All Saints

ALL SAINTS' DAY (transferred) Hymns: 231, 197, 277, 396

FIRST READING Revelation 7.9-17 After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, singing, ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honour and power and might be to our God for ever and ever! Amen.’ Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, ‘Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?’ I said to him, ‘Sir, you are the one that knows.’ Then he said to me, ‘These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason they are before the throne of God, and worship him day and night within his temple, and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them. They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat; for the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’

RESPONSORIAL PSALM 34 Response: Taste and see that the Lord is good

I will bless the [Lord]{.smallcaps} at all times; his praise shall ever be in my mouth.

I will glory in the [Lord]{.smallcaps}; let the humble hear and rejoice.

Proclaim with me the greatness of the [Lord]{.smallcaps}; let us exalt his Name together.

I sought the [Lord]{.smallcaps}, and he answered me and delivered me out of all my terror. R

Look upon him and be radiant, and let not your faces be ashamed.

I called in my affliction and the [Lord]{.smallcaps} heard me and saved me from all my troubles.

The angel of the [Lord]{.smallcaps} encompasses those who fear him, and he will deliver them.

Taste and see that the [Lord]{.smallcaps} is good; happy are they who trust in him! R

Fear the [Lord]{.smallcaps}, you that are his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.

The young lions lack and suffer hunger, but those who seek the [Lord]{.smallcaps} lack nothing that is good. R

SECOND READING 1 John 3.1-3 See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

GOSPEL Matthew 5.1-12 When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. ‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.'

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A very warm welcome to any new readers, and to visitors and newcomers to St Michael's. A special welcome and thanks to Fr Paul Matthias, our celebrant this morning, who will also kindly be saying Mass for us on Thursday at 10.30 am. If you are new to St Michael's, do join us in the Vestry Hall after the service, so that we can welcome you properly.

Pamela Waite's funeral will take place on September 9th at 10.30 am. If you know any friends or former colleagues of Pam's, please make them aware of the date; Pam's brother Douglas is concerned that he lacks up-to-date contact details.

Warmest thanks to Fr Paul, to Gareth, to the guest organist and all the singers (home-grown and visiting) who made last Sunday's Choral Evensong such a joyous and uplifting act of worship.

It was good to see Dylan among the singers at Valerie Brown's funeral Mass, wearing an impressive new medal. Dylan, who now lives in Rochester, has been Dean's Chorister at Rochester Cathedral since September. Congratulations! His sister Lottie, who won a national bellringing award in the summer, tolled the bell after the service. An “11th birthday compliment” was rung for her last week.

The Parochial Church Council meeting has been postponed owing to the vice-Chairman's admission to hospital. We continue to pray for him, and for his family and friends.

Our pre-Christmas Fair is nearer than we think! Please look out for things that would make good Tombola prizes, and think about home-made items such as cakes and jams (please attach a list of ingredients). Or provide something crafty, or Christmassy, or nice for the garden! If you are willing to run a stall or come and help, don't leave Sara to wonder – please let her know! If she has to miss Mass for work reasons, Sara can be reached, with any offers or questions, on 07837 919761.

A Prayer for All Saints' Day:

Blessed are you, O God,

for you are holy, gracious, and good,

the hope of all the faithful.

Empower the meek and encourage the poor.

Comfort those who mourn,

and fill humble hearts with gladness.

Give food to the hungry,

drink to the thirsty,

peace to the peacemakers,

mercy to the merciful,

and honour to the despised.

Sustain your saints in ministry,

until at last they see their reward:

the joy of eternal life with you;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

From our Tower

Kent County Association: Maidstone, Kent, St Michael and All Angels

Sunday, 29 October 2023 in 40m (6–1–24 in C)

1280 Double Norwich Court Bob Major

  1. Mark Elvers
  2. Stuart Cox
  3. Jacqueline Barlow
  4. Janice Byrne
  5. Paul Barton
  6. Rupert Cheeseman
  7. Stephen Coaker
  8. Neil Jones (C)

Rung on Tom's, Tony's and Rhian's birthday. Tom would have been 80 today.

Also remembering Pam Waite (27/10/2023). May they Rest in Peace and Rise with Christ in Glory.

For your Prayers:

Among the sick: Margaret, Ellie, Pauline, Rue, Fr Leon, Antony, Fran, Ellie, Tom, Joseph, Valerie, Peter, Joan, Margaret, Lindsay, Glynis, Ethan, Sarah, Yvonne and Paul.

Among the Departed: Pamela Waite, Jeremy Plummer, Duncan Sherman, Florence Hawker, 'Mandy' Epps, Stewart Henry, Margaret Turner, Myra Lury, Betty Landi.