All Souls' Day

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Wednesday November 2, 2022 All Day
Annually on November 2

All Souls' Day

Prayer For All the Faithful Departed

In peace let us pray to the Lord.


Almighty God, who hast knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship, in the mystical body of thy Son Christ our Lord: Grant, we beseech thee, to thy whole Church in paradise and on earth, thy light and thy peace.


Grant that all those who have been baptized into Christ's death and resurrection may die to sin and rise to newness of life, and that through the grave and gate of death we may pass with him to our joyful resurrection.


Grant to us who are still in our pilgrimage, and who walk as yet by faith, that thy Holy Spirit may lead us in holiness and righteousness all our days.


Grant to thy faithful people pardon and peace, that we may be cleansed from all our sins, and serve thee with a quiet mind.


Grant to all who mourn a sure confidence in thy fatherly care, that, casting all their grief upon thee, they may know the consolation of thy love.


Give courage and faith to those who are bereaved, that they may have strength to meet the days ahead in the comfort of a reasonable and holy hope, in the joyful expectation of eternal life with those they love.


Help us, we pray, in the midst of things we cannot understand, to believe and trust in the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, and the resurrection to life everlasting.


Grant us, with all who have died in the hope of the resurrection, to have our consummation and bliss in thine eternal and everlasting glory, and, with all thy saints, to receive the crown of life which thou dost promise to all who share in the victory of thy Son Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Father of all, we pray to thee for those we love, but see no longer: Grant them thy peace; let light perpetual shine upon them; and in thy loving wisdom and almighty power, work in them the good purpose of thy perfect will; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, we pray thee to set thy passion, cross, and death, between thy judgement and our souls, now and in the hour of our death. Give mercy and grace to the living, pardon and rest to the dead, to thy holy Church peace and concord, and to us sinners everlasting life and glory; who with the Father and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, now and ever.


Lord Jesus Christ, who by thy death didst take away the sting of death: Grant to us thy servants so to follow in faith where thou hast led the way, that we may at length fall asleep peacefully in thee, and awake after thy likeness; for thy tender mercies' sake.


O Almighty God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, who by a voice from heaven didst proclaim, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord: Multiply, we beseech thee, to those who rest in Jesus the manifold blessings of thy love, that the good work which thou didst begin in them may be made perfect unto the day of Jesus Christ. And of thy mercy, O heavenly Father, grant that we, who now serve thee on earth, may at last, together with them, be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; for the sake of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.


Prayer For a Departed Friend


Into thy hands, O merciful Savior, we commend thy servant N., now departed from the body. Acknowledge, we, humbly beseech thee, O Lord, a sheep of thine own fold, a lamb of thine own flock, a sinner of thine own redeeming. Receive (him/her) into the arms of thy mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light.


O God, whose mercies cannot be numbered: Accept our prayers on behalf of thy servant N., and grant (him/her) an entrance into the land of light and joy, in the fellowship of thy saints; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.


Remember thy servant, O Lord, according to the favor which thou bearest unto thy people; and grant that, increasing in knowledge and love of thee, (he/she) may go from strength to strength in the life of perfect service in thy heavenly kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Almighty God, we remember this day before thee thy faithful servant N., and we pray that, having opened to (him/her) the gates of larger life, thou wilt receive (him/her) more and more into thy joyful service, that (he/she) may win with thee and all thy servants everywhere the eternal victory, through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Into thy hands, O Lord, we commend thy servant, our dear (brother/sister), as into the hands of a faithful Creator and most merciful Savior, beseeching thee that (he/she) may be precious in thy sight. Wash (him/her), we pray thee, in the blood of that immaculate Lamb that was slain to take away the sins of the world; that, whatsoever defilements (he/she) may have contracted in the midst of this earthly life being purged and done away, (he/she) may be presented pure and without spot before thee; through the merits of Jesus Christ thine only Son our Lord.


Prayer For Those Who Mourn


Lord, Jesus Christ, the Resurrection and the Life:


Thou didst console Martha and Mary in their distress; draw near to us who mourn, and dry the tears of those who weep.


Thou didst weep at the grave of thy friend Lazarus; comfort us in our sorrow.


Thou didst raise the dead to life; give to our (brother/sister) eternal life.


Thou didst promise paradise to the thief who repented; bring our (brother/sister) to the joys of heaven.


Our (brother/sister) was washed in Baptism and annointed with the Holy Spirit; give (him/her) fellowship with all thy saints.


(He/she) was nourished with thy Body and Blood; grant (him/her) a place at the table in your heavenly kingdom.


Comfort us in our sorrows at the death of our (brother/sister); let our faith be our consolation, and eternal life our hope.


Almighty God, Father of all mercies and giver of comfort: Deal graciously, we pray, with all who mourn; that, casting all their care upon thee, they may know the consolation of thy love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Almighty God, look with pity upon the sorrows of thy servants for whom we pray. Remember them, Lord, in mercy; nourish them with patience; comfort them with a sense of thy goodness; lift up thy countenance upon them; and give them peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

"In the Anglican tradition, All Souls’ Day is observed on November 2, the day following All Saints’ Day. All Saints’ focuses on those saints whose work and witness affected the history of the larger church body. However, All Souls’ Day is dedicated to the quiet and obscure, those whose faithful, ordinary lives have built up our own lives and our local churches. Like other saints’ days, this is an optional observance." [1]

Each year on November 1, the Church celebrates All Saints’ Day. On the following day, November 2, the church celebrates the Commemoration of All Faithful Departed.

What is the difference between these two observances?

“In the New Testament, the word ‘saints’ is used to describe the entire membership of the Christian community,” explains Holy Women, Holy Men (Church Publishing, 2010).

“From very early times, however, the word ‘saint’ came to be applied primarily to persons of heroic sanctity.”

So, technically, All Saints’ Day, November 1, includes all deceased Christians; however, historically, there has been a strong inclination to remember and honor our personal loved ones on a separate day.

In the Catholic Church this remembrance on the day after All Saints’ Day is called All Souls’ Day, when the bereaved have the opportunity to offer prayers and masses for loved ones who have died. However, this practice was rejected by many Protestant reformers because the theology behind the observance was associated with the medieval doctrine of Purgatory along with the practice of paying for masses to be said for the dead to assist their souls into heaven.

At the time of the English Reformation in the mid 16th century, All Souls’ Day was integrated into the celebration of All Saints’ Day in the Church of England. But by the 19th century, some parishes influenced by the Anglo Catholic Revival reinstated the observance of All Souls’ Day on November 2. The 1979 Book of Common Prayer officially restored the observance in the Episcopal Church, renaming it the Commemoration of All Faithful Departed.

As Holy Women, Holy Men notes, although the observance had been eliminated for hundreds of years, “a renewed understanding of its meaning has led to a widespread acceptance of this commemoration among Anglicans, and to its inclusion as an optional observance in the calendar of the Episcopal Church.” The Anglican Church in North America has continued this practice.


[1] French, T. (2020, July 21). All Souls' Day: What Is It? How Do We Celebrate? Retrieved October 27, 2020, from

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