1 November, All Saints Day or All Hallowmas

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I have fond memories of sitting in my parish church as a lad and reading the commentary on the liturgy of All Saints Day by Pius Parsch in The Church's Year of Grace, one of my favourite books at the time. Parsch described the glory of First Vespers of All Saints with reliquaries glistening on the altar amidst clouds of incense: a foretaste of the liturgy of heaven.

Later on, in Blessed Abbot Marmion's book, Christ in His Mysteries, I read the chapter entitled, "Christ the Crown of All the Saints." Listen to what Dom Marmion says: "When we celebrate the Feast of All Saints, we ought to repeat to ourselves the words that St. Augustine heard: Cur non poteris quod isti, quod istae? What reasons have we for not tending to holiness? Oh, I know well what each one is tempted to say: 'I have such or such a difficulty, I have such or such a trial to contend with, I cannot become saint.' But be sure that all the saints have met with such difficulties, such trials, and much greater ones than yours. Thus then none can say, 'Holiness is not for me.'"


Let us all rejoice in the Lord,
celebrating a festival day in honour of all the Saints:
at whose solemnity the Angels rejoice,
and give praise to the Son of God.
V. Rejoice in the Lord, you just:
praise befits the upright (Ps 32:1).


Almighty and ever-living God
by whose gift we celebrate the triumph of your grace
in all the saints,
grant, that with so vast a multitude interceding for us,
we may receive from you
the abundance of mercy we have always desired.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.


That the pilgrim people who long to see the face of God,
may rejoice, even as they journey,
in the abiding presence of Christ
in the mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That world leaders of good will
may be helped in their efforts to procure a just and lasting peace
by the intercession of the saints
of every nation, tribe, people, and tongue,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That those who sorrow may be consoled;
that those who hunger and thirst for holiness may be satisfied;
that those who are reviled and persecuted may not lose hope;
and that all who suffer may lift their eyes to the Face of Christ,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That we who are called to live in the light
may find in the Most Holy Eucharist
the dawn of heaven’s lasting brightness
and the radiance of the Lamb who was slain,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.


Almighty and merciful God,
who have knit together your elect
in the communion of the Holy Spirit
and in the Mystical Body of your Son,
our Saviour, Jesus Christ;
grant us grace so to follow your blessed saints
in seeking always the light of His Face
that we may come to those inexpressible joys
that you have prepared for those who truly love you.
Through the same Christ our Lord.


The souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and the torment of malice shall not touch them:
in thesight of the unwise they seemed to die,
but they are in peace. Alleluia (Wis 3:1–2, 3).


Lord, may the gifts we offer in honour of all the saints
be pleasing to you;
grant that we who believe them to be safe in eternal life,
may experience their concern for our salvation.
Through Christ our Lord.


It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God.

Today you gather your Church
to keep the festival of your holy city,
that heavenly Jerusalem which is our mother.
Within her walls, our brothers and sisters
surround you already with eternal praise as with a crown.

Towards them we hasten with eager steps
as pilgrims who walk by faith,
rejoicing together
in the glorification of the members of your Church above,
even as you give to our weakness their strength and example.

And so, with the multitudes of the Angels themselves,
we magnify you, and with one voice proclaim your praise:


Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God:
blessed are the peace–makers,
for they shall be called the children of God:
blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Mt 5:8–10).


O God who alone are holy and wonderful in your saints,
adoring you, we implore your grace
that, having been brought to holiness in the fullness of your love,
we may pass from this table set for pilgrims
to the banquet of our heavenly home.
Through Christ our Lord.


May the Father of mercies
fill your poverty with the treasures of his kingdom,
and comfort you in every sorrow.

May Christ, the joy of all the saints,
lift up the light of his face on you,
and give you peace.

May the Holy Spirit
cleanse the eyes of your heart,
that, with all the saints, you may see God.

And may the blessing of Almighty God,
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
and remain with you forever.

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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