Happy All Saints’ Day! All Christians are saints–sinners, but also saints–and this is a day to celebrate the Holy Christian Church, the Communion of Saints, as it extends through time and space, in this moment and in eternity. This includes your loved ones who died in the Christian faith and who now exult in Heaven.
Sometimes I find that when I sing a hymn, I rush past all of the poetry. So let’s contemplate the lyrics from this classic hymn by William W. How (1823-1897):
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,4. O blest communion, fellowship divine,
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old
And win with them the victor’s crown of gold.
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.