All Saints, All Souls, Year A

Musical Reflection
Who Will Save Your Soul by Jewel


Invocation

God of all people
from every place and language;
you call witnesses
to sing your praise,
live your grace
and work for peace:
may we share in faith
and know our needs
that we might be a blessing
to the hunger of the world;
through Jesus Christ, whose body we are.
Amen.
First Reading

The Saint and the Crab
by William Logan

Along the campo, Manin’s bronze winged lion prowled
among the tanned intruders, licking their hands.
Pools of iridescent shellfish
lay open in the restaurant window,

a shop of otherworldly opals, the mussels’ sheen
the skies of a closed heaven, crabs flat on their backs,
their armor intricate trapped plates and escapements.
The squid slumped in its own ink, the octopus appalled

in its slime. Many and ingenious are the postures of death.
But look! There, in a corner, beneath a willowware plate,
a lone crab clicked its claws, creeping
over a casket of walleyed fish,

through a valley of oysters keeping their counsel,
only to shift warily under the shadow of a wine bottle.
Which saint, O saints, watches over the saintly crab?
The man of forks and spears, the man of arrows?

In the Ca’ d’Oro, the stiffened Sebastian takes
each arrow through his flesh like a skewer.
He wears a little napkin around his middle.
Saint, watch over the fragile boat of the runaway crab.

Let him steal his way back to the green lagoon,
go floating down the Grand Canal on his own motoscafo.
Let him take second life, a later martyrdom.
Let him wave his bent claws in a mockery of farewell,

lest we eat in his hollow shell his captive meat.

Second Reading
Soul

by Cleopatra Mathis

It is not the angel riding a goat,
trying to make him go. It does no work
with refusal or guilt, which loves
only its contorted self. But fancies instead
my terrier’s long pink tongue,
how it teases out the bone’s marrow,
tasting with all its muscle.

The angel is silver, but so is the goat
and the box on which they perch,
a Victorian gesture in the mansion
where I spent the fall. They have followed
me home, their permanent shine presuming,
while around me, everything withered,
slowly froze, and began its turn
toward white. The snow
is nothing but a great emptiness,
and I’m tired of trying to find a secret there.
But look—one leaf
skittering across the glazed surface
catches its stem to stand upright,
the shape of a hand waving.

 

Gospel Reading 1
Matthew 5:1-12

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kindom of heaven.
‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kindom of heaven.
‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Gospel Reading 2
John 6:37-40

“Everyone whom God gives to me will come to me, and I won’t send away anyone who comes to me. I have come down from heaven not to do my will, but the will of the One who sent me. This is the will of the One who sent me, that I won’t lose anything that has been given me, but I will raise it up at the last day. This is God’s will: that all who see the Holy Child and believe in him will have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

Gospel Reading 3
John 5:24-27

“I assure you that whoever hears my word and believes in the One who sent me has eternal life and won’t come under judgment but has passed from death into life.”

“I assure you that the time is coming—and is here!—when the dead will hear the voice of God’s Child, and those who hear it will live. Just as Abba God has life, so the Holy Child has been granted to have life in himself. God gives the Holy Child authority to judge, because he is the Human One.”

 

Musical Reflection
Hands of the Saints by Citizen Cope

Prayer
from the Roman Missal, adapted

Angels, Archangels,
Thrones, Dominions,
Principalities, Powers,
heavenly Virtues,
Cherubim and Seraphim;
all Saints of God, holy people:
intercede for us
that we may be worthy
to offer praise and glory to God,
for our own welfare
and also that of all the world. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Abba:
Blessed be your working;
Soon be your appearing;
Done be your desiring.
Our bread provide us;
Our debts forgive us;
From trials free us.
Amen.

 

May God give us to drink of God’s cup;
may the sun be bright upon us;
may the night call down peace;
and when we come to God’s household
may the door be open wide
for us to go in to our joy.

And may the blessing of God – the Creator, the Saviour, and the Sanctifier,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.

Sources:

Artwork by Mari Andrews

Invocation from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection Who Will Save Your Soul by Jewel

Poem The Saint and the Crab by William Logan

Poem Soul by Cleopatra Mathis

Musical Reflection Hands of the Saints by Citizen Cope

Prayer from the Roman Missal

Lord’s Prayer from The Covenant of Peace: A Liberation Prayer Book

Musical Reflection Rock My Soul by Louis Armstrong

Blessing from Celtic Daily Prayer

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