Prayers of the People for All Saints Day

Episcopal News Service. November 1, 2001 [2001-314]

The Rev. Charles T.A. Flood

And for the Sunday after All Saints November 4, 2001

(Also could be used on November 11, 2001 which has been set aside as a Memorial to the Victims of September 11, 2001)

We remember the Saints in the security of our hearts

Those whom we have carried within us since childhood.

Those with whom we speak in the dark moments of cold and loneliness and those who give us, by their example, the courage the go forth and prevail.

We praise those who have made us holy from times past

and we proclaim the saints of our own generations.

These great women and men of God are the ancient foundations of our faith and our inspiration.

God has sent them to us in times of loss and confusion

They have blessed us.

They have led us.

They have loved us..


Leader: Let is celebrate those who have formed us.

People: Let us rejoice in the precious gift of their lives.

The Saints were not those who were perfect

They were parts of God's creation who struggled and often failed

and yet managed to raise up our faith in God and in one another.

Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Sarah, Hannah, Joshua, David, Moses, Mary the Mother of Jesus.

Buddha and Mohammad and all the prophets of old.

They led God's people to God's Light.


Leader: For those who had the courage to make a path for all to follow.

People: We strive to walk upon their way.

We join our praises with all who have kept the faith, all who have been loyal and true, all who have served and witnessed,

We give thanks for those in our own time who have inspired us,

For Florence Nightingale, for Thomas Merton, for Martin Luther King,

For Ghandi who showed us the path of peace in order that we may proclaim peace. (silence)

Leader: Let us see the presence of the saints among us

People: And let them lift us onto the path of goodness.

We bless with our tears the ground which has been made holy by the blood of the innocent.

The hill of Calvary where Our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified.

The lynching trees of our own nation where the innocent children of slavery were murdered.

The gas chambers where the innocent of God's chosen people were slain.

The killing fields of Cambodia and the villages of Vietnam.

The city of Oklahoma - ground consecrated by the blood of children.

The field on the edge of town in Wyoming where Matthew Sheppard was killed out of ignorance, fear and hatred.

And, especially, we continue to live in the shadow of the Pentagon;

a lonely field in Pennsylvania and the devastation of the World Trade Center where the blood of innocents continues to soak the ground. (silence)

Leader: We pray for the innocent who have died in places of terror.

People: May we remember them with faith and courage.

Within our midst are those who serve tirelessly and without thanks.

Those who serve in medical care and the healing arts.

Those who honor and bury the dead.

The police who stand watch through the night.

The firefighters who run into the face of possible death to save those fleeing certain death.

The soldier who obeys a calling to serve with obedience

putting the lives and freedom of strangers above his or her own.

We remember their families who often live in near poverty.

The spouses and the children who carry the burden of sorrow

and fear for those they love.

We are rejuvenated by their selfless acts and their willingness to sacrifice their lives.

Their courage and pain brings the gift of compassion to our spirits.


Leader: For those who raise their souls and sacrifice their bodies for the good of all.

People: We humbly give our prayers our gratitude and honor their sacrifices.

The barren country of Afghanistan is ever before us.

The people of that land live in fear, loss and suffering.

Their dusty plains and harsh mountains are places where the innocent are lost.

There are saints among them; among the living and with the dead.

We pray that this people may be preserved and raised up

to be led as people of God's creation into the family of the nations.


Leader: Preserve goodness and bring courage to the good people of Afghanistan and of all places where there is strife, death and hatred.

People: Make us people of tolerance and of love.

We rejoice in the fellowship of all your saints, we commend our friends and loved ones who have departed from us.

Those who have brought us into the world

Those who have taught us

Those who have brought us God's Holy Word

and given us God's Holy Sacraments.


Leader: Let us remember those who have nurtured us and allowed us to see the light of God in our souls and the work which God has given us to do.

People: Let us stand on their shoulders and transform this world for the love of Jesus.

The Collect:

Celebrant or Leader: These words come from an anonymous worker and were written on the plywood fence protecting the place where the dead are still brought in New York. It is a tribute to those who died trying to save others and all the saints in our time and before and to come.. May we be blessed by those taken from this world's sight and placed to walk beside us for all eternity.

"These men and women came from safe harbors, sanctuaries and the arms of loved ones. They came running with sunlight bright on their faces toward the smoke and the ash into a world of darkness.

They were acting on their rights as soldiers in God's army to put the lives of others before their own.

These are the men and women who did not return. Their actions will serve as a guide. A guide for heros not yet born and for those already among us. As long as mortal men and women attempt to emulate these who have gone before us the path to peace and freedom will be paved with their sacrifice in mind. You can be sure they made this sacrifice with the comfort of knowing that we will care for those loved ones left behind. God bless them all."