Praying the All Saints Day Readings

These prayer practices can be used at any time during the week. They are meant for personal devotion and contemplation. If you would like to download a .pdf version of this page, click here.

Anglican Rosary Prayers

The Anglican Rosary consists of a cross or crucifix (✝︎), an invitatory bead (☉), four cruciform beads (❖   ), and twenty-eight beads broken into groups of seven, called the weeks (●). To pray the rosary, start with the cross, move to the invitatory bead, and then move around the circle, saying the prayers for the cruciform beads and the beads in the weeks. After praying this circle, return to the invitatory bead to say the benediction, and then to the cross for the doxology.

For this week, use these phrases from the lectionary readings as you pray the rosary:

✝︎ I called in my affliction and you heard me, and saved me from all my troubles.

☉ (Invocation) I will bless you at all times; your praise shall ever be in my mouth.

❖ Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

  • When you are revealed, we will be like you, for we will see you as you are.

☉ (Benediction) We are your children now; and what we will be has not yet been revealed.

✝︎ Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever.

Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina is an ancient method of praying with scripture.  It consists of four movements. To explain it, I like using the image of a monastic scribe, laboring in a scriptorium.  To begin, you need to choose a passage of scripture to pray with. Any of the readings from this week will do. Find a quiet place, open to the reading, and begin.

Movement One, Lectio: Read the passage slowly.  Then read it again.  Listen for a word or phrase that really speaks to you.  If you were a scribe during the middle ages, you’d be copying the words out onto vellum, with no delete button!  You’d have to go slowly and concentrate on every word.

Movement Two, Meditatio: Pay attention to thoughts, feelings, memories, and images that arise in your mind.  This movement is a little like the wool-gathering that scribes might be doing as they worked.

Movement Three, Oratio: Reply to God.  This is what we usually do when we pray, and most people are used to talking to God.  Our scribe might find that she’s mumbling about her life and her family and friends as she leans over the vellum.

Movement Four, Contemplatio: Rest in God.  This is prayer without words, and really without thoughts. Contemplative prayer, when time seems suspended and you’re simply aware of the room around you and the vast, moving universe enveloping you.  It’s very hard to reach this state, but always something to practice getting to.  Our scribe might let the stylus drop at this point and just rest, open-mouthed, at her desk.

Visio Divina (Praying with Images)

This is like Lectio Divina, but it uses images instead of words. Below, you will find several images that you may want to pray with. The practice of Visio Divina consists of these steps:

  1. Examine the image slowly, noting the colors, people, places and things.  Remain with the image for one to two minutes. If you would like, jot down a few words about the image.
  2. Take a second, deeper, look. Where do you see movement in the image? What relationships do you see? Engage your imagination. Where are you in the artwork? What do you see from that perspective? What deeper meaning emerges?
  3. Respond to the image with prayer. Did the image remind you of an experience, person or issue for which you’d like to offer thanksgiving or intercession? Offer that prayer to God.
  4. Find your quiet center. Breathe deeply. Relax your shoulders, arms and legs. Rest in this quiet. Let God pray in you. God prays beyond words.
Wassily Kandinsky, All Saints, 1911
Terry Ratliff, All Saints 3

Guided Meditation

You can use this guided meditation to reflect on some of the themes from this week’s homily. Find a quiet place to sit or lay down. Read through this meditation, or let Karl guide you through it by listening to this recording.

Who taught you how to look for blessings in your life? Was it a specific person or many different people whom you’ve met along the way? How did this person or these people connect with blessing? What did you notice them doing or saying? What habits helped them to encounter and name blessings? Take a moment and hold that person or those persons in your heart. Let your love of them flow out of you. Name the things that fill you with gratitude towards them.

How do you connect with blessings as you live day by day? Through long walks, through music, cooking, talking with friends? Take a moment and name these places of connection. Let your heart fill with a sense of the blessings you receive from them. Let your gratitude for these moments rest in you and flow out of you. 

Now name three people whom you are going to bless today. John O’Donohue wrote that “a blessing is a circle of light drawn around a person to protect, heal and strengthen.” As you bless the three people whom you’ve named, imagine that circle of light surrounding them.

We will bless each person with a breath. Breathe in slowly, filling your body and soul with a sense of that person. Hold the breath, and hold the sense of them within you. Then exhale, and as you exhale say to yourself, “I bless this person, who is a blessing to me.”

The peace of God be with you, the peace of Christ be with you, the peace of the Holy Spirit be with you, during every moment of your life.

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