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.
Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive the glory and the honor and the power,
for you have created all things,
and because of your will they existed and were created. (Revelation 4:11)
You are worthy, O Lamb, because you were slain,
and you bought us for God with your blood
out of every tribe and language and people and nation.
You made them to be a kingdom and priests for our God,
and they will reign on the earth. (Revelation 5:9-10)
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 to be remembered are read aloud.
Jesus said, “This is the will of him who sent me: that I should lose none of those he has given me,
but raise them up on the Last Day.” (John 6:39)
Eternal God and Father, you are not the God of the dead but of the living, and all who have put their trust in you, who rest in their chambers under the earth, live in you. Be merciful to us, dear Father. Do not let us be afraid of the power and sting of death, but keep us in the true faith in your dear Son, who is the way, the truth, and the life. Uphold us with your Holy Spirit, and give us a clear conscience, that we may live our Christian lives, and finally fall asleep in peace and joy when we leave this valley of tears, and rest in peace until you open our graves and awaken us with the sound of the last trumpet; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Source: Based on a document from the Diocese of Gloucester. (https://www.gloucester.anglican.org/content/pages/documents/1380206639.pdf). Responsive reading is from passages in Revelation and John. Scripture is taken from The Holy Bible: Evangelical Heritage Version. Closing Collect is from Order for Burial, found in Allgemeines evangelisches Gesang- und Gebetbuch zum Kirchen und Hausgebrauch,Hamburg, 1846, p. 760#2.