St Alban’s Episcopal Church
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Night prayers for All Hallow’s Eve
The carved pumpkins above are in the house of Janet Wray – products of her family.
The carved, stuffed peppers below were made by Sandy Sherry for her family’s dinner!
And if you want to, you can even carve watermelon or other melons – They look amazing with candles inside – plus they are easy to scoop out and the watermelon is then available to eat. This was made by Xavier Cox last year.
Many children are afraid of sounds in the night, of “ghosties and ghoulies” – and many a mom or dad has had to check closets, look under beds and turn on lights to assure their youngsters that there are no monsters in their child’s room.
This is Scottish, and old enough that it is now “traditional”, and amusing to adults, but it also has a great ring to it that kids tend to love – and they are already used to the refrain, “Good Lord, deliver us” from the Sunday prayers of the people. You might try it with your family if they are anxious about “things that go bump in the night.”The Book of Occasional Services includes an evening service for All Hallow’s Eve. Here is a short version of it if you’d like to include it in your family prayers after trick-or-treating on Sunday evening. (We will have printed copies at Church on Sunday if you’d like to take them home to use.)
(Begin in darkness with as little light as you can manage)
Leader: Light and peace, in Jesus Christ our Lord. All: Thanks be to God
Reading: Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one lights a lamp to put it under a bucket, but on a lamp-stand where it gives light for everyone in the house. And you, like the lamp, must shed light among everyone, so that they may see the good you do, and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
Leader: Let us pray. Lord Christ, your saints have been the lights of the word in every generation: Grant that we who follow on their footsteps may be made worthy to enter with them into that heavenly country where you live and reign for ever and ever. Amen
Candles – or pumpkins! – may be lighted.
All together: O gracious Light, pure brightness of the ever living Father in heaven, O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed! Now as we come to the setting of the sun, and our eyes behold the vesper light we sing your praises, O God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices, O Son of God, O Giver of life, and to be glorified through all the worlds. .
The Valley of Dry Bones
Reader: Ezekiel 37:1-14 (or simply tell the story if you have little ones)
Psalm 143: 1-11 (page 798 in the Book of Common Prayer) – (or another hymn of praise, or something simple with children – “This little light of mine” for example)
Let us pray:
(silence) O God, you have called your people to your service from age to age. Do not give us over to death, but raise us up to serve you, to praise you, and to glorify you in life. Amen
Parents and/or children can reflect on the reading, on the theme of darkness vs light -on what it means to be saints – to be Jesus’ friends
Conclude with the Lord’s prayer together – which most of the children, even the youngest know by heart.
Then let them blow out the candles, or leave them burning as they go to sleep and blow them out later.