Due to copyright limitations, we are unable to print the words to many of the songs.  However, our musicians have chosen music to fit the scriptures.  We invite you to look up the words in your worship book and ponder them.  If you do not have a worship book, ponder the words of one of your favourite hymns and listen for God’s voice. Those who have the internet may find the songs on YouTube.

Parts of this liturgy are contributed by Capt (Rev.) Nathan Wright—Chaplain, The Royal New Brunswick Regiment (Fredericton, NB)


Saints are ordinary people who do what they do for the love of Jesus, say what they must say without fear, love their neighbor even when they are cursed by him, and live without regret over yesterday or fear of tomorrow.

~Mother Angelica


     Cemeteries house the dead, but they are for the living. One way to discover how a community or even an entire culture interacts with death is through the sacred tradition of commemorating the saints. In Slovakia, All Saints Day is a national holiday as well as a religious one. Slovak cemeteries come alive as people adorn their loved ones’ tombs with candles, flowers, and other local trinkets. It is typical to see ancient water basins throughout the graveyard, available for visitors to wash tombstones. All Saints Day is also a family affair where all generations learn about their heritage while facing their own mortality.

     We have gathered here with gratitude to recognize the sacrifices of our Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP members who have offered themselves in service to our country. Through world wars and regional conflicts, at home and abroad, they have demonstrated courage, loyalty, integrity, and service to Canada before self. The freedoms we enjoy today would not be possible without them. And so, on this Sunday before the 11th day of the 11th month, we remember them.

LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT  –  written by Joshua Lane

We acknowledge we gather and worship on Treaty 1 Territory, the original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation.

We pray for the courage to speak up for the marginalized and oppressed, and to be a voice for the generations that have suffered under the weight of racism and discrimination. May your love and grace inspire us to take action towards healing and reconciliation, and to work towards a future where all are treated with dignity and respect.  Help us to listen to the voices of those who have been silenced for too long, and to work together to see restoration and healing. May we be guided by your love and grace, and may our actions be a reflection of your goodness.  May your Holy Spirit guide us towards a future where love, mercy, and compassion reign. We pray for your hand to be upon us as we work towards reconciliation, and we entrust our efforts into your hands.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.


From east and west, north and south, we gather on this day of remembrance to give thanks and praise.

We come to be inspired by the Word of God and honour the sacrifices of those who have committed themselves to service before self.

In times of peace, in times of conflict, and in times of uncertainty,

We remember that we are not alone.

We are the people of God, connected across time and space, from generation to generation.

We are united by the love of the One who said: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

As we gather to remember, let us sing and pray.

Let us worship God together!

CHILDREN’S SONG:  When The Saints Go Marching In


O God, we confess that we have been afraid. We have been indecisive when others’ lives were threatened, too concerned about politics and precedent. At other times, we have been quick to jump in, assured of our own righteousness and the justness of our cause. We have too often prayed to you to support our own prejudices and goals. Forgive us, and give us courage to seek peace with justice in your world, wherever that may lead us.  Amen.


From October 10 to December 1, 2023, the 40 Days of Engagement on Anti-Racism program offers daily and weekly opportunities for learning, reflection, and action.

The program, designed to move people through a journey towards becoming anti-racist, offers an opportunity for participants within the United Church and beyond to engage in learning and develop their faith.

The learnings encourage deep, thought-provoking discussion for both individuals and communities of faith. Written reflections, video workshops, and readings explore internalized racism, systemic racism, anti-Black racism, anti-Indigenous racism, and more.

The United Church of Canada has committed to becoming an anti-racist denomination, and this work is an ongoing journey for everyone. Your Mission and Service gifts support expanding this crucial initiative each year.

40 Days of Engagement on Anti-Racism materials are available at any time on the United Church website. Live sessions are shared on YouTube.

*A Time of Remembrance

O Canada!  Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all of us command.

With glowing hearts, we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

From far and wide, O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie,

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

Last Post

Minute of Silence


Words of Remembrance:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning.

We will remember them.



We do not pretend to understand the mystery of the faith to which you have called us. Open our hearts that we may be prepared for the journey, so that, as the scripture is read and your word proclaimed, we may receive with joy what you have for us today.  Amen.


First Reading: Revelation 7:9-17

The book of Revelation is written to seven churches in western Asia Minor during a time of great oppression. Today’s reading is a response to the question asked in 6:17: “Who is able to stand?” The writer gives the faithful the assurance of God’s protection and a vision of victory.

9After 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. 10They cried out in a loud voice, saying,

“Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

11And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they

ell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12singing,

“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor

and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

13Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?” 14I 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.
15For 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.

16They will hunger no more, and thirst no more;

the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat;

17for the Lamb at the center 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.”

Psalm 34:1-10, 22

1I will bless the Lord at all times; the praise of God shall ever be in my mouth.

2I will glory in the Lord; let the lowly hear and rejoice. 

3Proclaim with me the greatness of the Lord; let us exalt God’s name together.

4I sought the Lord, who answered me and delivered me from all my terrors.

5Look upon the Lord and be radiant, and let not your faces be ashamed.

6I called in my affliction, and the Lord heard me and saved me from all my troubles. 

7The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear the Lord and delivers them.

8Taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are they who take refuge in God!

9Fear the Lord, you saints of the Lord, for those who fear the Lord lack nothing.

10The lions are in want and suffer hunger, but those who seek the Lord lack nothing that is good.
22O Lord, you redeem the life of your servants, and those who put their trust in you will not be punished. 

Second Reading: 1 John 3:1-3

A saint is one who has been set apart by God for God’s purposes. God, out of divine love, set us apart to be the children of God. Our holy hope is that we shall see God as God really is.

1See 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. 2Beloved, 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. 3And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

Gospel: Matthew 5:1-12

In the Beatitudes, Jesus provides a unique description of those who are blessed with God’s favor. His teaching is surprising and shocking to those who seek wealth, fame, and control over others.

1When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

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

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

5“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

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

7“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

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

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

10“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

HYMN:  VU 575  I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me


Velma had chosen to die.  For 1 1/2 years she had had her congested lungs suctioned in order to breathe.  It left her throat raw and swollen.  Now, at the age of 78, Velma shook her head “no” at the nurse who stood there with the instrument of pain used to allow her to have the breath of life.

We had been having a lecture on death and dying for our clinical pastoral education class that morning.  Fortunately for us, Velma was very conveniently dying, in what the nurses called “the death room”.  So the whole class marched into the room to introduce ourselves to Velma.  Maybe she realized it, and maybe she didn’t, but she was the class specimen.  We had been talking about the stages and symptoms of the dying, and so we inadvertently stared as this woman struggled for breath.  Personally, I found it to be a tactless breach of decorum, our presence in that room.

It was lunch time.  I walked to the elevator, unable to get Velma out of my mind.  Suddenly I heard my grandma Hamm’s voice saying, “I’m not afraid of dying, but I am afraid of being alone when I die.” I skipped lunch and went back to the death room.

I worked at a funeral chapel.  I faced the dead every day.  I knew what to do with the dead, but good God! what do I do with the dying?!  Velma’s intense struggle for each breath left me without any!  It was all I could do to remain standing.

The nurses had told me that morning that Velma was pretty much out of consciousness.  This should have brought me some reassurance, rather it left me feeling even more helpless.  What was I to do?  When in doubt, fly on the wings of the spirit.

I placed my warm left hand over Velma’s cold folded ones, and with my right hand I stroked her forehead.  I told her who I was, and that a friend of hers was coming to see her, but until that friend arrived, I would stay with her so that she would not be alone.  I read her the same passage from revelation whose words assure us that death shall be no more.  God will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and there shall be no mourning nor crying nor pain any more for God makes all things new, and God is coming soon. These words, centuries ago, filled Christians with strength and courage as they faced persecution and death for their faith, their loyalty to Christ remaining strong.  The promise of heavenly rewards was greater than the temporary pain of torture and death.  They died holding on to and believing the promises of God. What else does one read to someone who is dying?  In these words, for me, was the sum of the Christian faith.  We have been baptized into the death and resurrection of Christ and by god’s grace we overcome death.  We need not fear for God is with us.  This is the promise upon which our faith is based.  Through Christ we continue to live with God even though we pass from this earth.  I hoped this passage offered some comfort to this struggling woman who stared vacantly at the ceiling.

Suddenly, a voice in my head said, “Les, start humming!” “Humming? Humming what?”  When in doubt, pick a hymn!  Rock of Ages, How Great Thou Art, The King Of Love My Shepherd Is…I hummed them all.  As I started to hum Amazing Grace, tears began to flow down Velma’s cheeks.  So, she was more with us than the nurses had thought.

Velma’s friend arrived with the head nurse.  The friend and I stepped out into the hall from the death room.  This woman had taken care of Velma for six years.  She told me that Velma was a strong Christian woman.  Amazing Grace had always been her favourite hymn.

According to this friend, Velma was a very gentle, gracious and kind-hearted woman.  I learned that Velma took her faith in Christ seriously.  For Velma, the word Christian was a verb, not a noun.  It was her way and means of living and giving.

The apostle Paul writes: “the death Christ died, Christ died to sin, once for all; but the life Christ lives, Christ lives to God.  So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”  The more I spoke with this friend, the more I realized that Velma had understood the responsibility of being a Christian.

As Christians we have a responsibility to ourselves, for we cannot help others if we do not take care of our physical and emotional selves; we have a responsibility to each other since Christ has commanded that we love one another as God loves us; and we have a responsibility to this planet because it, too, is God’s creation.  These responsibilities sometimes force us to confront what Paul calls “the world”.  Those who are not with Christ.  It is not always easy, or safe, to be a Christian.  Many have died for their faith.  I  believe the motive behind the conviction is that even if one dies proclaiming the gospel, one will be reunited with Christ after death.  “Whether we live or die, we belong to God.”  Sin and death have been conquered.

Conquered, yes, but not eliminated, for these elements are part of the human condition, and while God’s grace continues to abound, it does not mean we accept our sinful nature lightheartedly.  For to be separated from God is spiritual death and emotional despondency.  Sin we will, but we live with the knowledge of forgiveness for our sin and a determination to be alive to God in Christ Jesus.  To live this way is to know the healing and sustaining power of God daily, to acknowledge our strengths and areas that require the power of the spirit, and allow God to use us as we are to be messengers for the gospel.  It is to see the extraordinary in the ordinary, to have hope in the midst of hopelessness, to have strength when all others have lost strength, to have freedom in the midst of oppression, to bring light into the midst of darkness.  To be alive to God in Christ Jesus is to live an active, loving, giving faith.  It is also to die, but in dying to live again in Christ’s embrace.  Velma knew this.  The Christians in the early church knew this.  Those people of faith, the saints, whose lives and faith we commemorate today, knew this.  And so do we.

Five fifty six p.m.  I was in the process of making supper.  I had not been able to get Velma out of my mind all afternoon.  Her presence was very near to me.  Suddenly, the strangest feeling overcame me. It was as if a powerful energy entered the soles of my feet, flew through my body and exited the top of my head.  I grabbed for and hung onto the lip of the counter to steady myself.  When the feeling had passed, I attributed it to having been through a very long day.

The next morning I went to the nursing desk to see when Velma had died—the death room had been empty.  I was told she had died at approximately five minutes to six the previous evening.

I can prove nothing.  Nor can I back up my belief with a quotation from scripture or words from the wisest of theologians.  All I can say is that when the nurse told me the time of Velma’s death, I knew, in my heart, beyond all doubt, that two souls had touched, and that Velma’s message to me had been, “Thank you, and good bye.  I am with God now.”  At that moment, a wholeness was realized in both of us. For Velma, that the promises proclaimed by Christ are true, and for me, that death is not to be feared, nor is it the end.  God indeed is with us, in death and beyond.

There I was, a stranger to this woman, acting out of human weakness but with a living, loving, giving faith, being alive to God.  There was she, a stranger in my midst, being alive to God in her dying and death, reaching through the veil between life and afterlife to say thank you and goodbye.  In that recollected instant I knew, in my heart, that Velma had received the peace that passes all understanding and was being embraced in God’s love.  Indeed, God does make all things new, wipes away all tears and takes away all pain.  In that instant I recognized the richness of God’s love and grace in the promise that had been fulfilled; in the promise that will be fulfilled for all of us. Amen.

HOM:  MV 42  Praise God For This Holy Ground


Holy One, we come before you now with praise and thanksgiving, as well as sorrow and concern, in our hearts. With gratitude on this Remembrance Sunday, we call to mind the soldiers, sailors, air personnel, and RCMP who have paid the ultimate price that we might live in freedom. We remember those who died in distant wars and those more recent. By sacrificing their lives, they left us the responsibility and the duty to continue their work on the things that make for peace. From generation to generation, may their valour and selflessness never be forgotten.

We are especially mindful today of the effects of military life on the body, mind, and spirit. Give courage, comfort, and healing to all those who suffer wounds, both visible and invisible. Help us to remember that the effects of conflict reach far beyond the battlefield and can last a lifetime. Enable us to provide the support our service members need to live happy and healthy lives. May our commitment to them be as full and complete as their commitment to serve Canada before self.

Lest we forget, the families and friends of our service members share in the burdens of military life. Bring comfort and strength to the relatives and friends of those who serve. When they are grieving the loss of their loved ones, may they know your compassionate and comforting presence. When they are separated from one another due to deployments or other operational requirements, may their bonds be strengthened. When their lives are uprooted because they are posted to a new location and everything is new all over again, may they be upheld by the constancy of your steadfast love. Accompany them in their daily joys and protect them in difficulties.

May our act of remembrance this day honour those who have put themselves in harm’s way for the safety of others. May we never forget their sacrifice, the families who grieve for them and support them, and their example of integrity, loyalty, courage, and duty.

As people of faith, we re-commit ourselves to work together for peace in our world. May the hope that we carry in our hearts lead us to seek new and creative ways to resolve our differences. We look forward to that day when your reign is fully realized among us and swords are turned into plowshares and nation no longer lifts up sword against nation.

We also long for the moment when mourning, suffering, and sickness are no more. Until that day comes, we ask that you respond to us when we lift before you in the silence of our hearts the names of those people, places, and situations that are in need of your tender loving care this day…(moment of silent prayer)…Restore them to health and wholeness, O God.

We ask all these things in the name of the One who came to show us your ways.  Amen.


SENDING SONG:   VU 710  Shall We Gather At The River


Remember the sacrifices of those who have gone before us.

Take up the whole armor of God and remain steadfast.

Fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness.

Put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace.

May the grace of God, the love of Christ, and the hope of the Spirit be with you now and always. Amen.


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