A Litany for All Saints Day

Below is a litany that is especially suited to Ember Days in November, All Saints’ Day or Reformation Day, or Day of the Dead memorial at the end of October.

Liturgical Notes. This litany works best when read responsively. It can be divided in to multiple parts. Each part can begin with the leader saying, “We call to mind the great cloud of witnesses who have gone before us in faith…” and concluding the section with the “Grant us…” triplet.

This is not an exhaustive list. It’s made to be adapted. It contains some saints recognized by the church and many holy men and women of God who have served the cause of the gospel or the spirit of liberation through the ages. Not all of them are Christian, though all are Christ-like. We encourage each community to add the names of those known locally who have inspired us to live a Godly life in the service of others.

Many of the names listed here will not be familiar to the congregation. We invite you to use the month of November to tell the stories of those who are part of our Great Cloud of Witnesses (Hebrews 12:1), including remembering those who have died who personally have influenced us. This litany can also easily be set to a plain chant or other simple musical refrain. Find an easily printable version here.—Rose Marie Berger

All Saints Day: A Litany of the Great Cloud of Witnesses

by Rose Marie Berger

We call to mind the great cloud of witnesses who have gone before us in faith…

Our parents of earth and life, Adam and Eve…Pray for us.
Mothers Sarah and Hagar, and Father Abraham…Pray for us.
Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob, Leah, and Rachel…Pray for us.
Puah and Shiprah…Pray for us.
Miriam, Moses, and Aaron…Pray for us.
Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz…Pray for us.
Daughters of Jeptha…Pray for us.
Daughters of Lot…Pray for us.
Dinah and Tamar…Pray for us.
Bathsheba, Uriah, and David…Pray for us.
Women of Midian…Pray for us.
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea and all Hebrew prophets…Pray for us.
Judith, Deborah, and Jael…Pray for us.

The Forerunner, John the Baptist…Pray for us.
Holy Mary, Mother of God…Pray for us.
Joseph, Elizabeth and Zachariah…Pray for us.
Mary of Magdala and Peter…Pray for us.
Andrew and James…Pray for us.
Mathew, Mark, and Luke…Pray for us.
John the Beloved Disciple…Pray for us.
Paul and Barnabas…Pray for us.
Anna, Dorcas, and Lydia…Pray for us.
Priscilla and Phoebe…Pray for us.
John the Revelator…Pray for us.
Stephen, the first martyr…Pray for us.
Perpetua and Felicity…Pray for us.

Amma Sarra, Amma Syncletica, Amma Theodora…Pray for us.
Abba Poemen, Abba Anthony, Abba Macarius…Pray for us.
Mary of Egypt and Elizabeth the Wonderworker…Pray for us.
Matrona of Perge and Theodora of Thessalonike…Pray for us.
Basil, Athanasius, Gregory, and John…Pray for us.
Gregory, Ambrose, Augustine, and Jerome…Pray for us.
Teresa of Avila, Catherine of Sienna, and Thérèse of Lisieux…Pray for us.
Isadore and Maria…Pray for us.
Benedict and Scholastica…Pray for us.
Cosmas and Damian…Pray for us.
Dominic and Diego, Clare and Francis…Pray for us.
John Calvin and John Knox…Pray for us.
Martin Luther and Menno Simons…Pray for us.
John and Charles Wesley and Sarah Gwynne…Pray for us.
All you holy men and women, saints of God…Pray for us.

Grant us your wisdom…Hear our prayer.
Grant us your patience…Hear our prayer.
Grant us your courage…Hear our prayer.

We call to mind the great cloud of witnesses who have gone before us in faith…

Our Lady of Guadalupe and Juan Diego…Pray for us.
Juana Inés de la Cruz and Bartolome de las Casas…Pray for us.
Hannah More and William Wilberforce…Pray for us.
Fredrick Douglass and Harriet Tubman…Pray for us.
Ottobah Cugoano, Olaudah Equiano, and Ignatius Sancho…Pray for us.
Sojourner Truth and Joseph Cinquez…Pray for us.
Angela Grimke and Sarah Grimke…Pray for us.
Antoinette Brown and Olympia Brown…Pray for us.
Peter Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky…Pray for us.
Mohandas Gandhi and Khan Abdul Ghaffar …Pray for us.
Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin…Pray for us.
Tagashi Nagai and the Martyrs of Nagasaki and Hiroshima…Pray for us.
Agnes Le Thi Thanh and the Martyrs of Vietnam…Pray for us.
Mother Jones and the Martyrs of the Coal Mines…Pray for us.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Karl Barth, and Martin Neimoeller…Pray for us.
Maria Skobtsova and Ilya Fondaminsky…Pray for us.
Etty Hillesum, Franz Jaegerstaetter, and Victor Frankel…Pray for us.

Rosa Parks and Fannie Lou Hamer…Pray for us.
Abraham Joshua Heschel and Sylvia Straus…Pray for us.
Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King…Pray for us.
Caesar Chavez, Helen Fabela, and the Martyrs of the Fields…Pray for us.
Mahalia Jackson, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane…Pray for us.
Oscar Romero and the Martyrs of El Salvador…Pray for us.
Elizabeth O’Connor and Flannery O’Connor…Pray for us.
Evelyn Underhill, Caryll Houselander, and Henry Nouwen…Pray for us.
William Stringfellow and Anthony Townes…Pray for us.
Howard Thurman and Sue Bailey Thurman…Pray for us.
Denise Levertov and Jane Kenyon….Pray for us.
Penny Lernoux, Jean Sindab, and Ginny Earnest…Pray for us.
Rosemarie Freeney Harding and Vincent Gordon Harding…Pray for us.
Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Miriam Carey, and all
#BlackLivesMatter Martyrs … Pray for us.
Dale Aukerman and Ladon Sheats …Pray for us.
Jerry Berrigan, Phil Berrigan, and Daniel Berrigan … Pray for us.
Tom Fox and the Martyrs of Iraq…Pray for us.
Verna Dozier and Jeanie Wylie-Kellermann…Pray for us.

[Invite the congregation to call aloud the names of the dead they want to remember.]

All you holy men and women, saints of God…Pray for us.
Grant us your wisdom…Hear our prayer.
Grant us your patience…Hear our prayer.
Grant us your courage…Hear our prayer.
Amen.

Rose Marie Berger, author of Who Killed Donte Manning?, is an associate editor at Sojourners magazine, a Catholic peace activist, and poet. She blogs at www.rosemarieberger.com.

Video: Reverend Billy Takes It To The Streets

God bless Rev. Billy, my favorite televangelist activist, pastor of The Church of Stop Shopping. This is what the gospel looks like. A 5-minute video.

Reverend Billy from 2gee on Vimeo.

People are angry, they want to be heard.
Billy's got the Bullhorn.

Episcopal Bishop Packard: ‘Arrests Are Badges of Honor’

Very nice piece by Chris Hedges (The People’s Bishop) about retired Episcopal Bishop George Packard’s ministry to and with the Occupy movement. I have only one question. Where are the Catholic bishops? Here’s an excerpt:

Retired Episcopal Bishop George Packard is detained by police after Occupy Wall Street protesters attempted to use a lot owned by Trinity Church as a camp site, in New York. (Ozier Muhammad/NYT)

“Retired Episcopal Bishop George Packard was arrested in Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza in New York City on Tuesday night as he participated in the May 1 Occupy demonstrations. He and 15 other military veterans were taken into custody after they linked arms to hold the plaza against a police attempt to clear it. There were protesters behind them who, perhaps because of confusion, perhaps because of miscommunication or perhaps they were unwilling to risk arrest, melted into the urban landscape. But those in the thin line from Veterans for Peace, of which the bishop is a member, stood their ground. They were handcuffed, herded into a paddy wagon and taken to jail. …

‘‘Arrests are not arrests anymore,” Packard said as we talked Friday in a restaurant overlooking Zuccotti Park in New York. ‘‘They are badges of honor. They are, as you are taken away with your comrades, exhilarating. The spirit is calling us now into the streets, calling us to reject the old institutional orders. There is no going back. You can’t sit anymore in churches listening to stogy liturgies. They put you to sleep. Most of these churches are museums with floorshows. They are a caricature of what Jesus intended. Jesus would be turning over the money-changing tables in their vestibules. Those in the church may be good-hearted and even well-meaning, but they are ignoring the urgent, beckoning call to engage with the world. It is only outside the church that you will find the spirit of God and Christ. And with the rise of the Occupy movement it has become clear that the institutional church has failed. It mouths hollow statements. It publishes pale Lenten study tracts. It observes from a distance without getting its hands dirty. It makes itself feel good by doing marginal charitable works, like making cocoa for Occupy protesters or providing bathrooms from 9 to 5 at Trinity Church’s Charlotte’s Place. We don’t need these little acts of charity. We need the church to have a real presence on the Jericho Road. We need people in the church to leave their comfort zones, to turn away from the hierarchy, and this is still terrifying to a lot of people in the church and especially the church leadership.”–Chris Hedges

Read the rest at The People’s Bishop by Chris Hedges

Video: The Responsible Bank Initiative

Ignatian News Network joins the non-partisan group LA Voice at a meeting in downtown LA outside of City Hall, to hear about their proposed bill, The Responsible Bank Initiative. LA Voice is part of the PICO National Network, which organizes community congregations of all different faiths that fight against various local neighborhood issues and obstacles.

Photo: Office Worker on Ledge in NY to Support Occupiers

I took this screen shot while watching the LiveStream of Occupy Wall Street this morning. As Occupiers shouted “Out of the offices and into the streets,” one office worker climbed out on his window ledge to offer encouragement.

There’s a National Day of Occupy Action on Thursday, November 17. It’s time we were all in the streets.

Jeanette Winterson: Financial Industry Committed ‘Crimes Against Humanity’

“I’ve watched with increasing dismay the widening gap between rich and poor the huge injustices in our world the way that we’ve exploited other countries way that we’ve exploit our own work force. And I feel really uncomfortable with that. You know, I love the fact that we’re camping out occupying Wall Street, occupying St Paul’s – just saying, this cannot go on. So if that’s political, then I am political.

It amazes me that everyone has been able to carry on with business as normal as though there are not crimes against humanity … whether that’s dead bodies in Iraq or whether it’s the fact that the global economy has tipped over into complete chaos, it doesn’t happen by chance. It happens because people – usually men – take enoromous risks with the lives and well-being of the rest of us, usually to make money.–Jeanette Winterson, author of Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal?

Early Church or Occupy Baltimore?

A demonstrator in Baltimore

All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.Acts 2:44-46

“I went down to Occupy Baltimore last night.  And although I did not see one cross displayed nor one prayer being prayed I felt as though I were seeing a vision of what “the early church” may have looked like.  There was a spirit in the place, it had its own pulse.  How many times have I read the book of Acts and wondered what it must have been like to be there at the moment my religion began.  Now I have a glimpse of it: people of all walks of life, including people who the majority of society would have shunned or written off as lunatics, gathering together and grasping for truth, justice.

Slowly rituals are being formed.  I looked all around and saw youth sitting cross-legged in circles in the damp grass wiggling their fingers in the air at each other.  This childlike movement is now a symbol of agreement with something that is being said. I watched the grins and warmth exchanged between strangers who knowingly wiggled their fingers at each other.  The “mic check” was performed with riotous pride during a general assembly meeting.  These are the beginnings of things that hold people together even after the last sleeping bag has worn out and the cardboard of the last picket sign disintegrates.

I know this won’t last forever.  But for me I feel that I have been blessed.  For many this is new, but I have witnessed something ancient.”–from an anonymous union organizer