A Litany For All Saints

18838901_10158819115370541_3680885515431250018_nA Litany For All Saints, offered as part of communion at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Chattanooga, TN, on November 5, 2017, as our remembrance of the Saints of the Church.

For the best of who we are, the saints we remember.
For those who have followed a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
For those who have followed Jesus the Christ, whether in the first century or the 21st.

For men and women who taught us to value faith and reason, heart and intellect.
For men and women who tried and failed, but were faithful nonetheless.
For Perfect Examples who taught us that we could be better.
For Imperfect Saints who taught us to share grace rather than pursue perfection.

For Paul, the apostle with the thorn in his side and Peter, the rock of the church who sank in the sea.
For Junia, the woman who was “prominent among the apostles,” for Mary, Called Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna, who provided for the the church out of their resources.

For Martin Luther, Jean Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, who called us to reform the church.
For Alexander Campbell and Barton Stone, who called us to live fully into the name “Disciple.”
For Oscar Romero, Mother Teresa, and Dorothy Day, who taught us to reframe our own vision, so that we might see the poor.
For Martin Luther King, Jr., and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, whose prophetic words made them martyrs.

For those whose names we have not read today.
For those whose names are already forgotten.

For those who were not saints, but merely innocent, but who had no voice.
For those who were not so innocent, but had a voice, and spoke for the sake of God’s Kingdom.
For arbitrary saints, remembered for a season.

For the saints who built this congregation
Gone for many seasons.
And for those who have just lost
we remember them by name.

For this great cloud of witnesses, let us give thanks to God.

Let us join around this table: the table to which these saints invited us, offering the peace of Christ to one another, and may we offer a place at this table to anyone and everyone, joining in the words that we share as we come to this table:

And the table
will be wide.
And the welcome
will be wide.
And the arms
will open wide
to gather us in.
And our hearts
will open wide
to receive.

And we will come
as children who trust
there is enough.
And we will come
unhindered and free.
And our aching
will be met
with bread.
And our sorrow
will be met
with wine.

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