All Souls’ Day

“The Valley of Dry Bones”
Office for the Dead, Antiphon 1, Morning Prayer 
From Ezekiel 37:1-14
©️2021 by Gloria M. Chang

The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he led me out in the spirit of the Lord and set me in the center of the broad valley. It was filled with bones. He made me walk among them in every direction. So many lay on the surface of the valley! How dry they were! He asked me: Son of man, can these bones come back to life? “Lord God,” I answered, “you alone know that.” Then he said to me: Prophesy over these bones, and say to them: Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Listen! I will make breath enter you so you may come to life. I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow over you, cover you with skin, and put breath into you so you may come to life. Then you shall know that I am the Lord. I prophesied as I had been commanded. A sound started up, as I was prophesying, rattling like thunder. The bones came together, bone joining to bone. As I watched, sinews appeared on them, flesh grew over them, skin covered them on top, but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me: Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man! Say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: From the four winds come, O breath, and breathe into these slain that they may come to life. I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath entered them; they came to life and stood on their feet, a vast army. He said to me: Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel! They are saying, “Our bones are dried up, our hope is lost, and we are cut off.” Therefore, prophesy and say to them: Thus says the Lord God: Look! I am going to open your graves; I will make you come up out of your graves, my people, and bring you back to the land of Israel. You shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and make you come up out of them, my people! I will put my spirit in you that you may come to life, and I will settle you in your land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord. I have spoken; I will do it—oracle of the Lord.

Ezekiel 37:1-14

3 Replies to “All Souls’ Day”

  1. Dear GMC, bless you for your joyful reflection. I have always thought of All Soul’s Day as a sorrowful occasion. But today you make me see it for the joy that it truly is. I usually focused this day on the people I have lost, instead of being happy at the potential that Our Lord has for them. You have brought me from sadness to gladness today.

    No more hurt and pain.
    Just hope and joy in the Lamb that was slain.

    Also, thank you for all those hymns I found at the Office for the Dead. Today, I pray twice! Peace be with you, GMC.

  2. Dear GMC, Your reflection has “legs,” and leads me deeper into prayer. I found this Franciscan prayer, which reminds me of your beautiful reflection:

    God of life,
    who brought back dry bones in a desert valley,
    speak to my bones today, to my flesh, to my heart.
    May I know of life—life to the fullest—by simply listening to your voice today.
    God of Ezekiel, may you prophesy over my dry bones and bring me into your light.
    Amen.

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