

Times are based on a fifty-minute lesson period but can be adjusted.

1. Opening Question/Ice Breaker (10 minutes)

If you are online, share random pictures of items that are all on one slide. If you are in person, have a tray with random items that are covered until you are ready to start. Make sure everyone has a piece of paper and pencil before you show the items.

  • Show the slide or tray to your students for ten seconds.
  • Then cover or take the slide away.
  • Ask students to write down as many items as they can remember.
  • Reveal all the items and have students keep track of their points.
  • Give a small gift to the winner(s).


  • Does anyone have a trick that you use to remember items? (Perhaps a story they make up in their heads or an acronym that uses the first letters of the items, etc.)
  • How well do you typically remember things?
  • What do you do to help you when you need to remember anything?
  • Usually the more you interact with a person/thing, the easier it is to remember—like someone’s name. The first time you meet someone, you should say the name at least three times in that first encounter to remember the name; or make another reference in your head to someone else you know well with the same name.
  • Today is All Saints Day, so it is our time to remember those who have gone before us.

2. Read Scripture/Discussion (15 minutes)

Our scripture reading today comes from Revelation 7:9-17. It is difficult to just pick out a few verses in Revelation to try to understand without diving into the whole book. But help students understand that John wrote this from a dream he had.

  • What lesson can you gather from verse 9? (There are people from all over the world standing at the throne of God. We are ALL worthy; God does not discriminate.)
    • How can/should this shape us and the way we act in our lives today?
  • What similar story does verse 9 mirror? (Jesus’ triumphal entry)
  • How is this group different? (They are forever dedicated, unlike the people who yelled out to crucify Jesus days later.)
  • Take a look at Matthew 7:21 and Jesus’ words there. Does this support or undermine these verses in Revelation? (Be sure you get your students to the conclusion, on their own, that other people’s salvation is not up to us, but to God.)
  • Explain verse 14. How can they wash their white robes in blood and the robes remain white? What is the symbolism here?
  • Who are these people?
  • Why do you think this is our scripture lesson for All Saints Day?

4. Activity and Discussion (25 minutes)

If you are face to face or virtual, show pictures of people your students know (locally or in history, including Jesus) who have left a positive mark on the world. As you show each picture, have students share the legacy each person has left behind.

  • Why is it important for us to acknowledge those that have gone before us?
  • What are some ways that we in our community or in our country have shown appreciation to our heroes that we have lost?
  • What are ways that you/your family have shown appreciation to the family members you have lost? How do you value their legacy?
  • How can we take the lessons we learn when we lose someone who means a lot to us and use those lessons for good?
  • What is a legacy?
  • What kind of legacy do you hope to leave behind? (Remind students that we can leave a legacy even as we leave a situation, not just when we die. For instance: when we leave youth group or leave middle school; when we move, etc.)

End your time in prayer, giving thanks to God for people who have gone before us and taught us many great lessons.

Total time: 50 minutes

Needed resources:

  • Tray with random items (face to face)
  • Slide with random pictures of items (virtual)
  • Paper/pencil (face to face or virtual)
  • Prizes
  • Pictures of people who have passed on (local, regional, or worldly famous)

In This Series...

All Saints Day, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes


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In This Series...

All Saints Day, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes