Chi Rho Symbol

The Guild of All Souls

The Guild of All Souls was founded on 15 March 1873 by Joseph and Walter Plimpton and Edward Frederick Croom who were all communicants of St. James's, Hatcham in England. The Vicar, Fr Arthur Tooth, was the first president. The purpose of the Guild Burial Society was:

"to provide furniture for Burial according to the use of the Catholic Church so as to set forth the two great doctrines of the Communion of Saints and the Resurrection of the Body; and Intercessory prayer for the Dying and for the repose of the souls of the deceased members and all the faithful departed."

The work of the Guild soon attracted the attention of other churches in England and from a small parochial group it increased rapidly in membership. In addition to the above aims, the following have also become commended to the prayers of members in the American chapter of the Guild:

  1. the restoration of the use of the Rite of Healing and the Anointing of the Sick, (sometimes called the Sacrament of Holy Unction) and
  2. the wide restoration of the custom of reserving the Holy Eucharist for the sick and dying.

A chapter of this prayer Guild was established at St Peter's Eastern Hill, Melbourne in, or shortly after, 1904 and achieved prominence under Fr James Cheong and Mrs Barton; with 75 members in 1915 — this number included 17 priests. Although the Guild long ago fell into abeyance, it is now our aim to re-establish it at St Peter's and to offer membership to all in Australia and beyond.

Privileges of Guild Members

  • Members are prayed for annually on the anniversary of their death by the members of the Guild, and have Mass offered for them.
  • Members may obtain the prayers of the Guild for departed close relatives and close friends.

Duties of Guild Members

  • Once a week, perhaps Fridays, to say Prayers for the Guild, for the sick, for the dying and for deceased members of the Guild.
  • If possible, to attend Mass on 2 November, All Souls Day.
  • To support devotions for the departed in church.
  • To arrange that upon your death, notice shall be sent to the Chaplain of the Guild so that we may all pray for you.
  • Priest members are asked to celebrate the Holy Eucharist at least once a year on behalf of the Guild.

Joining the Guild

There is currently no contact point for the guild at St Peter's, but the British Chapter of the Guild maintains a web site at


Prayers of The Guild of All Souls

O God, whose mercies cannot be numbered: accept out prayers on behalf of your servants.........and grant them an entrance into the land of light and joy, in the fellowship of your saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Book of Common Prayer according to the use of the Episcopal Church (USA)

God of all comfort, we pray to you for those we love but see no longer. Grant them your peace; let light perpetual shine upon them; and in your loving wisdom and almighty power work in them the good purpose of your perfect will, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayers for All Souls Day, The Book of Alternative Services of the Anglican Church of Canada.

God, the strength of all who believe in you, increase our faith and trust in your Son, that we may live victoriously now and for ever. Amen.
A New Zealand Prayer Book

Support us, Lord, all the day long of this troubled life, until the shadows lengthen, the evening comes, the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over and our work is done. Then Lord, in your mercy, give us safe lodging, a holy rest and peace at the end. Amen.

A Short Litany

Father we come to you in our grief, trusting in your love for those for whom we mourn. We know that death cannot separate us from the love in Jesus Christ our Lord.
This is our faith: Lord, increase our faith.

Father, your son Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus. We believe that you share our love for those who have died and that you will give us strength in our loss.
This is our faith: Lord, increase our faith.

Father, Jesus died that we might be forgiven. We trust in your forgiveness.
This is our faith: Lord, increase our faith.

Father, you gave your only Son, that all who have faith in him may not die, but have eternal life.
This is the faith of the church. This is our faith. Amen. Alleluia!

Adapted from An Anglican Prayer Book, Church of the Province of Southern Africa.

May the souls of the departed through the mercy of God rest in peace and rise in glory.
Rest eternal grant unto them O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them.
May they rest in peace and rise in glory!

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