Sacred Music Sunday: For All the Saints
I love big, bold brassy hymns, and anything written by Ralph Vaughan Williams tops my list. One of my favorites is For All the Saints, written to the tune Sine Nomine, which means “without name”. It’s a tribute to all of the unnamed saints. In popular culture and in some religious traditions, a saint is someone extra special and extra holy. However, in the New Testament, Paul frequently reminds us that all followers of Christ are saints.  So, this hymn is for you, this hymn is for me, this hymn is for that person in the pews who annoys you, and that religious blogger you disagree with.
All too often, when someone in the church points out an area for improvement or an unintended consequence of a policy or procedure, they’re shut down with a terse “This is Christ’s church, not yours.” However, as we’re reminded, the full name of the church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. So, yes, it’s Christ’s church. But it’s also our church because we are the saints. And we are the church.
Paul uses the metaphor of a marriage to describe the relationship between Christ and the church. He didn’t use the metaphor of a dictatorship. Christ isn’t sitting somewhere giving orders and expecting us to stand up and salute. He is running toward us with open arms to welcome us into His embrace, ready to give us rest and heal our pain. He has promised to bear our burdens if we cast them on Him , but the only way we can cast those burdens on Him is if we identify and articulate what those burdens are.
The rest might not come right away, but it will come. And as we continue to cast those burdens on Christ, we’ll receive the promised rest. And then, as the hymn says, we’ll be able to continually praise God.
 see, e.g., Romans 1:7, greeting the church in Rome and telling them that they are all called to be saints; Romans 15:24-26, telling the people he is on his way to Jerusalem to minister to the saints there; Romans 16:2, telling the church members that he is sending Phoebe the Deacon to them and instructing them to receive her as saints.
From Earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s furthest coast,For All the Saints – Text by William Walsham How – Public Domain
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
Singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
 see Matthew 11:28-30