Thursday, November 1, 2012

All Saints: We are all members of the same mystical body of Christ

Opening Sentence
Their sound has gone out into all lands, and their message to the ends of the world. Psalm 19:4

Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones

Collect of the Day: All Saints

Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Psalter: Psalm 50

Lessons: Revelation 12:7-17, Luke 11:53-12:12

Accordingly we believe that all saints, as well those on earth as those in heaven, have communion with God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; with the blessed angels, who not only join in devotion with the Church triumphant above, but are likewise sent forth to minister to those who are the heirs of salvation while they remain in this world. And perhaps we do not consider as we ought to do, how much good we receive by the ministration of the holy angels; nor are we sufficiently grateful to those guardian spirits that so often put by ill accidents, watch over us when we sleep, defending us from the assaults of evil men and evil angels. And if they are so mindful of our preservation in this world, we may suppose them much more concerned for our eternal happiness: “There is joy among the angels in heaven over one sinner that repenteth:”–they are present in our public assemblies, where we in a more especial manner hold communion with them; and it is there we join with all the company of the heavenly host in praising and admiring the supreme Being whom we jointly adore. What knowledge the saints in heaven have of things or persons in this world we cannot determine, nor after what manner we hold communion with them is not at present easy to conceive.

That we are all members of the same mystical body of Christ we are very sure; and do all partake of the same vital influence from the same head, and so we are united together; and though we are not actually possessed of the same happiness which they enjoy, yet we have the same Holy Spirit given unto us as an earnest of our eternal felicity with them hereafter. And though their faith is consummated by vision, and their hope by present possession, yet the bond of Christian charity still remains; and as we have great joy and complacency in their felicity, so no doubt they desire and pray for us.

With the saints on earth we hold communion by the word and sacraments, by praying with and for each other; and in all acts of public or private worship we act upon the same principles and the same motives, having the same promises and hopes of [the forgiveness of sins].

Susannah Wesley

For All the Saints