Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Feast of All Saints

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2 Esdras 2:42-47
I, Ezra, saw an enormous crowd on Mount Zion, too many people to count. They were all singing and praising the Lord. Standing in the middle of this crowd was a very tall young man, taller than any of the others. He was placing a crown on the head of each person, but he towered above them all. I was spellbound by the sight, and I asked the angel, “Who are these people, sir?”
He replied, “These are people who have taken off their mortal robes and have put on immortal ones. They have confessed their faith in God, and now they are being given crowns and palm branches as symbols of their victory.”

Then I asked the angel, “Who is the young man who is putting the crowns on their heads and giving them the palms?”

“He is the Son of God,” the angel replied, “and all these people confessed their faith in him while they lived on earth.” Then I began to praise those who had stood for the Lord so bravely. And the angel said to me, “Go and tell my people what you have seen, the many marvelous wonders of the Lord.”

O God, the King of saints, we praise and magnify thy holy Name for all thy servants who have finished their course in thy faith and fear; for the blessed Virgin Mary; for the holy patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs; and for all other thy righteous servants, known to us and unknown; and we beseech thee that, encouraged by their examples, aided by their prayers, and strengthened by their fellowship, we also may be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; through the merits of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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