Planning -- The Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost/All Saints Sunday
- Revised Common Lectionary Readings for the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost
- Revised Common Lectionary Readings for All Saints Day
- Worship Notes
- Resources in The United Methodist Book of Worship
Note: There are two different sets of readings available for this Sunday. One set is for the "regular" Sunday (23rd Sunday after Pentecost). The other is for All Saints Day or Sunday (November 1 or November 4). All Saints Day is considered a "major feast day" in the life of the church. These two sets of readings are not interchangeable. The All Saints readings, in particular, are selected specifically for that celebration. We are providing resources for both possibilities here, recognizing that some of our congregations have no tradition of celebrating All Saints Day.
Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost
See full texts, artwork, and Revised Common Lectionary Prayers for this Sunday at Vanderbilt Divinity Library.
A Moabite widow, Ruth, determines to continue to live with and support the household of her Judean mother-in-law, Naomi, who had lost her husband and both of her sons.
Psalm 146 (UMH 858)
We praise God as one who is compassionate to widows, orphans and strangers. If singing the Psalm, use Tone 2 with the response (UMH 737).
Christ's self-offering delivers us from sin and its power, while the temple's sacrifices could only deal with ritual impurity.
A scribe asks Jesus to state the most important instruction in Torah. Jesus replies with love of God above all and love of neighbor as oneself. The scribe agrees, adding that this is more important than anything the sacrificial system can do or requires.
See the texts (NRSV), artwork and Revised Common Lectionary Prayers at the Vanderbilt Divinity Library.
A vision of worldwide salvation On Mount Zion, God prepares a feast for all the peoples of the earth, destroys death, wipes every tear from all faces, and removes the disgrace of the people Israel.
Psalm 24 (UMH 755)
"Who shall stand in God's holy place? Those who have clean hands and pure hearts. They shall receive blessing from the Lord." For singing the Psalm, use Response 1 with Tone 4 in F minor, or use the first and last line of the first verse of "Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates"(UMH 213) with this psalm tone in D Major: D-F#-G-A; F#-G-E-D.
Another vision of salvation God lowers the new Jerusalem from the new heaven to the new earth, a new order in which the sea, sorrow, pain, and death are all no more. "Behold, I make all things new!"
Salvation enacted Jesus calls Lazarus forth from the dead and orders the bystanders to unwrap his grave clothes and let him go free.
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In the Christian calendar, to day is the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost or All Saints Day.
Christ the King/Reign of Christ Sunday is November 25. Advent (Year C) normally begins December 2. However, if youre looking to explore alternative ways to celebrate both Advent and Christmastide more richly, consider one of the options offered in Restoring Advent and Christmas 2012/2013.
One of these options is to begin an early and extended celebration of Advent, beginning next Sunday (November 11). The lectionary texts begin turning toward Advents end of the world/second coming themes starting next Sunday in keeping with the earliest Christian practice of a seven-week Advent, beginning after All Saints Day. For more information about celebrating an earlier and extended Advent, see The Advent Project website. And click here for a United Methodist congregation that has had a very positive experience with this.
On the denominational calendar, next Sunday (November 11) is also Organ and Tissue Donor Sunday, (National Donor Sabbath). The General Board of Church and Society is the contact organization for this special day. For more information, see www.organdonor.gov or http://calms.umc.org/2008/Text.aspx?mode=Petition&Number=575.
November 18 is Bible Sunday, the kickoff to National Bible Week organized by the National Bible Association. While appropriate recognition of the role of Scripture should be part of worship weekly, and perhaps especially on this day, the Scriptures already set for this day should take precedence in your planning.
November 25 is designated as United Methodist Student Day, which includes a special offering. Once again, while the special offering should be taken, the celebration of this day should be woven into the larger themes of Christ the King Sunday, which takes precedence on this day.
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Atmospherics -- The Twenty-Third Sunday After Pentecost
Ruth: Reconsidering "Foreigners"
Today marks the first of the two weeks of readings from Ruth in the three-year cycle. Ruth is a short story composed to remind a post-exilic people keen on eliminating foreigners and people of mixed heritage that their most fondly remembered king, David, was the great-grandson of a Moabite woman.
Sometimes this weeks text has been used primarily to criticize Orpah for returning to her people and her gods (verse 15) and praise Ruth by comparison. But, in fact, the story itself never does this. Naomi begs both of her daughters-in-law to return to their homeland and people among whom they may be more likely to enjoy a greater possibility of home and children. And it is clear that both Orpah and Ruth deeply respected and loved Naomi. There were no easy choices here for either Ruth or Orpah. Each choice meant a loss -- either of the relationship with Naomi they had known for ten years, or of a future among their own people.
Among the first hearers or readers of this story, Orpahs choice would have seemed the most reasonable, and Ruths may well have been understood as problematic. The Hebrew verb describing Ruths action toward Naomi (davaq, cling, verse 14) is the same verb used i the relationship of Adam to Eve in Genesis 2:24. It was perfectly acceptable for a woman to cling to a husband and offer to take his people and gods as her people and gods. To a husband, a woman would be expected to cling until death parts us. Yet here, Ruth here gives this kind of attachment and commitment to another woman, not to a husband, and indeed with little or no immediate prospect of a husband in sight.
Some of the first hearers or readers of this story may well have found themselves in a moral quandary about how to interpret Ruths actions and Naomis apparent acceptance of them. Some might have excused Ruths exuberance as a sign of her Moabite upbringing. Others might have thought that her Moabite upbringing had disordered her affections. Under this reading, Naomi should have insisted all the more on pushing her away. At the same time, Ruths commitment here was a bold, if brazen, example of keeping Torah. After all, she was honoring the woman who had become mother to her (the first commandment with a promise) and committing to put aside her gods and worship only YHWH (the first commandment).
But the quandary was real. In these opening verses, Ruth and Naomi turn out to be morally ambiguous at best. Their situation doesnt fit the norms.
And thats part of the point in a story that is out to blow the readers or hearers stereotypes about women, loyalties, and national origin. Their relationship confronts hearers about what they thought they knew and invites them to ask new questions that help them (and us) begin to rethink their view of the world as it should be.
By this strategy and others that keep the hearer/reader guessing throughout the story, Ruth accomplished in its day much the same thing as the parables of Jesus did in his, and still do if we listen carefully! It upended the standard (and more limited) vision of the world that blessed primarily the powerful and the privileged and helped its hearers imagine a world, actually more like the reality we see, where anyone from anywhere and any social status could find themselves as the apple of Gods eye.
The presentation of this story in the next two weeks might be accompanied by images of other people or groups that the culture of your congregation or community may have characterized as Judean culture had characterized the Moabites, and in particular their women. This may provide an opportunity for encountering ways that God may be working in and through these outsider or marginal people to strengthen rather than threaten or undermine our identity as the baptized disciples of Jesus Christ. Use the gifts of discernment in your worship planning team to decide who these people might be for your particular congregation and community. If you have access and permission to use to images of such people interacting with your congregation or community in a positive way, find a way to use these images in worship.
Ruth and All Saints
Though weve noted above that the readings for the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost and All Saints Sunday are not intended to be interchanged (indeed, they are not!), let me suggest there are good reasons to include this as the first lesson today even if you keep this day as All Saints Sunday. Especially if you have been celebrating A Season of Saints throughout October, you know just how sketchy a number of those we call saints tended to be, as well as how that very sketchiness was used mightily by God to bring about dramatic outcomes, some of which literally transformed the world. The saints were not and are not ideal or even idealized people who lived above the fray. They, like Ruth, plunged themselves into it, trusting God with both the process and the results. And some, like Ruth, could not possibly have imagined what those results could be as they took one bold step of faith after another. Ruths story fits All Saints.
Ruths story is also only told in the lectionary over these two Sundays (this week and next) in the entire three-year cycle. On this Sunday just before U.S. elections where issues of immigration and the kinds of assumptions our citizens make about persons from other countries and cultures are very much at the fore of political debates from the local to the national, taking time before and after the elections to consider the Book of Ruths take on these questions may provide valuable guidance for your worshiping community, not only as they consider their votes, but also as they consider the results of the elections on the following Sunday.
Hebrews: A Priestly Covenant
The reading from Hebrews continues to identify Jesus as the great high priest whose life, death, and resurrection have superseded all human systems of ritual sacrifice. If you use images from this text this week, be careful to be as specific as the text itself is. Verse 13 refers to the handling of blood from two entirely different sacrifices in two entirely different ways in the biblical Hebrew ritual. For a Jewish Christian audience still familiar with these rituals, the two could be conflated in meaningful ways. One ritual (Yom Kippur) dealt with unintentional sin. The other (red heifer ritual) dealt specifically with death. Most Christians today, however, not knowing these ritual practices, can easily come away either puzzled or with complete miscomprehension.
Blood from a bull and a goat were used for the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). The role of the blood in the Yom Kippur rite was to clean out or, more literally, cover over (kippur means cover) the spiritual "gunk" that had accumulated on the implements of the tabernacle/temple as a result of the sins of the high priest (bull's blood) and the sins of the whole people (goat's blood). See Leviticus 16:1-19.
The mention of the heifer is from a different ritual (Numbers 19), in which a heifer was burned outside the camp by a priest representing the high priest. The ashes were collected by another person and put in yet another appointed place outside the camp (or, later, city). From that remote location, this holy ash could be retrieved as needed by the priests and reconstituted with some water to sprinkle on people who had become unclean because they had touched a dead human body. Such people had to present themselves for the sprinkling ritual twice (on the third and seventh days) before they could be made clean so they could enter the temple and offer their sacrifices. Blood is involved in this sacrificial ritual only in that, unlike other sacrifices (including those connected to Yom Kippur), the blood itself was burned with the animal being offered. This happened in no other Jewish sacrificial rite.
On Yom Kippur, blood is used to cleanse things used in worship from the effects of unintentional sin. In the red heifer sacrifice, blood, which is in the ash, is "revivified" by the water and is used to cleanse people and their tents and furnishings (if they encountered or touched a dead person in a tent) from the effects of the power of death.
The effect of the conflation of these two different rituals is to support the assertion in verse 14 about the effect of the blood of Christ, both on the crucifix and in Holy Communion. The Jewish sacrificial rituals involving blood only produce physical ritual cleansing from sin and death. The blood of Jesus cleanses not just the body but our entire awareness of ourselves (our consciences) from dead works (or works of death) so that we can worship and serve the living God. In other words, while the ritual cleansing could restore the status of the worshiping community, the cleansing offered to us in Christ can actually transform us, from the inside out, both as individuals and as a community.
That last claim, in its specificity, however, depends utterly upon understanding and to some degree accepting the logic of cleansing embedded in the Jewish ritual sacrificial system. Most folks in your congregation and community will have no clue how that logic works and so find the assertion in verse 14 either a non-sequitur or nonsense. Many may either shrug their shoulders or dismiss it entirely. So if you are focusing on Hebrews for these weeks, and in particular on verse 14, discuss in your worship planning team how you will help unfold the logic of the ritual systems (as noted in two paragraphs above) that underlie it. These are complicated issues to discuss and describe. Dont go over their heads! Explain carefully, but dont be boring! Work with your planning team to prepare a combination of images, text and aural presentation that will help your particular congregation get it enough about the Jewish ritual that they can also get what Hebrews is claiming about Jesus.
Mark: Discipleship Everywhere
Mark today brings us what some have called The Great Commandment: Love God with all you are and your neighbor as yourself. Each of the gospels gives this teaching a different context and audience. In Matthew, as in Mark, Jesus is teaching in the temple in Jerusalem. In Matthew, the Pharisees are out to test Jesus, so Jesus declares this teaching and moves on to question them about another matter (Matthew 22:34-40). In Luke, Jesus is not in the temple but in Galilee. Having just heard the amazing reports of the seventy he sent into mission in the surrounding villages, Jesus is confronted by a lawyer (most likely a Pharisee) demanding to know the greatest commandment. Here, Jesus does not give the answer, but asks the man to say what he believes. Jesus ratifies what the man says (Luke 10:25-28). When the man then wants to know who his neighbor is, Jesus tells the story of the Good Samaritan in the verses that follow.
Here in Mark, Jesus offers the teaching in response to a question from a scribe (likely of the Sadducee party). When the scribe ratifies what Jesus has said, adding some commentary, Jesus agrees with the scribe, and all questions cease.
We do well today to listen to Marks version and not try to conflate it with the others. The effect of Marks telling is to show that everyone, from the radical Jesus to the most conservative scribe, agrees about how basic this teaching is. And indeed, everyone agrees on what it means, concretely: Love of God with ones whole being and love of neighbor as self is more important that the entirety of the ritual system. This is a remarkable statement for anyone to make anywhere. It is even more remarkable when made by a scribe standing in the ritual center of Judaism, the temple.
Within the larger narrative frame of this part of Marks gospel, Jesus is just about to predict the destruction of the temple (chapter 13). The destruction of the temple would decisively end the Jewish ritual system. Given this larger context, the scribes agreement with Jesus on this point is even more important. Love of God and neighbor, however embodied ritually, and not the Jewish ritual system per se, is the necessary and sufficient center of Jewish and Christian life.
But note how that is put. The scribe does not say that the ritual is irrelevant. It isnt. The ritual was and would remain the major public means by which the People of the Covenant express their love of God as the center of their values with their whole bodies and attentive minds. So the ritual was and would remain, though significantly changed when the temple was destroyed, the primary means by which the faithful embodied the first part of the Great Commandment, and, through the funds collected there to help the poor, a significant means of helping fulfill love of neighbor as well. This remains as true for the Jewish people after the destruction of the temple as for later Gentile Christians who may have never had any connection to Jewish ritual life at all.
So the point of the commandment as presented in Marks gospel, with its scribal Midrash, is not to reject the value of the communitys worship and acts of charity as part of that worship. Not at all. Marks point was to note how ritual was necessary but not sufficient to fulfill Gods expectations of us -- to love God with all we are all the time, and our neighbors as ourselves. What happens symbolically in the gathered life of the worshiping community needs also to be happening concretely in the daily life of those who gather. The daily devotion to God and neighbor enlivens the worship of the gathered community, and the worship of the gathered community reconnects us to love God and neighbor daily.
Thus, it is simply not possible to be spiritual (daily and personal) but not religious (regularly as a gathered worshiping community), nor religious but not spiritual, if we are to live out the great commandments of our Lord. It must always be both.
As you discuss in your worship planning team how to help your congregation connect with the fullness of this reading, you might consider creating a series of slides. The first includes important commandments and ritual obligations, one appearing after another, filling the screen. The second asks, "Which of all these is greatest?" The third says a large font, "One great commandment: Love God with your whole being and your neighbor as yourself"; then, beside it or below it in smaller type, "This is greater than everything else, including sacrifices." A fourth says, "Keep this straight, and you will not be far from the kingdom of God."
Mark and All Saints
Todays reading from Mark includes a teaching central to the life and ministry of Jesus. Indeed, it is a teaching that defines what saints are -- those who, as John Wesley would have put it, have reached perfection in love of God and neighbor in this life. Combined with the reading from Ruth, and perhaps the reading from Revelation for All Saints, we could derive a full-orbed All Saints celebration by this mix and match strategy. Mark would stand at the core, calling us to love of God and every neighbor. Ruth would remind us what it means to love every neighbor, including those whose cultures or lifestyles we may have taught ourselves to find suspect. And Revelation reminds us of the destination of All Saints, all who truly love God and neighbor, citizens in the New City of a New Creation who know deep in their bones that their sainthood, their capacity to love, isnt ultimately about their own capacities, but rather the limitless re-creative love of the One who is Alpha and Omega.
So, consider well in your worship planning team just what your focus needs to be today. Is it more on the practice of loving God and neighbor, with or without an All Saints twist? Or are you really needing to go all out with All Saints, inspired and being inspired by the vision of resurrection and New Creation toward which all saints are promised to be heading?
All Saints Day/Sunday
This years readings for All Saints Sunday focus less on the "saints" people whose example in this life shows us how to live as faithful disciples-- and more on what all saints are promised to enjoy through God's determination to set creation free from the power of sin and death.
At the heart of all these texts is the affirmation that Gods future also happens here and now and in all kinds of ways. These texts, and indeed this day, invites your worship planning team and congregation to reflect on and give thanks for the vision of time and history embedded in Christianity and apocalyptic Judaism before it.
This is why All Saints Day had initially marked the turn from Ordinary Time toward Advent. On this day, we see the apocalyptic vision fulfilled. During Advent, we unpack the implications of the apocalyptic vision embedded in the gospel both now and as we wait for that day.
The North American cultural imagination is deeply focused on the here and now as the only ultimate there is. At the same time, it bombards us with a vision of the utter meaninglessness and futility of any vision of the whole sweep of history, human or cosmic, and tends to reject any discussion of the age to come as a kind of meaningless if not damaging pie in the sky by and by wish-fulfillment-complex.
We have some work to do. Addressing issues of mortality and time as Scripture and the mainstream of the Christian tradition have continued to do over the centuries may now require significant intellectual effort for many in our congregations. Perhaps the church has not been clear enough about its proclamation. Or perhaps we have withdrawn into our own safer cocoons in the face of the onslaught of significant cultural and intellectual challenge to our teaching. Today of all days is a time for you and your worship planning team to burst the cocoon and invite your congregation to see, experience and embrace the butterfly that may emerge if you address the fullness of the Christian proclamation of the kingdom of God drawing near and the age to come.
Isaiah 25 prophesies a day when the temple mount would be host to a lavish feast with rich foods and the best wines for all peoples of the earth. From that day forward, death would be abolished forever and the disgrace of the Covenant people would be removed. This prophecy that informs Christian descriptions of the marriage supper of the Lamb sung by the saints in Revelation 19:7-8. It also informs Jesus own descriptions of invitations to banquets (such as Luke 14:15-24 and Matthew 22:1-14). And it is in plain view every time we pray, in the Great Thanksgiving, Make us one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world until Christ comes in final victory and we feast at his heavenly banquet.
In both its original form and its Christian appropriations, the stories of the Great Banquet then evoke a response from us now. They call us beyond a vision of the world narrowed by disease, deprivation and hostility and toward the realization that Gods promise and Gods presence already enable a far richer feast with far more people, along with a narrowing of deaths power now, than we may normally imagine. Christians understand that our participation in activities that help us keep the feast here and now, whether ritual (such as Holy Communion) or otherwise (such as throwing a neighborhood party or hosting a food distribution) are both foretaste and present manifestation of the banquet to come.
Video or animation of the reading from Isaiah 25 might include a pan-in on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, where a huge feast is laid out tables and people everywhere. Closer panning reveals that these people are from all over the earth Africa, South America, China, India, all over the Middle East, the Caribbean, Europe, North America, Australia, Oceania all eating in mixed tables, enjoying the company, the food, and the wine. There are no tears to be found anywhere except perhaps tears of joy in the faces of Jewish people from across the earth who rejoice to say, "Yes, THIS is our God! This one who feeds you all! This is the One we have been waiting for! This is our God!" One way to live this text today may be to invite a gathering of congregations from multiple ethnic backgrounds to gather together for worship (with Holy Communion of course!) and a joyous meal afterward, to which you also intentionally invite and serve the poor in your community, as a way of living into and living from this text on this All Saints Day.
This weeks text from Revelation seems to move us beyond any current histories into the fullness of the age to come, a reformatting and reboot of all creation, as it were. Note that the description of this fulfillment of all things looks almost nothing like popular descriptions of heaven with individual mansions in an ethereal countryside for each and all. What Revelation describes as our promise as saints emphatically is not heaven. It is Earth 2.0, and it is a city on this planet that animates life for all. It is the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven, and God coming among us to dwell with us here, having destroyed death and all other sources of sorrow.
Now listen to the last verse in this weeks reading: I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last. Yes, this text is describing the age to come in its fullness. It is life in this age to come that Christians have confessed for centuries in the Nicene Creed. But we always make this confession knowing that we can glimpse and occasionally approach that life now, precisely because God is Alpha and Omega, beginning and end, and all points in between.
The reading from John 11 declares Christs victory over physical death. Everything in this story indicates that Lazarus was truly dead. His sisters and the neighbors mourn. Martha notes the smell of his decaying flesh emanating from the tomb where his body had been laid to dry. Mary and Martha (in earlier verses) each tell him if he had been there Lazarus would not have died. Skeptical onlookers consider his death proof positive that Jesus is not as powerful as his reputation might make him seem.
It appears to be to these skeptical onlookers that Jesus issues the command to roll away the stone, and then, when Lazarus comes from the tomb, to unbind him and let him go. The skeptics could now have no doubt about what had happened. Jesus involved them in a hands-on way to make it happen!
In verses not included in the lectionarys selection (45-47), some of the onlookers reported what had happened to the leadership of the Pharisees in Jerusalem. The Pharisees do not describe this as a miracle, an impossible possibility, but rather as a sign (verse 47). All of Johns gospel is structured around signs, actions of Jesus that reveal the will, work and presence of God in him. The sign of Jesus raising affirms Jesus I am statement to Martha in verse 25, I am the resurrection and the life. It foreshadows his own resurrection, even as it sets in motion the plots that lead to his execution. But perhaps above all it declares, as the other Scriptures for this day also do, Gods intention and power to destroy death once and for all.
Like nearly all signs of the fullness of Gods reign in this age, the effects of this sign were provisional. Lazarus, now alive again, would also die again. Still, the moment of his raising was the moment that also declared that death was not the final answer for him or, as Jesus taught Martha, for those who believe into him (verses 25-26), those who become his disciples.
Jesus question to Martha at that point, verse 26, remains his question to all of us. Do you believe this? All Saints Day is an occasion for Christians to affirm with her, Yes, Lord, I have put my whole trust that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.
How will you help your congregation wrestle with Jesus question today? How will you help each other affirm Marthas answer?
The raising of Lazarus has been portrayed in a number of motion pictures live action and animation but, as is often the case with movies based on the Bible, usually in a fairly stilted fashion that may come off as more cheesy than powerful. Use any of these with caution! (See the movies link at textweek.com for examples). If you are able to find an appropriate clip that you can display legally (remember, you must have appropriate licensing to display copyrighted material), you might consider using it as the reading or as part of the sermon.
Use your best sense of what might work in your setting to support, rather than distract from, the experience of the proclamation of the gospel. You may well conclude that a simple declaration of the text itself, proclaimed well in the midst of the people, is all this powerful story needs in your setting.
Today's reading from Ruth is the introduction to the story. If you start it today, be sure to finish it next week, filling in details as may be needed. And however you handle the story, be sure to help it do what it was designed to do -- challenge prevailing stereoptypes about who is in and who is out.
The readings from Hebrews continue to take us deeper and deeper into the mysteries of biblical Hebrew ritual life. Indeed, it offers specific insights, if you will help your people learn them, about what the power in the blood was in Jewish ritual and is in Jesus Christ. If you focus here, dont settle for the power of a repeated phrase extolling the blood of Jesus -- help your folks understand it as it is taught by Scripture!
The reading from Mark both reinforces and challenges the readings from Hebrews. It reinforces the sense that Jewish ritual practices do not in themselves put people in the right relationship with God that involves living in a way that starts with the Great Commandment. That same principle, however, could lead to questions about the value of interpreting the meaning of the death of Jesus in terms of Jewish ritual sacrificial rites at all. This is a tension you may (or may not!) wish to explore today.
All Saints Day is a day of high celebration! While many congregations use this day also to remember those who have died in the previous year (actually thus conflating All Saints Day, November 1, with All Souls Day, November 2), if you do so, do so joyfully.
There are at least three places you may offer a commemoration of the dead today. You may do so as a response to the sermon, perhaps after affirming a historic creed. You may do so within the prayers of the people. Or, if you are simply listing names (so this does not become distracting), you may do so in the Great Thanksgiving, right after the words, and we feast with him at your heavenly banquet by adding with all your saints, especially (Names) whom we remember before you today.
If the commemoration is a response to the sermon, after the creed, consider lighting a candle or using a bell to toll for each person as each name is read. Consider using a brief refrain, spoken or sung, such as "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord" or "Into your hands we commend their spirits." If you have the ability to project images, you may want to create a slide for each person that may include a picture (either from a church photo directory or chosen by the family) with the persons name, dates of birth, baptism, and death, and perhaps a brief notation of the ministries each engaged in the church and the world. Family members and/or friends may be invited to participate in candle lighting ceremonies as the names of the departed are spoken.
See resources in The United Methodist Book of Worship (1992), 413-415.
Whatever else you may do, plan for Holy Communion today; and, if possible, sing the song of "all the company of heaven" (Holy, Holy, Holy) at the Great Thanksgiving. The United Methodist Hymnal, The Faith We Sing, the Upper Room Worshipbook (2006) and Worship & Song (2011) each provide multiple musical settings for Holy Communion.
23rd Sunday After Pentecost
- Greeting: UMBOW 411 (Mark)
- Greeting: UMBOW 417 (Ruth)
- Greeting: UMBOW 452 (Hebrews)
- Opening Prayer: UMBOW 437 (Ruth)
- Opening Prayer: UMBOW 466 (Mark)
- Confession and Pardon: UMBOW 476 (Mark; use the invitation in the Word & Table service, UMH p. 7.)
- Prayer: UMBOW 504 (Ruth)
- Prayer: UMBOW 493 (Mark; our neighbors may be our enemies)
- Ecumenical Cycle of Prayer: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda
- Great Thanksgiving: UMBOW 70-71 (Seasonal/General) or 78-79 (General)
- Thanksgiving: (if no Communion): UMBOW 553 (Ruth, Hebrews)
All Saints Day
For a "through planned service" for All Saints' Day, see A Service of Communion for All Saints' Day or A Contemporary, Global Celebration of All Saints, Year B (New!)
- Greeting: UMBOW 414 (All Saints' Day)
- Greeting: UMBOW 453 (Isaiah, Revelation)
- Canticle: UMH 652, "Canticle of Remembrance" (All Saints' Day)
- Canticle: UMH 734, "Canticle of Hope" (Isaiah, Revelation)
- Psalm: UMH 212, UMH 755. Response 1 can be found in four-parts in the Methodist Hymnal 1935, #584.
- Prayer of Confession: UMBOW 494 (Psalm)
- Prayer: UMH 713, All Saints' (All Saints' Day)
- Prayer: UMBOW 415 (All Saints' Day)
- Memorial Prayer: UMH 461, For Those Who Mourn (John)
- Memorial Prayer: UMBOW 548, On the Anniversary of a Death (All Saints' Day)
- Memorial Poem: UMH 656, "If Death My Friend and Me Divide" (John)
- Ecumenical Cycle of Prayer: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda
- Great Thanksgiving: 74-75 or A Contemporary, Global Celebration of All Saints, Year B (New!)
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