Sunday Worship 31st October

The Anglican Parish of Greater Hastings

(encompassing St Matthew’s, Hastings, and St Peter’s, Riverslea)
Christian communities in the heart of Hastings

Christian communities in the heart of Hastings

31st October 2021
A Service of Morning Prayer

for the
Feast of All Saints

Although in the New Testament “saints” refers to all Christians, the church soon gave special honour to the heroes of the faith, especially martyrs. In the early church, a feast commemorating all martyrs seems to have been observed in association with Pentecost. The extension of the feast to include all the saints and its observance on 1 November emerged some time in the eighth century. The feast allows us to express our sense of communion with all those who have gone before us, whether known or unknown, who have witnessed to their faith in Christ.

The Preparation:

Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.                                          Hebrews 12:1, 2

Great is the Lord and worthy of all praise.

Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom,
thanksgiving and honour, power and might,
be to our God for ever and ever!   Amen.

Hymn: For all the Saints

Ye servants of God, your Master proclaim,
And publish

1 For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
who thee by faith before the world confess,
thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest,
Alleluia, alleluia!

2 Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress, and their Might;
Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well-fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

3 Oh, blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine,
yet all are one in thee, for all are thine.
Alleluia, alleluia!

4 The golden evening brightens in the west.
Soon, soon to faithful servants cometh rest.
Sweet is the calm of paradise the blest.
Alleluia, alleluia!

5 But yonder breaks a yet more glorious day;
the saints triumphant rise in bright array,
as king of glory calls them on his way.
Alleluia, alleluia!

6 From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,

Singing to Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
Alleluia, alleluia!

E te whānau a te Karaiti / Brothers and sisters in Christ,
let us praise and worship God who has called us together.
Let us celebrate God’s majesty,
and delight in the wonder of God’s love.
Let us confess our sins
and receive assurance that we are forgiven.

As the scriptures are read,
we can allow God’s word to speak to us,
and ponder its meaning for our lives.

In our prayers, we give thanks for God’s goodness,
we pray for others as well as for ourselves,
and we offer our lives anew in Christ’s service.

All this we do,
because we believe in the presence among us
of our Saviour Jesus Christ,
and in the mighty power of the Holy Spirit.

Hear these words of scripture.

As God who called you is holy,
be holy yourselves in all your conduct.

Spirit of God, search our hearts.

In silence, we remember our need for God’s forgiveness.

Let us confess our sins to God.

God of mercy,
we have sinned against you and against others.
We have sinned in what we have done,
and in what we have failed to do.
We are truly sorry.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for our sins,
forgive us all that is past
and raise us to newness of life.   Amen.

Almighty God, who pardons all who truly repent,
forgive our sins, strengthen us by the Holy Spirit,
and keep us in life eternal;
through Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Amen.

The Collect

Almighty God,
your saints join with you in the eternal song of praise
and forever reflect your glory;
may our lives be worthy of those who have gone before us,
full of faith, courage and holiness,
singing your song to a troubled world.
Through Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.

Psalm 24

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it:
the world and its inhabitants.

For the Lord has founded it upon the seas:
and planted it firm upon the waters beneath.

Who may ascend the hill of the Lord:
or who may stand in God’s holy place?

Those who have clean hands and a pure heart:
who have not set their minds on falsehood,
or sworn a deceitful oath.

They shall receive blessing from the Lord:
and recompense from God their saviour.

So it is with those who seek the Lord:
with those who seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Lift up your heads you gates,
lift yourselves up, you everlasting doors:
that the king of glory may come in.

‘Who is the king of glory?
‘It is the Lord strong and mighty,
the Lord who is mighty in battle.’

Lift up your heads you gates,
lift yourselves up, you everlasting doors:
that the king of glory may come in.

‘Who is the king of glory?
‘It is the Lord, the Lord of hosts who is the king of glory.’

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be for ever.     Amen.

A Reading from the prophet Isaiah 25:6-9

On 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. And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations; he 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.

It 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. For the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain. The Moabites shall be trodden down in their place as straw is trodden down in a dung-pit.

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
Thanks be to God.

A Living Hope

Blessèd be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ:

   by whose great mercy we have been born anew,

born to a living hope:

   by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead;

born to an inheritance which will never perish or wither away:

   one that is kept in heaven for us.

By God′s power we are guarded through faith:

   for a salvation ready to be revealed at the end of time.

We rejoice in this, though now we suffer various trials:

   so that the genuineness of our faith,

   more precious than gold that is tested by fire,

may result in praise and glory and honour:

   at the revelation of Jesus Christ.                                        1 Peter 1:3–7

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be for ever. Amen.

A reading from Revelation 21: 1-6a

Then I 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. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he 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.” And 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.” Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
Thanks be to God.

The Song of the Church

We praise you O God, we acclaim you as the Lord.
All creation worships you:
the Father everlasting.
To you all angels, all the powers of heaven:
cherubim and seraphim, sing in endless praise,
‘Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might:
heaven and earth are full of your glory.’
The glorious company of apostles praise you:
the noble fellowship of prophets praise you,
the white-robed army of martyrs praise you.
Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you:
Father, of majesty unbounded,
your true and only Son, worthy of all worship:
and the Holy Spirit, our advocate and guide.
You Christ are the king of glory:
the eternal Son of the Father.
When you became incarnate to set us free:
you humbly accepted the Virgin’s womb.
You overcame the sting of death:
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
You are seated at God’s right hand in glory:
we believe that you will come and be our judge.
Come then Lord and help your people:
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.

A reading from John (11:32-44) 

Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead

When 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.”

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus began to weep. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus 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.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. I 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.” When 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.”

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
Thanks be to God.

The Sermon: Saints with a small s

Phyllis McGinley was an American poet who wrote a book called Saint-Watching. In it she says, ‘When I was seven years old, I wanted to be a tight-rope dancer and broke my collarbone practicing on a child’s-sized high wire. At twelve I planned to become an international spy. At fifteen my ambition was the stage. Now in my sensible declining years I would give anything … to be a saint.’ Phyllis was right. We’re all called to be saints.

We usually talk about saints with a capital S. These are Christians who lived remarkable lives: Saint Paul and Saint Peter, Saint Mary, Saint Clare and Saint Francis, Saint Mother Teresa, Saint Matthew, and so on – and we recognise them by giving them their own special day in the church’s calendar. But today we’re celebrating saints with a small s.

The word saints, that’s with a small s, was how the early Christians referred to one another. In this sense, the New Testament uses the word 64 times. If Paul, for example, was writing to us, he might well start his letter, as he did to the Romans: ‘To all God’s beloved in Hastings, who are called to be saints.’ His point is, that through baptism we’re made members of the family Christ, and that everyone who seeks to shine with the light of Christ’s love is a saint of God. When we came away from our baptism, we had been joined to Christ’s family – Christ’s whānau. And that makes us a saint. It’s not something we’ve earned. It’s a by-product of God’s love. On the day of our baptism, we became members of the body of Christ, the communion of saints – that fellowship of countless people who have been immersed in God’s love and called to share it with others. As Charles Wesley’s old hymn puts it, ‘All the saints your love has made.’ To know the love of God – that is the beginning of sainthood.

Of course, that love is something that we grow into over the years. We grow into sainthood as we learn to be God’s people together. Christianity isn’t a private thing. It’s communal – the communion of saints. We become saintlier as we learn the hard lessons of forgiveness, unconditional love, and mercy. First, we learn to receive it for ourselves, then we learn give it to others. In all the living and working together as church, we become the saints we’ve been called to be when we learn something of God’s love for us.

God’s love is the key to it all. It’s a love which is boundless and unending, and which holds in its embrace, God’s people in this world and the next. It’s the cement that binds the communion of saints together, uniting us with the saints in every corner of the globe, and with those who have gone before us.

Each of our readings points us to this love. First there was Isaiah. He caught a glimpse of what might be. He saw that death would not be the end of everything but the beginning of something new. To describe this hope, he used the image of a great feast, at which God would be the host, and the people God’s guests. It would be a time of fellowship and feasting – a feast of rich food and the very best wine. It would also be a time when death would be no more – the tears of grieving would be wiped away as God swallowed up death forever. Then John the Divine, the author of the book of Revelation, picked up that theme as he painted a picture of heaven. He saw that what Isaiah had dreamed of, had been fulfilled in Jesus, and ‘Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more…’ Jesus gave a foretaste of this in the raising of Lazarus form the dead. By calling Lazarus forth from his tomb, Jesus exercised his authority over the power of death. Of course, death is an undeniable reality. We know the pain of grief, as did Mary and Martha, as did Jesus himself. But death doesn’t have the last word. This is the hope that this feast affirms. It says that there’s a power loose in the universe that’s stronger than death – that can call us out of our tombs into the fullness of new life. We have a God who brings life out of death – who creates life in the midst of grief and loss, who creates faith and hope in the midst of despair.

Today we’re reminded that life is richer and bigger than what we see about us – and that the church is something far greater than this parish, or diocese, or even the whole church on earth. Worshipping together, we’re united with all God’s people – those in every corner of the earth, but also, those who have gone before us. We’re surrounded and joined to a fellowship of innumerable saints who know that death does not have the final word – sisters and brothers in Christ, who are praying with us and for us – that great cloud witnesses who surround us on every side, countless as heaven’s stars. You see, we never walk the Christian path alone, but in the company of our sisters and brothers, living and departed.

I wonder… who are the saints that are special to you – who inspire you and encourage you… who have nurtured you and challenged you? Who are the saints who shared with you the love of God? Take a moment to recall these saints who have enriched your journey by making real Christ’s life, and by sharing his love……

All Saints celebrates a fellowship of people who are committed to Jesus Christ – who know God’s love and who, through their actions and words, have shown that God’s love is real. It’s a communion that stretches to the far ends of the world and beyond. It embraces people from long ago and far away. All Saints celebrates relationships that never end, for they and us are held in a love from which nothing can separate us. Today we celebrate a life that is richer than many dare to imagine.

O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
yet all are one in you, for all are yours.  Alleluia!

Alister Hendery
Hastings – 31.10.2021

Hymn: Heavenly hosts in ceaseless worship

Heavenly hosts in ceaseless worship
‘Holy, holy, holy’ cry;
‘he who is, who was and will be,
God Almighty, Lord most high.’
Praise and honour, power and glory,
be to him who reigns alone!
We, with all his hands have fashioned,
fall before the Father’s throne.

All creation, all redemption,
join to sing the Saviour’s worth;
Lamb of God, whose blood has bought us,
kings and priests, to reign on earth.
Wealth and wisdom, power and glory,
honour, might, dominion, praise,
now be his from all his creatures
and to everlasting days!

© Timothy Dudley-Smith


Make your ways known upon earth, O God,
your saving power among all peoples.

Renew your Church in holiness,
and help us to serve you with joy.

Guide the leaders of this and every nation,
that justice may prevail throughout the world.

Let not the needy, O God, be forgotten,
nor the hope of the poor be taken away.

Make us instruments of your peace,
and let your glory be over all the earth.

We give thanks for the beauty of your creation, and for our sisters and brothers, with whom we share this planet.
We pray for all places where there is conflict and for harmony between nations, and for all who work to promote justice and peace.
God our Maker
hear our prayer.

We give thanks for your church, for that great company with whom we are joined across distances of time and place and tradition.
We pray for your church today, that we may witness to your gospel, and for all who commit their lives to your service.
God our Redeemer
hear our prayer.

We give thanks for those whose work sustains our wider community, and for all whose love and friendship enriches our lives.
We pray for those in hospital and rest homes; for our schools, especially our parish school; and for our families and friends.
God our Companion
hear our prayer.

We give thanks for the courage of many who suffer, and for the dedication of those who care for them.
We pray for all in need of your sustaining love and strength, and for all who are sick in body or mind, and for those who grieve.
God our Healer
hear our prayer.

We give thanks for all your saints of every time, tongue, and nation.
We pray for those who have nurtured and encouraged us, inspired, and challenged us. Help us to follow the example of your saints that we may come with them to the new Jerusalem and stand before your throne in glory.
God, our beginning and our ending,
hear our prayer.

Holy and everliving God,
by your power we are created
and by your love we are redeemed;
guide and strengthen us by your Spirit,
that we may give ourselves to your service,
and live each day in love to one another and to you,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

In darkness and in light,
in trouble and in joy,
help us, heavenly Father,
to trust your love,
to serve your purpose,
and to praise your name,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

As our Saviour Christ has taught us, we pray

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever. Amen.


Te Karakia o Te Atua

Kua akona nei tātou e tō tātou Ariki, ka īnoi tātou

E tō mātou Matua i te rangi
Kia tapu tōu Ingoa.
Kia tae mai tōu rangatiratanga.
Kia meatia tāu e pai ai
ki runga ki te whenua,
kia rite anō ki tō te rangi.
Hōmai ki a mātou āianei
he taro mā mātou mō tēnei rā.
Murua ō mātou hara,
Me mātou hoki e muru nei
i ō te hunga e hara ana ki a mātou.
Āua hoki mātou e kawea kia whakawaia;
Engari whakaorangia mātou i te kino:
Nōu hoki te rangatiratanga, te kaha,
me te korōria,
Āke ake ake. Āmine.

Hymn: Rejoice in God’s saints

Rejoice in God’s saints, today and all days!
A world without saints forgets how to praise.
Their faith in acquiring the habit of prayer,
their depth of adoring, Lord, help us to share.

Some march with events, to turn them God’s way;
some need to withdraw, the better to pray;
some carry the gospel through fire and through flood:
our world is their parish: their purpose is God.

Rejoice in those saints, unpraised and unknown,
who bear someone’s cross, or shoulder their own:
they shame our complaining, our comforts, our cares:
what patience in caring, what courage is theirs!

Rejoice in God’s saints, today and all days!
A world without saints forgets how to praise.
in loving, in living, they prove it is true:
The way of self-giving, Lord, leads us to you.

The Dismissal:

Christ, who make saints of sinners, who has transformed those we remember today, raise and strengthen us that we may transform the world; and the blessing of God: Creator, Redeemer and Giver of life, be with us and remain with us for ever. Amen.

This copyright material for A Service of Morning Prayer is selected from
A New Zealand Prayer Book / He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa, (p35-52) and is used in accordance with regulations.

This service has been prepared by the team at St Matthew’s Church, Hastings,
and it is offered for individual or family use in home “bubbles” during NZ lockdown in Covid-19 Pandemic.

The words of hymns have been included as an optional extra resource for reflection,
but if you wish to sing them, tunes may be found on-line by clicking the link at each hymn.


St Matthew’s Anglican Church, Hastings
Corner King Street & Lyndon Road, Hastings

A worshipping centre within
The Anglican Parish of Greater Hastings

Parish Office Phone: 878-9476 ~ P O Box 824, Hastings 4156
email: ~ website:

Parish Priest-in-Charge:
The Venerable David van Oeveren
ph 06 211 3457 / 021 470 337

You can also meet with us on Facebook:

Also our St Matthew’s Facebook. and

Also our St Peter’s Facebook

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