Drove through wind and torrential rain and a river of fallen leaves wondering whether anyone would turn up for the family service at St J’s this morning. I shouldn’t have doubted; the lovely congregation there always want to praise God and the central pews were full.
The CW had chosen an interesting mix of songs to celebrate All Saints.
Make way, make way.
Come on and celebrate
All heaven declares
An army of ordinary people
For I’m building a people of power.
Mostly they reflect a theology from the 1980’s. I’m not altogether sure that I want to build a people of power. But we sang well and were a people of praise this morning. We also had fun making stain glass windows out of sweet wrappers. (Almost as lovely as the He Qi picture above). A very serious young five year old gave out the sweets to everyone in contrast to the trick or treaters last night.
I am now going to have to explain to the parish administrator why the laminator is all clogged up and slightly sticky and why there is no laminating paper left in the office. We had to use it in the pulpit because that is the only place near the front of church with an electrical socket. Slightly cramped up there with all the kids!
Now wondering whether CW at All Saints will chose a slightly more traditional set of hymns for their patronal evensong or surprise me again.
I’ve been wavering whether to sing the Russian Kontakion at this service but what makes it so sublime are the harmonies and this little soprano can’t sing four parts at once and certainly not the deep bass notes. Instead I am going to use ‘For all the Saints who’ve shown Your love’. It is written by John Bell from Iona and on the CD ‘The last journey’.
Here are the words:
For all the saints who’ve shown your love
in how they live and where they move
for mindful women, caring men
accept our gratitude again
for all the saints who’ve loved your name
whose faith increased the Saviour’s fame
who sang your songs and shared your word
accept our gratitude. Good Lord.
for all the saints who named your will
and show the kingdom coming still
through selfless protest, prayer and praise
accept the gratitude we raise
Bless all whose will or name or love
reflects the grace of heaven above.
Through unclaimed by earthly powers,
your life through theirs has hallowed ours.
CW at All Saints chose;
For all the saints
Christ is made the sure foundation
Hark my soul it is the Lord
The Church’s one foundation
Me? I would have included Ye Holy angels bright and Angel voices ever singing.