All Hallows Eve

Traditionally, there have been two parts of the Church.  The Church is best known to be the local body of believers or the universal body of Christ.  The part of the Church that is often forgotten, however, according to traditional Christian theology, is the Ecclesia.

All Saints' DayThe Ecclesia is composed of two parts:  the ecclesia triumphans and the ecclesia militans or the church triumphant and the militant church.

We, as believers, are still engaged in the earthly struggle of the Great Commission, we are part of the ecclesia militans.  Those that have gone on to glory before us is the ecclesia triumphans; our brothers and sisters that are already with Christ.  It is they who we remember on All Hallows’ Eve and All Saints’ Day.

For All the Saints

For all the saints, who from their labours rest,

Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,

Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.

Alleluia, Alleluia!

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!

For the Apostles’ glorious company,

Who bearing forth the Cross o’er land and sea,

Shook all the mighty world, we sing to Thee:

Alleluia, Alleluia!

O may Thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold,

Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,

And win with them the victor’s crown of gold.

Alleluia, Alleluia!

For the Evangelists, by whose blest word,

Like fourfold streams, the garden of the Lord,

Is fair and fruitful, be Thy Name adored.

Alleluia, Alleluia!

For Martyrs, who with rapture kindled eye,

Saw the bright crown descending from the sky,

And seeing, grasped it, Thee we glorify.

Alleluia, Alleluia!

O blest communion, fellowship divine!

We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;

Yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine.

Alleluia, Alleluia!

And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,

Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,

And hearts are brave, again, and arms are strong.

Alleluia, Alleluia!

The golden evening brightens in the west;

Soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest;

Sweet is the calm of paradise the blessed.

Alleluia, Alleluia!

But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;

The saints triumphant rise in bright array;

The King of glory passes on His way.

Alleluia, Alleluia!

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! [1]

[1] William Walsham How, For All the Saints (1864)