Reading the names of the departed on All Saints’ Day has the purpose of remembering God’s grace in Christ to those who have fallen asleep in him. Other customs have been connected with the reading of the names:
- Some churches have the custom of lighting candles or ringing bells as the names are read.
- Some churches have the custom of reading the individuals’ confirmation verses along with the names.
- In larger congregations, a simple reading of the names may suffice.
This rite may follow the Prayer of the Church / Prayers of the Faithful, or may be used at another appropriate place in the service.
If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:19-20)
With hope in Christ and in the resurrection to eternal life, we remember those in this congregation who have died in the last year:
The names of those who have died in the last year are read.
We remember in silence those who have died in previous years, and those who were members of other Christian congregations.
For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.
For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:21-22)
Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.
Yes, they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them. (Revelation 14:13)
Let us pray.
Lord Jesus Christ, you told Mary and Martha that you are the Resurrection and the Life. You promised your disciples that you would prepare a place for them. You promised the repentant thief that he would be with you in Paradise. And through the disciple John, you revealed to us that you will wipe away every tear from our eyes in the Day when there is no death or sorrow or crying or pain. Fill our hearts with these firm and certain promises. Comfort us with the assurance that those who have died in faith now see you face to face. You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, surrounded by a great multitude that no one can count, one God, now and forever.
“Blessed are They Which Are Called,” or another hymn may be sung.
Source: Prepared for A Collection of Prayers.
Scripture is from The Holy Bible: New International Version.