All Saints' Day sermon ideas

On All Saints' Day, the church is called to celebrate the communion of saints who have gone before us and brings our attention to the gifts that God has given us through those around us in the body of Christ.

How do I plan worship for All Saints' Day?

All Saints' Day worship is a celebration for those that have gone before us, for the gifts that they have given us, and a call to the church to continue the work that they have started. We might consider naming those that have died over the past year and thanking God for all that they did in our community. We might also consider thanking God for others who lived lives that were honoring and pleasing to God.

The standard prayer of thanksgiving in the communion liturgy references the communion of saints: "Therefore we join our voices with all the saints and angels and all of creation to proclaim the glory of your name." This is worth preaching on: that the worship that takes place in our sanctuaries is the earthly harmony of a heavenly melody. Many widows and widowers in the church express a longing to sing in worship with their loved one again. When we remember that the veil between heaven and earth is thinnest in our worship, we provide theological truth and pastoral comfort.

Martin Luther's claim that we are all sinners and saints at the same time is seen in this day. On All Saints' Day, we can remember the saints who have gone before us in the great cloud of witnesses and the saints with whom we continue to work today. This can be an appropriate occasion to hold the grief about the loss of saints that have died in the past year and to remember their faithfulness.

When is All Saints' Day?

November 1, often observed on the nearest Sunday

What colors do we use for All Saints' Day?

White, a color of celebration.

What themes do we use for All Saints' Day worship?

Bible passage ideas for All Saints' Day


All Saints' Day is an opportunity to teach the difference between imputed righteousness and earned righteousness. We may, by our actions, be proven righteous. This is an earned righteousness and it is what we most often think of when we hear the word "saint." However, imputed righteousness is the doctrine that we are considered righteous because of Jesus Christ's death on the cross. We stand in the shadow, as it were, of Jesus' righteousness, and that righteousness is credited to us. All Christians—all who believe that Jesus' death pays the penalty of their sin—receive the righteousness of Christ and are, therefore, saints.

Children of God

Grief and the comfort of eternal life

Although God promises the gift of eternal life to those who believe in him, the psalms remind us that we are also to tell the truth about grief and loss. Maybe a parent or grandparent has died in the past year. Maybe a death that happened long ago forever altered the course of a person's life. Maybe one's grief is silent as from miscarriage. All Saints' Sunday is a beautiful time to invite people to light candles to remember, to tell the truth about loss, and to do all of that within the supportive community of the church and under the reign of our King, who once grieved at the tomb of a friend.

The body of Christ

It has always been the plan of God to work through people to accomplish God's purpose. The stories of God's work teach us about who God is, about what we are to value as members of Christ's kingdom, and about how, by the Spirit's power, we too are able to contribute to God's good work in the world.

All Saints' Day service ideas

"We can find special friendships amongst the Communion of Saints. People whose lives and journeys contain many of our own struggles, whose growth in the Spirit tends in similar directions as our own." Scripture Meditation or Sermon by Claire Woodley-Aitchison from The Episcopal Church

"Scott P. Richert, featured author of numerous articles on Catholic moral, social, political, and historical issues, writes that All Saints Day is a very old Christian tradition remembering Christians who have given their lives for the cause of Christ. . . . Today we celebrate and reflect upon martyrdom in the sense that all who die for justice, freedom, peace, and parity are martyrs and therefore should be celebrated." Service outline byLewis E. Logan, II from the African American Lectionary

Saint Martin Luther King of Georgia by Robert Lentz on Global Chrsitian Worship

"God is never without witnesses. Men and women of conscience have come along-Martin Luther and John Wesley, Sojourner Truth and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mother Teresa-as witnesses to truths that had been buried in the ground, treasure waiting to be rediscovered. And so the church is always in dialogue with the Bible. As Karl Barth, the great theologian insisted, 'the church is always being reformed according to the word of God.'" Article by Kenneth Carter from Day1

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