for All Saints

all-saints
The Forerunners of Christ with Saints and Martyrs, by Fra Angelico via Wikimedia Commons

Eternal and ever blessed God, we remember this day
    the unseen cloud of witnesses who surround us.
We remember the blessed dead who rest from their labors,
    and whose works follow them.
And we give you thanks for all of them.

For parents who gave us life, who tended and cared for us
    in years when we were helpless to help ourselves,
    who toiled and sacrificed to give to us our chance in life,
    at whose knees we learned to pray,
    and from whose lips we first heard the name of Jesus,
We give you thanks, O God.

For teachers who taught us;
For ministers of your gospel who instructed us
    in your truth and in your faith;
For those who have been an example to us
    of what life should be;
For those whose influence on us will never cease,
    and whose names will never depart from our memory;
We give you thanks, O God.

For the saints, the prophets and the martyrs,
For those who lived and died for the faith,
And, above all else, for Jesus, the captain of our salvation
    and the author and finisher of our faith.
We give you thanks, O God.

Grant unto us in our day and generation
    to walk worthily of this heritage into which we have entered,
    through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

William Barclay, 1907-1978, minister in the Church of Scotland
2000 Years of Prayer, slightly modernized

____________________

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

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