Prayer Service: Celebrating Saints and Souls


This prayer service will help focus students on the saints in heaven and the holy souls.

By Jean Grant

Prior to this Prayer Service, participants should write the name of any friend or relative they have who died in the past year. Place the pieces of paper in a basket on a table before the altar. (To prepare, view Litany of the Saints on EWTN.) Download a printable version of this prayer service.

READER 1: “Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed for the Lord, your God, is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

LEADER: Saints are our heroes. They may be named on the Church calendar, or they may be our relatives, friends, and acquaintances who have died and moved on beyond this earth with less notoriety. In history, All Hallows’ Eve is the night before All Saints Day. Between the evening of Halloween (which means holy evening), with the costumes, frightening pranks, and parties, is a thin moment in time that connects this scary past with November 1, All Saints’ Day.

 READER 1: On All Saints Day, we honor those who have made it to their heavenly reward. They may have given their life and died for their faith as martyrs. Some may have led a life of prayer and sacrifice. Some may have viewed apparitions or visions and endured torture. In all cases, their love for God was the most important thing in their lives.

LEADER: Trick-or-treating, begging for food, began in Ireland with soul cakes and a promise to pray for dead family members of the house. Those at the door would sing “a soul cake, a soul cake, have mercy on all Christian souls for a soul cake.” Jack-O-Lanterns came from an old Irish legend about a stingy person named Jack who was too cheap to go to Heaven and too clever to go to hell. Jack was destined to roam the earth with a lighted pumpkin for a lantern.

READER 2: We will now draw names from our basket. These names are of those we know or to whom we are related that have died since last November 1, All Saints Day. The response to be given by all is shown in bold.

LORD, HAVE MERCY. LORD, HAVE MERCY.

CHRIST, HAVE MERCY. CHRIST, HAVE MERCY.

LORD, HAVE MERCY. LORD, HAVE MERCY.

LEADER: (Draw a name from the basket.  Read it aloud.)
ALL: Lord, hear our prayer.
(Repeat until all names from the basket have been read.)

Lord, may your faith shine upon us. Lord, hear our prayer.

Our hope is with you. Lord, hear our prayer.
Save all who have helped us. Lord, hear our prayer.

Bring all peoples together in global peace. Lord, hear our prayer.

Christ, hear us. Lord, hear our prayer.
Unify us. Lord, hear our prayer.
Evangelize us. Lord, hear our prayer.

AMEN.

Jean Grant is a retired teacher from St. Charles, Missouri.

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