Sunday, November 2, 2008

I Sing a Song of the Saints of God...

Yes, I know that yesterday was technically All Saints Day, but today is All Saints SUNDAY - the day when we Episcopalians gather to celebrate the Feast of All Saints.  Which means we get to sing some wonderful traditional songs as part of the liturgy and worship.  The processional was For All the Saints - a requisite part of any self-respecting Anglican service, and which, this year, brought me to tears, as I remembered my grandmother, who passed away last March.  Surely she was singing with me, her voice far brighter than mine...

But my very favorite part of today's service every year is this song...

I sing a song of the saints of God, patient and brave and true,
Who toiled and fought and lived and died for the Lord they loved and knew.
And one was a doctor, and one was a queen, 
And one was a shepherdess on the green;
They were all of them saints of God and I mean, God helping, to be one too.

They loved their Lord so dear, so dear, and his love made them strong.
And they followed the right for Jesus’ sake the whole of their good lives long.
And one was a soldier, and one was a priest, 
And one was slain by a fierce wild beast,
And there’s not any reason, no not the least, why I shouldn’t be one too.

They lived not only in ages past, there are hundreds of thousands still.
The world is bright with the joyous saints, who love to do Jesus’ will.
You can meet them in school, or in lanes, or at sea, 
In church, or in trains, or in shops, or at tea,
For the saints of God are just folk like me, and I mean to be on
e too.

I remember singing this when I was young, and thinking how very proper, and how very British it sounded.  I have always been an Anglophile, after spending several years just south of London as a child, and all things British , well,  just make me happy.

I do love this hymn, though.  We used to have it in book form, for the kids, but we lost it in the fire 10 years ago, and haven't replaced it yet.  It is a great story for the little ones.  I like how it explains how we all are saints - it's the little things in the way you live your life - not just those BIG, DRAMATIC moments (although those *do* count, too...) that speak to our love for Jesus.  We are called to sainthood in the everyday-edness of our lives - in the way we greet people, how we speak with them, how we honor Christ in them, and His image,  in ourselves.

So go out and be a Saint today.  And I mean to be one, too...

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