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What are some popular hymns for All Saints Day?

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Quick Answer

There are many hymns that celebrate All Saints Day, and one of the most popular is "For All the Saints," which is to the tune of "Sin Nomine" with music by Ralph Vaughan Williams and words by William W. How. Other hymns commonly played for All Saints Day include "Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty," "We Shall Gather by the River," and "Amazing Grace."

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Full Answer

All Saints Day is celebrated either on November 1 in Western Christianity or on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Christianity. The day celebrates those who have reached heaven or attained the beatific vision by remembering the struggles, works, commitments, confessions and glories of Christians past and present.

"Shall We Gather by the River" has music and text by Robert Lowry, and it is from the United Methodist Hymnal just as "Holy, Holy, Holy!" by Reginald Heber and John B. Dykes is. Both include the theme of communion with departed saints.

"Amazing Grace," which was published in 1779 by English clergyman John Newton, is based on the writer's personal experiences and usually sung to the tune "New Britain." The final verse speculates on saints' statuses in the line "when we've been there 10,000 years."

Other hymns celebrating All Saints Day are "Sing With All the Saints in Glory," which is set to Beethoven's "Ode to Joy." Another popular hymn is "Wake, Awake, for Night is Flying," which uses music by J.S. Bach.

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