All Saints Day

Prayers of the People

God you have been with us throughout the ages.

You have bore witness to the ways in which the story of us - of all that has come into being - has been woven together piece by piece, life by life.

We recognize, today, that it is because of the saints who have gone before us, that we are. Those who have struggled for justice, who have given so that others may live more freely - we would not be, if not for them.

In remembrance and gratitude, we name the saints who hungered for righteousness and whose sacrifices have contributed to a more just society:

(community names individuals)

Because of those who have loved us - those who have nurtured us, embraced us, celebrated us, or supported us. We are because they were. In remembrance and gratitude, we name the saints who have shaped our lives and being.

(community names individuals)

We also hold in remembrance the ones whose lives were taken by injustice, the ones who never knew their own belovedness, the ones who passed on our faith, the ones who gave us art, gave us song, gave us poetry. We are because they were.

Like us, we know they were imperfect too. There is no life that is not messy and contradictory, often betraying the very justice and love we seek to embody. And yet, you, O God, promise that our labor to Love is never made in vain.


Help us to lean on the witness of those who have gone before us, drawing on the love, justice, community, and faith that weaves us together, generation after generation - past, present, and future.

With gratitude and in remembrance we pray, Amen.


To the Saints:

How do we say thank you?

To you who
dreamed.
fought.
believed.
suffered.
To you who showed us
what incredible things
humans are capable of
under the most
challenging of circumstances.
 
We kneel to your courage.
We pray to acquire your faith.
We praise God,
the Divine in you.
 
Are you with us still,
in these days of grief?
 
Are you companioning us
in this long journey to justice
 
or
 
weeping
at the vanity
of it all?
 
Will you tell us your secrets?
Whisper softly in our direction
about when you wanted to quit,
when you got tired,
when you weren't sure
if any of it mattered
or if it was worth
the costs.
 
What kept you going?
 
Was it your own prayers
to the saints
who went before you?
Did you long to make them proud?
 
Was it seeing God
in your people
yearning to live
free?
 
Was it us - the future ones,
now enfleshed?
 
More important than your answers
is simply your assurance that
you asked the same questions
as budding prophets today
and kept living love
anyway.