Friday, 7 October 2011

All Saints at Sharow

All Saints Day, this year, is 1st November (a Tuesday) so many churches will be celebrating  on Sunday 30th October. At St John's, Sharow, there will be a special All Saints Celebration for all the churches of the Ripon cathedral benefice. This will be at 6.30pm. Singers from across the benefice are invited to join together to form a choir for the service. The conductor will be David Andrew and there will be two rehearsals at 7.30pm on Tuesdays 18th and 25th October. Just come along and join in if you'd like to sing. The service itself is open to everyone and is a particuarly meaningful way of remembering and saying 'thank you' to God for all the people who have influenced your life and whom you love but who are no longer with us. You can also suggest a favourite All Saints hymn by filling in one of the forms available at the back of any of the churches in the benefice. (Bishop Monkton, Burton Leonard, Littlethorpe, North Stainley, St John's Bondgate, St Mary Magdalene, Ripon or Sharow itself.) One of my favourite hymns is

Ye holy angels bright,
who wait at God's right hand,
 or through the realms of light
fly at your Lord's command,
assist our song,
for else the theme
too high doth seem
for mortal tongue.

Ye blessed souls at rest,
who ran this earthly race,
and now, from sin released,
behold your Saviour's face.
God's praises sound,
 as in His light,
 with sweet delight,
ye do abound.

Ye saints, who toil below,
adore your heavenly king
and onward as ye go,
some joyful anthem sing;
take what he gives
and praise him still
 through good or ill,
whoever lives.

My soul, bear thou thy part,
triumph in God above,
and with a well tuned heart,
sing thou the songs of love; 
let all thy days,
till life shall end,
whate'er he send,
be filled with praise. 
Richard Baxter 1615-1691
and John Hampden Gurney 1802-1862

Here's a thought for the season from Hubert Northcott CR in his book The Venture of Prayer, London 1954 (p.53)

'Perhaps one of the joys reserved for us hereafter will be to learn what became of our intercessions, and to meet the souls they supported in time of need. And, for ourselves, there will be the joy of meeting those who have prayed for us and so of realising from a new angle our share in the Communion of Saints.'

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