Due to copyright limitations, we are unable to print the words to 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 to one of your favourite hymns and listen for God’s voice. Those who have internet may find the songs on YouTube.

Contributed by Capt (Rev.) Nathan Wright—Chaplain, The Royal New Brunswick Regiment (Fredericton, NB)


Without the resurrection, the cross is meaningless.

~Billy Graham


     On All Saints Sunday we remember loved ones who have been laid in the tomb. We know the acute grief of Mary, Martha, and Jesus. We know the reality of death that lies so close. We know that at any moment the phone call could come with news we dread. We live forever in the shadow of death.

     At the same time, we also know the little deaths that take place every day. We know the daily disappointments, the betrayal of a friend, a failure at work, a difficult and tumultuous marriage, the loneliness and pain of one longing for something more from life. Beyond that there are the near-constant reminders that much of this world is far from God’s kingdom. How easy it is to look and see poverty and injustice, disease and despair all around. Like Lazarus, we are bound tightly in death’s clothes: grief, disappointment, hopelessness.

     Yet Jesus speaks the last word for us: “Unbind him, and let him go” (John 11:44). This promise is bursting with resurrecting life.

     Clothed in the righteousness of Christ, God’s people are called forth from the grave. Together the people of God celebrate the hope and promise of resurrection, rising each new day to joyfully serve in the name of the one who is beyond death, Jesus our Savior.

     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.


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    Oh When The Saints Go Marching In



God of our past, present, and future, we have come to this place as a people of hope. We hope for a future without war and a world that lives together in peace. In years past, and in the present day, members of our armed forces have put their lives at risk for this hope, with some paying the ultimate cost. May what we do here today strengthen our resolve to work together so that this hope may be fulfilled. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.


We are not alone; we live in God’s world.

We believe in God:  who has created and is creating, who has come in Jesus, the Word made flesh, to reconcile and make new, who works in us and others by the Spirit.

We trust in God.

We are called to be the Church:  to celebrate God’s presence, to live with respect in Creation, to love and serve others, to seek justice and resist evil, to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen, our judge and our hope.

In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us.  We are not alone.  Thanks be to God.


     I have here my daughter’s Cabbage Patch doll.  This doll is special because it belonged to my sister, Kelly, who is Jilleen’s godmother.  When Jilleen was born, and we asked Kelly to be her godmother, she gifted her doll to Jilleen.  I don’t remember the original name for the doll.  I call her Sophia, which means ‘wisdom’.  Sophia is wearing one of the sweaters that Jilleen wore as a baby.  Special x2!

     Jilleen and her sisters used to enjoy watching videos of the Cabbage Patch Kids.  We liked these videos because the Cabbage Patch Kids were kind, helpful, generous and respectful.  They learned from their mistakes, learned how to solve problems without anger, learned to include everyone in their friendship. 

     Today is All Saints Sunday.  Today we remember how God, through Jesus, has blessed everyone, made them holy and given them the gift of new life after death.  In other words, God has made us saints!  We are the living saints.  Today we remember all those saints who have died.

     What does it mean to be God’s saint?  It means that out of love for God for making us holy, we try to live as Jesus lived – with respect, generosity and forgiveness.  It also means we include everyone in God’s love. 

     That is why, as a mom, and as a Pastor, I liked the Cabbage Patch Kids videos because they helped teach our daughters those qualities that, as God’s saints, God wants us to live out with others.

     Thank you, God, for choosing to make us your saints!  Help us to tell others about you so that they, too, will know they are saints and are loved.  Amen.        


A Step Toward Peace

     One of the things we can do to promote peace is share what we have to ensure that everyone has enough. That’s why your generosity through Mission & Service supports economic development programs that offer things like micro-loans and business training and support to purchase equipment.

Leila Basheer is a 46-year-old mother of five who lives in a village in the northwestern part of the West Bank in Palestine. Leila’s husband is in poor health, which makes it hard to get by. Since she was a child, Leila has been preserving carob paste, which helps with upset stomach. Four years ago, as her family struggled, she had the idea to sell her carob paste. But processing it by hand is labour-intensive so she turned to DSPR―the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees―for help.

     “As I made some profit from local sales, I decided to expand. DSPR helped me out with buying grinding equipment that facilitated making carob paste enormously,” she says.

     The outcome is amazing. Not only can Leila produce high-quality paste but her income has also grown. “The grinding equipment helped me increase my income by 40 percent. I look forward to buying a second grinding machine, this time to produce tomato paste,” says Leila.

     Palestinians in the West Bank are subject to complex systems of control. These systems of control include physical barriers like the Separation Wall, checkpoints, and roadblocks, and bureaucratic ones like permits and closure of areas. These restrict Palestinians’ right to freedom of movement. The Israeli occupation has confiscated thousands of dunums (1 dunum = 1,000 square metres) of land from Palestinian farmers to build illegal settlements, bypass roads, and build the Separation Wall. Moreover, the checkpoints, roadblocks, and crop destruction create extreme challenges for farmers attempting to reach their land and their markets.

     Every step we take to support families like Leila’s brings us a step closer to peace and justice. Thank you for your generosity through Mission & Service.



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.


Readings and Psalm

First Reading: Isaiah 25:6-9

Isaiah sees a vision of the end of days, when God will gather all people on God’s holy mountain and will prepare for them a rich feast. At this banquet God will wipe the tears from all eyes. And there will be no more sorrow, for God will destroy death itself.

6On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
  a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines,
  of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear.
7And he will destroy on this mountain
  the shroud that is cast over all peoples,
  the sheet that is spread over all nations;
  8he will swallow up death forever.
 Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces,
  and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth,
  for the Lord has spoken.
9It will be said on that day,
  Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.
  This is the Lord for whom we have waited;
  let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

Psalm 24

R:  They shall receive blessing from the God of their salvation. (Ps. 24:5)

1The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,
  the world and those who dwell therein.
2For the Lord has founded it upon the seas
  and established it upon the rivers. R
3Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord,
  and who may stand in God’s holy place?
4Those of innocent hands and purity of heart,
  who do not swear on God’s being, nor do they pledge by what is false.
5They shall receive blessing from the Lord
  and righteousness from the God of their salvation.
6Such is the generation of those who seek you, O Lord,
  of those who seek your face, O God of Jacob. R
7Lift up your heads, O gates; and be lifted up, O everlasting doors,
  that the King of glory may come in.
8Who is this King of glory?
  The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle!
9Lift up your heads, O gates; and be lifted up, O everlasting doors,
  that the King of glory may come in.
10Who is this King of glory?
  Truly, the Lord of hosts is the King of glory. R

Second Reading: Revelation 21:1-6a

Here is a vision of the new heaven and new earth in which God resides fully with God’s people so that mourning, despair, and pain have been eradicated. These renewing words from the God who spans all of time are trustworthy and true.

1I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
 “See, the home of God is among mortals.

 He will dwell with them;

 they will be his peoples,

 and God himself will be with them; 

     4he will wipe every tear from their eyes.

 Death will be no more;

 mourning and crying and pain will be no more,

 for the first things have passed away.”

  5And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6aThen he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.”

Gospel: John 11:32-44

Through the raising of Lazarus, Jesus offers the world a vision of the life to come, when death and weeping will be no more.

     32When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. 34He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35Jesus began to weep. 36So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
  38Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” 40Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” 41So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” 43When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”


     It was my 16th birthday.  We were at the home of my mom’s cousins, Gertie & Alfie Grosklag, in Palmer Rapids, Ontario, about to sit down to the feast that was my birthday supper when the phone rang.  It was the hospital.  Alfie’s mom, Alvina, had just died.  Alfie burst into tears. 

     Dad was asked if he would be a pall bearer.  He accepted. 

     The wake was in the basement of the United Church.  There was great aunt Alvina, laid out in the casket.  There was her daughter-in-law, Barbara, with the curling iron, curling Alvina’s hair because Barbara didn’t like the way the funeral director had styled it.   

     The tables lined the back wall of the basement loaded with urns filled with tea, coffee, hot water; there were sandwiches, desserts, cheese and crackers and homemade sausage.

     So many people!  It was like a family reunion!  My mother knew a good number of these folks.  My dad, sisters and I were introduced to every one of them!  I smiled so much my face hurt.

     After the funeral, when it came time for the burial, my father discovered that being a pall bearer in Palmer Rapids, Ontario, was nothing like being a pall bearer in the city of Ottawa!  Dad was spared having to hand-dig the grave.  There was a team of church members who had looked after that task.  However, to get great aunt Alvina into the hole, they used several ropes and their muscles to slowly lower the casket.  Then, once she was at the bottom, the funeral director handed my dad a spade and said, “Well, get to work!”

     My favourite part of this whole experience came when the grave had finally been filled in.  On top of the grave was this mound of wonderful dirt.  Suddenly, all the children ran up onto the mound and began to jump up and down, making sure that great aunt Alvina was packed in for good!

     I share this story because the experience had such a positive impact on me.  Up at the farm, death was real.  It was part of life.  True, aunt Alvina was elderly.  I’m certain the experience would have been different for a young person, or someone who died tragically.  Then again, knowing those folks, it would not have differed by much.   

     In the city, death is sanitized.  At the gravesite, the casket is hung suspended on straps attached to a winch.  There is no effort, no sweat in lowering the casket with a winch.  The casket isn’t even lowered to the bottom.  It is dropped slightly to give the impression of “going down”.  And, there is no opportunity for the children to “pack in” the deceased.

     In the middle east, death is also very real.  It was the family who prepared the body of their loved one for burial.  The body was bathed, clothed and carried to the tomb.  In Jesus’ time, burials usually happened within one day or the reality of decomposition quickly became obvious.  Professional mourners played their role in helping to express the collective grief of the loss of the deceased.

     Today is All Saints Day.  Today we are reminded that Jesus has power over death.  We hear the story of the raising of Lazarus and learn that death is not the end.  Jesus deliberately waited to visit Mary and Martha.  Jesus waited until decomposition was sufficient to show that, through him, God had power over the rot and stink of death.

     Rev. Dr. Alyce McKenzie is Professor of Preaching and Worship at Perkins School of Theology.  She writes:  The Fourth Gospel repeatedly uses the physical realm as a metaphorical pointer to the spiritual realm. Water is a metaphor for the quenching of our spiritual thirst through Jesus’ presence; Jesus is the living water (Jn. 4:14). The bread Jesus multiplies to feed the crowd is a metaphor for the satisfaction of our spiritual hunger that Jesus brings; Jesus is the Bread from Heaven (Jn. 6:35). Sight is a metaphor for the spiritual vision and clarity that Jesus brings; Jesus is the light of the world. Here, in chapter 11, the restoration of physical life is a metaphor for breaking free from the bonds of spiritual death into the gift of eternal life that Jesus brings. Jesus is the resurrection and the life.

     Jesus responds to Lazarus’ illness with equanimity. He says that “this illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (Jn. 11:4). He is not expressing his hope that, because of the miracle he is about to perform, he will be admired and praised. “God’s glory” is a reference to Jesus’ own resurrection. His raising of Lazarus from the dead will speed his own death, which will lead to his resurrection, in which we all participate.[1]

     In this moment, Lazarus is us.  We experience many deaths in our lifetime, not all of them the death of loved ones.  There are many losses we grieve in our life. The loss of youth and health are two of the most common. Lazarus’ resurrection reminds us that faith in Christ frees us from our fears, frees us to live life abundantly, no matter our age, health, circumstances.  We are free to love, free to serve.  We are free to die without fear.  Our resurrection is now.  Our hope is life with God after death.

     At 16 I witnessed the love of a community for an elderly woman who had been one of their own.  I witnessed the embracing of death as a part of life.  I witnessed belief in the resurrection.  I observed the lack of fear of death and the need to “sweat it” to plant the dead in the earth, and, indeed, to pack them in!  That experience spoke to me in ways my confirmation classes, many sermons and theological books did not.  The love of God, the resurrection, the hope of eternity, is real and hands on.  I will continue to breathe, walk and have my being in this amazing God until my last breath – and beyond.  Amen!

HYMN OF THE MONTH  MV 126  Are You A Shepherd?


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.

God of peace,

We pray for peace.

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.

God of peace,

We pray for peace.

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.

God of peace,

We pray for peace.

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.

God of peace,

We pray for peace.

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.

God of peace,

We pray for peace.

We 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 the names of those people, places, and situations that are in need of your tender loving care this day:  Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Mexico, Yemen and  Saudi Arabia; all inner-cities where gangs create a lifestyle of fear; indigenous communities, all those grieving the death of loved ones.   We hold up family members, friends and community members who are in need of your healing grace:  the family of Walter Pokrant, Pastor Norris Nordin, Dwayne, Carolyn & Douglas, Tracy Skoglund, Kathryn Schmidt, Brooke Alexiuk, John & Erica Sommer, Matthew Grossman, Mike Froese. Restore them to health and wholeness, O God.

God of peace

We pray for peace.

God our protection and strength, we entrust to you all for whom we pray. Remain with us always, through Jesus Christ, our Savior.



SENDING SONG  VU 691  Sing With All The Saints In Glory    


Remember the sacrifices of those who have gone before us.
Take up the whole armour 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.


Go in peace. The living Word dwells in you.

Thanks be to God!





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[1] https://www.patheos.com/resources/additional-resources/2011/04/lazarus-is-us-alcye-mckenzie-04-04-2011