Today is All Saints’ Day when we remember all those who have gone before us in the faith. We follow in the footsteps of the Church since Christ’s ascension and therefore are here now with our ancestors in the faith behind us and with our descendants yet before us in the future. The Church is not only the collection of God’s people across geography, but also across time. We are part of a much larger communion of saints who were, are, and yet to be.
“For All the Saints Who from Their Labors Rest”
by William W. How, 1823-1897 (Public Domain)
1. For all the saints who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confess,
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest,
2. Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress, and their Might;
Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well-fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
3. Oh, may Thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold,
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old
And win with them the victor’s crown of gold.
4. O blest communion, fellowship divine,
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
Yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
5. And when the fight is fierce, the warfare long,
Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
And hearts are brave again, and arms are strong.
6. But, lo, there breaks a yet more glorious day;
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of Glory passes on His way.
7. From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
Singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
8. The golden evening brightens in the west;
Soon, soon, to faithful warriors cometh rest.
Sweet is the calm of Paradise the blest.
(Image: Icon of All Saints, By Anonymous – http://www.hramsp.ru/ico/i43.html, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11021235)