Sunday, November 1, 2009

Father Hollywood: Sermon for All Saints

Father Hollywood is a Lutheran Pastor in the New Orleans area.  His sermon for All Saints Day is here.

His preaching is based on today's scripture readings.  Here is an excerpt:

You, brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, you possess the kingdom, right now, even in your poverty of spirit and in your being persecuted for the faith. For these are true marks of the Church. No Christian escapes the sinking suspicion that his own spirit is poor, that he has nothing to offer God in himself but a beggar in rags. Likewise, no Christian escapes persecution for the faith from the hostile world, from the hateful devil, and from his own defiled flesh. And yet, the Lord in His mercy does not withhold the kingdom from you.

Those Martyrs Stand, A Priestly Band

Behold a host, arrayed in white,
Like thousand snow-clad mountains bright,
With palms they stand. Who is this band
Before the throne of light?
Lo, these are they of glorious fame
Who from the great affliction came
And in the flood of Jesus' blood
Are cleansed from guilt and blame.
Now gathered in the holy place,
Their voices they in worship raise,
Their anthems swell where God doth dwell,
Mid angels' songs of praise.

Despised and scorned, they sojourned here;
But now, how glorious they must appear!
Those martyrs stand a priestly band,
God's throne forever near.
So oft, in troubled days gone by,
In anguish they would weep and sigh,
At home above the God of Love
For aye their tears shall dry.
They now enjoy their Sabbath rest,
The paschal banquet of the blest;
The Lamb, their Lord, at festal board
Himself is Host and Guest.

Then hail, ye mighty legions, yea,
All hail! Now safe and blest for aye.
And praise the Lord, who with His Word
Sustained you on the way.
Ye did the joys of earth disdain,
Ye toiled and sowed in tears and pain.
Farewell, now bring your sheaves and sing
Salvation's glad refrain.
Swing high your palms, lift up your song,
Yea, make it myriad voices strong,
Eternally shall praise to Thee,
God, and the Lamb belong.

TLH 656, sung in Norwegian, setting by Edvard Grieg

All the Saints Adore Thee!

Improvisation on Holy, Holy, Holy 
at St. Laurens in Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Oh, How I Want to Be in that Number!

A blessed All Saints Day