All the Saints

Today we observed All Saints’ Day at church (which technically falls on November 1 but is observed on the closest Sunday following that date).  Besides remembering all the saints-those still living as well as those who have already fallen asleep in the faith–All Saint’s Day means great hymns.  One of my favorite hymns for this day is “Behold a Host, Arrayed in White” (Lutheran Service Book 676).

It’s not just the text of this hymn that makes it one of my favorites, it’s also the personal memories.  Our vicarage congregation was able to purchase LSB hymnals because of a memorial given when a faithful member suddenly died.  On the day the hymnals were dedicated, we sang this hymn because it was one of her favorites (and it was fitting, seeing how she is now a member of the host, arrayed in white).  Almost two years later, we sang this hymn on the day of Baby Girl’s baptism.

It may be strange to remember a dead woman that I barely knew when my young daughter was baptized.  However, that is what baptism is about:  faith and salvation, so that we too can join this host in heaven.

I fervently pray that I will be placed in the grave long before Baby Girl.  But I also fervently pray that she will have a blessed end and join the saints in heaven.

Behold a Host, Arrayed in White

Behold a host, arrayed in white,
Like thousand snow-clad mountains bright!
With palms they stand;
Who is this band
Before the throne of light?
These are the saints of glorious fame,
Who from the great affliction came
And in the flood
Of Jesus’ blood
Are cleansed from guilt and shame.
They now serve God both day and night;
They sing their songs in endless light.
Their anthems ring
As they all sing
With angels shining bright.
 
Despised and scorned, the sojourned here;
But now, how glorious they appear!
Those martyrs stand,
A priestly band,
God’s throne forever near.
On earth they wept through bitter years;
Now God has wiped away their tears,
Transformed their strife
To heav’nly life,
And freed them from their fears.
They now enjoy the Sabbath rest,
The heavn’ly banquet of the blest;
The lamb, their Lord,
At festive board
Himself is host and guest.
 
O blessed saints in bright array
Now safely home in endless day,
Extol the Lord,
Who with His Word
Sustained you on the way.
The steep and narrow path you trod;
You toiled and sowed the Word abroad;
Rejoice and bring
Your fruits and sing
Before the throne of God
The myriad angels raise their song;
O saints, sing with that happy throng!
Lift up one voice;
Let heav’n rejoice
In our Redeemer’s song! 
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