After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying:
“Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!”
Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?”
I answered, “Sir, you know.”
And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore,
“they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.
‘Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat down on them,’ nor any scorching heat.
For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd;
‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’
‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.'”
~ Revelation 7:9-17
In Western Christianity November 1 is known as All Saints Day. It is also called The Feast of All Saints, Solemnity of All Saints or All Hallows. It is celebrated in Eastern Christianity on the first Sunday after Pentecost.
A Hymn for All Saints Day
For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
Words by William W. How, 1864. Traditionally set to the tune Sine Nomine by Ralph Vaughan Williams.
On Wednesday, October 30, 2013, Pope Francis spoke of the communion of saints.
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
In our catechesis on the Creed, we now reflect on “the communion of saints.” As the Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us, this is a communion “in holy things” and “among holy persons” (No. 948).
The communion of saints is the deepest reality of the Church, because in Christ, through Baptism, we are made sharers in the communion of life and love which is the Blessed Trinity.
As such, we are united to one another in the Body of Christ. Through this fraternal communion we draw nearer to God and we are called to support one another spiritually.
The communion of saints does not only embrace the Church on earth; it also embraces all who have died in Christ, the souls in purgatory and the saints in heaven.
We experience this solidarity between heaven and earth in our intercessory prayer and in the feasts of All Saints and All Souls which we shall soon celebrate.
As we rejoice in this great mystery, let us ask the Lord to draw us ever closer to him and to all our brothers and sisters in the Church.
I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims present at today’s Audience, including those from England, Wales, Ireland, Denmark, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Vietnam and the United States.
Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke God’s blessings of joy and peace!