All Saints’ DayPosted: November 1, 2022 Filed under: Episcopal thoughts, Liturgical calendar, Music, Religion, Spirituality Leave a comment
For many years on All Saints’ Day I wrote about our beloved beagle-border terrier mix, Tasha. That’s because we brought her home from the shelter on All Saints’ Day in 2005. We lost her in February of last year. She was a big part of our lives and we still miss her.
So today I thought I would write about the music of All Saints’ Day. There are two songs that Episcopalians tend to sing on All Saints’ Day. The first is hymn # 293 in the 1982 Episcopal Hymnal: “I Sing a Song of the Saints of God.” One of my former rectors when I lived in Gilroy really loved the song, and my current rector is quite fond of it as well. It speaks of one’s aspiration to live a life like the saints. The three verses end as follows:
they were all of them saints of God—and I mean,
God helping, to be one too.
and there’s not any reason, no, not the least,
why I shouldn’t be one too.
for the saints of God are just folk like me,
and I mean to be one too.
I can’t relate. The song does not resonate with me. While I strive, as we say in the confession in the Book of Common Prayer, to: “delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name,” I don’t think sainthood is something I am capable of.
I much more closely relate to hymn # 287: “For All the Saints, Who from Their Labors Rest.” I like to give credit to Ralph Vaughan Williams, who composed the music, but it was William Walsham How who wrote the words. Verse four begins:
O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine
That’s much more my speed. And yes, I do know that the next line reads:
yet all are one in thee, for all are thine.
If you observe All Saints’ Day, may it be to you whatever brings you the most meaning.