Commemoration of the Faithful Departed (4)

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.

I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”
“Yes,” says the Spirit, “because they will rest from their labors, for their works follow them.” (Revelation 14:13)

We remember with thanksgiving those who have gone before us in faith,
who have shared with us in God’s gifts of life,
of peace and forgiveness through the hearing of the gospel,
of new life and the promise of resurrection through his Son in baptism,
who with us have been fed the body and blood of his Son at this holy table,
and who now have been called to the heavenly feast that will never end.

The names of those who have died in the last year are read.

Let us pray.

Lord, look upon your holy Christian Church, the communion of saints here on earth. Strengthen and keep us in the one true faith, and make us grow in fervent love for you and for one another. Bring us with your saints to glory everlasting, that with them we may sing your praise forever; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Source: Prepared for Scripture is from The Holy Bible: Evangelical Heritage Version.

Link to access this rite in Christian Worship: Service Builder.

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Lutheran pastor and musician serving St. Stephen's in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.

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