All Saints Sunday – November 1, 2015
Mass at 11:00 a.m. Readings: Isaiah 25:6-9; Psalm 24; Revelation 21:1-6a; John 11:32-44. Pastor George Detweiler preaches and presides.
It makes sense that All Saints Day is observed in the fall, when the mists and rains and frosts remind northern people of death coming with winter. It is associated with Halloween, which is the “Eve of All Hallows.”
Saints are not only those who have died. All who have been baptized are the saints of God. While this is a day to remember those dear to us who have died, it is also a day to rejoice in the communion of saints, people present and people yet to be born. To acknowledge that reality, we will remember in our prayers this Sunday both the people who have died, and those who were baptized into our fellowship in Christ in the last year.
The reading from Isaiah describes the messianic banquet, an image of salvation. God prepares on the mountain a sumptuous eternal feast and swallows up death, wiping away the tears from all faces. Our Eucharist is a foretaste of this messianic banquet, where all are joined in the presence of God. Psalm 24 is a psalm of ascent, written to be recited as pilgrims ascended the mountain of the Lord toward the holy city of Jerusalem and its Temple. The people acknowledge the the Lord’s dominion as they praise the Lord in this psalm. Revelation 21 is often a reading at funerals because of its imagery of the new Jerusalem, the wiping of tears, and the promise of the destruction of death. It describes the hope into which we have been baptized.
We wish all stories of death could end as the resurrection of Lazarus. Of course, we then forget that he had to die again. In John’s ironic presentation of the story of Jesus, it is the resurrection of Lazarus that leads directly to the plot to kill Jesus. And it is Jesus’ death and resurrection that promise our own resurrection.
The most appropriate music for All Saints is Bach’s cantata 106, “God’s time is the best time,” which will be performed this evening at Bach Vespers. In seemingly simple music Bach powerfully portrays both mourning and the hope that Christians have in the face of death.
Music for Sunday
Prelude: Cortège et Litanie, Marcel Dupré
Offertory: The Souls of the Righteous, Geraint Lewis
Communion: O Quam Gloriosum est Regnum, T. L. Victoria
Postlude: “Pacare Christi servulis” from Le Tombeau de Titelouze, Marcel Dupré
#422 For All the Saints
#621 Jesus Lives, My Sure Defense
#429 In Our Day of Thanksgiving
#873 Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart
November 22 is Stewardship Sunday. We will pray together over our blessings, the robust tradition of music we enjoy, and our enchanting nave behind the red doors on Central Park West. As the Mass concludes, members will be invited to complete and return a 2016 “Estimate of Giving” pledge card. Please prayerfully consider your pledge to Holy Trinity. As the Call Committee is formed and we continue the process to call our next pastor, let your voice and support resound!
November 1: PBS’s Ancient Roads from Christ to Constantine (Parts 1 and 2)
November 15 & 22: A two part series on “Between The Testaments,” exploring what happened during that 400 year period, why it is important, and what we can learn. Led by Pastor David G Burke, PhD.
The books of the Apocrypha are among the most important sources for the history, culture, and theological developments during the period between the prophet Ezra (c. 400 BCE) and the time of the New Testament writings (mid to late 1st century CE). This collection of scriptures that were never approved by the rabbis for inclusion in the Hebrew Bible were, however, translated quickly into Greek and became part of the ancient Greek Septuagint Bible used by the early church. The fact that they were fully part of the early Christians’ Bible is a major reason for valuing and studying the 15 books that comprise this corpus. Another important reason is to be able to fill in the gaps in our knowledge of this obscure time “between the Testaments.” The 16th century reformers (notably Luther) raised questions about these books because no Hebrew originals could be found for them (not realizing that once the rabbinic decisions had been made not to include them in the Hebrew Bible, copies in Hebrew were no longer made). Luther saw them as secondary, but said they are well worthy of study because there is much to learn of God in them and they can deepen faith. Discussion during these 2 Afterwords will center on identifying the books of the Apocrypha and digging into several of the key books.
You are invited to attend “Concert for Syria and Middle East Refugees,” an interfaith Evening of Hope on Saturday, November 7 at 7:00 PM at Blessed Sacrament Church, 152 West 71st Street (between Broadway and Columbus). Tickets: $25 Adults, $10 Children under 12. Featuring Dr. Gregory D’Agostino, organ soloist; Seraphim, a NY/NJ Choir; and Highbridge Voices, a South Bronx children’s chorus.
The Play Reading Series needs your help!
We are currently selecting plays for the upcoming 2015-2016 season, and we need more readers! All you need to do is spend a few minutes reading one of our submissions and let us know if you’d like to see that play as part of our series. Grab a printed copy at coffee hour, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to help out!