All Saints' Day

All Saints' Day is on 1 November and is followed by All Souls' the next day; at St Philip's, we observe All Saints' Day on the Sunday before or after 1 November.

On this feast day we remember all Christians, past and present. The feasts of All Saints reminds us that God has redeemed us in Christ as a family, as a community — the communion of saints. We remember that we are one with thousands of others who, with us, are saints of God — a great cloud of witnesses, as they are called in Hebrews.

Through Jesus Christ, God has defeated death for all our sakes. We are a people of the resurrection. We are persuaded that life, creation and hope overrule death, despair and destruction.

We particularly remember those we know who have died; we give thanks for them and in prayer continue to entrust them to God's mercy and keeping.

Memorial book
The memorial book records the deaths of people of the Parish.

Many saints

The Lord called to Abraham from heaven … "I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore." (Genesis 22.15,17)

"The trouble is that we are not divine. … The trouble is that technology only nourishes us in certain ways. It can entertain us, but not make us happy. It can heal us, but not make us whole. It can feed us, but only in body. It offers defences, but does not make us feel secure. The double trouble is that technology is so good at this entertaining, healing, feeding and defending that it is easy to believe, or hope, that it can, or one day will, solve all other human ills too. Some say it might even make us immortal — an apparent deification of humanity. What is missing is meaning." — Mark Vernon. After Atheism, p. 4.

"Death is outside life but it alters it: it leaves a hole in the fabric of things which those who are left behind try to repair." — Sally Vickers Miss Garnett's Angel, p. 3.

"…Then I began to ask, 'Why do I believe in eternal life?' The answer has to be, 'Because I believe in God!' To me, if God is truly God, God must be eternal, beyond the limits of space and time! To believe in 'eternal life' is to believe that we might in some way share the life of God and that such a life is not limited or ended when we take our last mortal breath. … All Saints' Day is a confident celebration; confident because it is grounded in what we know of God's promises in Christ. … The New Testament reminds us that all Christians are saints or hagioi — holy ones who have received the mark of God's holiness signified at baptism. But a saint is called to 'become what you are'. Being the ark of holiness is to become, to grow up into, the calling of God both in word and in deed!" — Rob Lamerton, Sermon for All Saints' Day, 2007.

A memorial for All Souls' and All Saints' Days

We remember and give thanks for the lives of
wives and husbands,
mothers and fathers,
sisters and brothers,
grandmothers and grandfathers
children and grandchildren,
aunts and uncles,
nieces, nephews and cousins
—relatives of every kind who have died.

Silence

God of mercy and love, we give you thanks and praise.

We remember and give thanks for the lives of
those who died too young and those who lived many years;
those who died suddenly and those who suffered much;
those who died in contentment and peace, and those who took their own lives;
those who gave their lives in war and the service of others;
those who were sick and those who were well;
—all who have died.

Silence

God of mercy and love, we give you thanks and praise.

We remember and give thanks for the lives of
friends and neighbours;
colleagues, workmates, and fellow students;
friends in church, sport, the arts and community life;
leaders and servants;
those who have taught us and those we have taught;
those we have cared for and those who have cared for us
the small and the great;
—all who have touched us in our lives who have died.

Silence

God of mercy and love, we give you thanks and praise.