Not the God of the Dead but of the Living

Image result for all souls day

In some branches of Christianity, November 2 is celebrated as ‘All Souls Day,’ or ‘Commemoration of the Faithful Departed.’  In some countries it is also called ‘The Day of the Dead.’ This prayer reminds us that those who die in faith live in Christ.

O eternal God and Father,
you are not the God of the dead but of the living,
and all who put their trust in you,
who rest in their chambers under the earth,
live in you.
Be merciful to us, dear Father,
do not let us be afraid of the power and sting of death,
but keep us in the true faith in your dear Son,
who is the way, the truth, and the life.
Uphold us with your Holy Spirit,
and give us a clear conscience,
that we may live our Christian lives,
and finally fall asleep in peace and joy
when we leave this valley of tears,
and rest in peace until you open our graves
and awaken us with the sound of the last trumpet;
through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Source: Order for Burial, found in Allgemeines evangelisches Gesang- und Gebetbuch zum Kirchen und Hausgebrauch,Hamburg, 1846, p. 760#2.

A similar prayer appears in Christian Worship: Occasional Services in the burial rite.

Original in German:

O ewiger Gott und Vater, der Du nicht bist ein Gott der Todten, sondern der Lebendigen, denn in Dir leben alle, so unter der Erden in ihren Kammern ruhen: wir bitten Deine väterliche Güte, Du wollest uns des Todes Gewalt und Stachel nicht lassen erschrecken, sondern uns in Deinem Sohne, welcher ist der Weg, die Wahrheit und das Leben, in rechtem Glauben und gutem Gewissen gnadiglich mit Deinem Geiste erhalten, damit wir christlich leben, und seliglich von diesem Iammerthal abscheiden und in Fried und Freude einschlafen, und sanft ruhen können, bis Du unsere Graber eröffnest, und durch der Posaunen Stimme uns wieder zum Leben aufweckest, durch Jesum Christum unsern Herrn. Amen.


All Saints Day

On November 1, the Christian church remembers those who have died in faith, and now enjoy eternal pleasures at Christ’s right hand as his church triumphant. We, too, are his saints, but in the church militant.

O Lord Jesus Christ,
you are the Resurrection and the Life,
and through your victory
you have attained
eternal righteousness, joy,
and holiness for us.
As you have promised,
we pray,
come soon to judge,
and bring us
a joyful resurrection to life
and a homecoming
in the eternal paradise
of our Father’s kingdom.
You, Jesus, are arisen from death,
and rule with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
forever and ever.

Source: Prayer for the Order of Burial, found in Allgemeines evangelisches Gesang- und Gebetbuch zum Kirchen und Hausgebrauch,Hamburg, 1846, p. 758.

O Herr Jesu Christe, der Du bist die Auferstehung und das Leben, und hast uns durch Deinen Sieg eine ewige Gerechtigkeit, Freude und Heiligkeit erworben: wir bitten Deine milde Güte, Du wollest bald zum Gerichte kommen, und uns eine fröhliche Auferstehung des Lebens verleihen, und in das ewige Paradies und Vaterland uns heimholen, der Du vom Tode bist erstanden, und herrschest mit dem Vater und heiligem Geiste, von Ewigkeit zu Ewigkeit. Amen.

A Home Liturgy for All Saints Day

In the history of the Christian Church, All Saints Day, November 1, is a time for visiting graves and remembering the faithful departed. The following may be used at home or when visiting the grave of a family member or friend.

We know that the one who raised the Lord + Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and bring us into his presence. (2 Corinthians 4:14)

The following Scriptures or other passages may be read:

Now we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal home in heaven, which is not made by human hands. (2 Corinthians 5:1)

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor rulers, neither things present nor things to come, nor powerful forces, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Let us pray.
Lord Jesus Christ,
you told Mary and Martha
that you are the Resurrection and the Life.
You promised your disciples
that you would prepare a place for them.
You promised the repentant thief
that he would be with you in Paradise.
And through the disciple John,
your revealed to us
that you will wipe away every tear from our eyes
in the Day when there is no death or sorrow or crying or pain.
Fill our hearts
with these firm and certain promises.
Comfort us with the assurance
that those who have died in faith
now see you face to face.
Strengthen us
with these words of your gospel;
you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
surrounded by a great multitude that no one can count,
one God, now and forever.

How blessed are those who live in your house.
They are always praising you.

How blessed is everyone whose strength is found in you.
The highways to Jerusalem are in their hearts.

As they pass through the Valley of Weeping,
it becomes full of springs. 

They go from strengh to strength.
Each one will appear before God in Zion.

O LORD, God of Armies, hear my prayer.
Give ear, O God of Jacob.

One day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather wait at the doorway of the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

The LORD is a sun and shield.
God gives grace and glory.

The LORD does not withhold any good thing from those who walk with integrity.
O LORD of Armies, how blessed is everyone who trusts in you. (from Psalm 84)

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever. (Revelation 5:13)

How blessed are those who live in your house.
They are always praising you.

The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ + Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)


This short rite is based in part on the outline of a short rite in Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers © 2007 by the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The prayer “Lord Jesus Christ, you told Mary and Martha…” and the responsory from Psalm 84 are newly composed. “Valley of Weeping” is in the footnote. Biblical text reads “Valley of Baca.” All Scripture is taken from The Holy Bible: Evangelical Heritage Version, © 2017.

© 2017 Paul C. Stratman and A Collection of Prayers.

Advent Prayer

Advent 1O Lord Jesus Christ,
at your first coming you humbled yourself because of our sins.
At your second coming our sins will be done away by your mercy,
and we will be numbered with your saints in glory everlasting;
through your merits, O blessed Savior,
with the Father and the Holy Spirit
you live and reign,
one God,
now and forever.

Source: Mozarabic Collect for the First Sunday in Advent, freely modified from  Mozarabic Collects, ed. Rev. Chas. R. Halle, New York, 1881, p.15 #1

Mozarabic Prayer for All Saints’ Day, November 1

O God,
your blessed saints who are now at rest
overcame the world by your strength.
May we follow in their footsteps,
and after this life,
partake with them of heavenly joys;
through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.

Source: Freely modified from Mozarabic Collects, ed. Rev. Chas. R. Halle, New York, 1881

Prayer for All Saints’ Day (November 1)

O almighty and eternal God,
through your only and beloved Son, Jesus Christ,
you will sanctify all your elected and beloved.
Give us grace to follow their faith, hope and charity,
that together with them we may obtain eternal life;
through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one true God, now and forever. Amen.

Source: Veit Dietrich, d. 1549

Source of this version: The Collects of Veit Dietrich in Contemporary English © 2016 Paul C. Stratman

This revision/translation of The Collects of Veit Dietrich is licensed by Paul C. Stratman under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Please contact for permission for any commercial use



Prayers from the Evangelical-Lutheran Heritage by [Stratman, Paul]Prayers by Veit Dietrich are included in Prayers from the Evangelical-Lutheran Heritage, available from, and also available for Amazon Kindle. It is a collection of prayers from the history of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church from Luther to Loehe. The collection includes prayers by Johannes Bugenhagen, Georg C. Dieffenbach, Veit Dietrich, Matthias Flacius, Wilhelm Loehe, Martin Luther, Philip Melanchthon, Joachim Mynsinger, Johann G. Olearius, Johann Jacob Rambach, and the early agendas and prayer books of the Austrian, Brunswick, Hamburg, Lueneberg, Norwegian, Nuremberg, Pomeranian, Riga, Russian, Saxon, Schleswig-Holstein, and Swedish Evangelical-Lutheran churches.