logo with text

















November (end of the year)

From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

I saw a great multitude which no man could number of all nations and ribres and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne, and in sight of the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palsm in their hands: and they cried with a loud voice, saying: Salvation to our God![1]

TIME is no more; it is the human race eternally saved that is thus presented in vision to the prophet of Patmos. Our life of struggle and suffering on earth is then, to have an end. Our long-lost race is to fill up the angelic ranks thinned by Satan’s revolt; and, uniting in the gratitude of the redeemed of the Lamb, the faithful spirits will sing with us: “Thanksgiving, honour, and power, and strength to our God forever and ever![2]

And this shall be the end, as the apostle says;[3] the end of death and suffering; the end of history and of its revolutions, which will then be explained. The old enemy, hurled down with his followers into the abyss, will live on only to witness his own eternal defeat. The Son of man, the Saviour of the world, will have delivered the kingdom to God His Father; and God, the last end of creation and of redemption, will be all in all.[4]

Long before the seer of the Apocalypse, Isaias sang: I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and elevated, and his train filled the temple. And the Seraphim cried one to another, and said: Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God of hosts, all the earth is full of his glory.[5] The train and fringes of God’s vesture are the elect, who are the adornment of the Word, the splendour of the Father. For since the Word has espoused our human nature, that nature is his glory, as he is the glory of God. The Bride herself is clothed with the justifications of the Saints; and when this glittering robe is perfected, the signal will be given for the end of time. This feast announces the ever-growing nearness of the eternal nuptials; for on it we annually celebrate the progress of the Bride’s preparation.

Blessed are they that are called to the marriage-super of the Lamb![6] Blessed are we all, who have received in Baptism the nuptial robe of holy charity, which entitles us to a seat at the heavenly banquet! Let us prepare ourselves for the unspeakable destiny reserved for us by love. To this end are directed all the labours of this life: toils, struggles, sufferings for God’s sake, all adorn with priceless jewels the garment of grace, the clothing of the elect. Blessed are they that mourn![7]

They that have gone before us, wept as they turned the furrows and cast in the seed; but now their triumphant joy overflows upon us as an anticipated glory in this valley of tears. Without waiting for the dawn of eternity, the present solemnity gives us to enter by hope into the land of light, whither our fathers have followed Jesus the divine forerunner. Do not the thorns of suffering lose their sharpness, at the sight of the eternal joys into which they are to blossom? Does not the happiness of the dear departed cause a heavenly sweetness to mingle with our sorrow? Let us hearken to the chants of deliverance sung by those for whom we weep; little and great, this is the feast of them all, as it will one day be ours. At this season, when cold and darkness prevail, nature herself, stripping off her last adornments, seems to be preparing the world for the passage of the human race into the heavenly country. Let us, then, sing with the Psalmist: “I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: We shall go into the house of the Lord. Our feet as yet stand only in thy outer courts; but we see thy building ever going on, O Jerusalem, city of peace, compacted together in concord and love. To thee do the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, praising the name of the Lord, thy vacant seats are being filled up. May all good things be for them that love thee, O Jerusalem; may peace be in thy strength, and abundance in thy towers. For the sake of my brethren and of my neighbours, who are already thy inhabitants, I take pleasure in thee; because of the Lord our God, whose dwelling thou art, I have place in thee all my desire.”[8]




The bells ring out as joyously as on the brightest days. They announce the great solemnity of the closing Cycle; the feast which shows us time stamped with the impress of eternity, and God taking possession of the decline year and gathering in its harvest. At the sound of their triumphant and harmonious peals, the Church, prostrate and fasting since morning, raises her brow to the light. Guided by St. John, she penetrates the secrets of heaven; and the words of the beloved disciple, uttered by her lips, assume a tone of incomparable enthusiasm. This feast is truly the triumph of her motherhood; for the great crowd of the blessed before the throne of the Lamb, are the sons and daughters she alone has given to the Lord.

1. Ant. Vidi turbam magnam, quam dinumerare nemo poterat, ex omnibus gentibus, stantes ante thronum.

1. Ant. I saw a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, standing before the throne.

Ps. Dixit Dominus, page 36.

Beside her own glorified sons the Church beholds the Angeles, with their magnificent ritual and their prostrate adoration. Her heart is enraptured at the scene, and she describes it to those who are still militant on earth with her.

2. Ant. Et omnes Angeli stabant in circuitu throni, et ceciderunt in conspectu throni in facies suas, et adoraverunt Deum.

2. Ant. And all the Angels stood round about the throne, and they fell down before the throne upon their faces, and adored God.

Ps. Confitebor tibi Domine, page 37.

But the uninterrupted homage and chants of the heavenly Princes, are not he only glory rendered to the Most High in his eternal temple. As, even in the midst of a numerous choir, a mother can distinguish the voice of her child, so the Church exults to hear the family she has brought up for her Spouse, joining in the heavenly concert and celebrating the Lamb, whose Blood has purchased them the kingdom of God.

3. Ant. Redemisti nos Domine Deus in sanguine tuo ex omni tribu, et lingus, et populo et natione, et fecisti nos Deo nostro regnum.

3. Ant. O Lord God, thou hast redeemed us in thy blood, out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation, and hast made us a kingdom to our God.

Ps. Beatus vir, page 38.

This is the true joy, the ineffable consolation of this day; and the exiled Church cannot refrain from sending up a burning appeal to the Saints, to praise the Lord if possible with still greater zeal. “Be happy, all of you, and sing to him,” she cries out from this valley of tears, borrowing the words of Tobias in the land of his captivity.

4. Ant. Benedicite Dominum omnes electi ejus: agite dies laetitiae, et confitemini illi.

4. Ant. Bless ye the Lord, all his elect, keep days of joy, and give glory to him.

Ps. Laudate pueri, page 39.

To praise God unceasingly is the lot of the Saints, Israel’s goodly inheritance in the true Sion. The Church, in her transport, wearies not of extolling this glorious lot, this better part, privilege of a few on earth, but enjoyed by all in heaven.

5. Ant. Hymnus omnibus Sanctis ejus: filiis Israel, populo appropinquanti sibi: gloria haec est omnibus Sanctis ejus.

5. Ant. A hymn to all his saints; to the children of Israel, a people approaching to him: this glory is to all his Saints.

Psalm 116.

Laudate Dominum, omnes gentes: * laudate eum, omnes populi
Quoniam confirmata est super nos misericordia ejus: * et veritas Domini manet in aeternum.

O praise the Lord, all ye nation: praise him all ye people.
For his mercy is confirmed upon us: and the truth of the Lord remaineth forever.

No power can lessen the glory of the holy city, or diminish the number of its happy inhabitants, which was fixed before all ages in the counsels of the Most High. Although the world is only too deserving of wrath, it cannot be consumed until it has furnished heaven with the last of the elect. This is expressed in a lively manner by the Capitulum, taken from the Apocalypse.

(Apoc. vii.)

Ecce ego Johannes vidi alterum Angelum ascendentem ab ortu solis, habentem signum Dei vivi: et clamavit voce magna quatuor Angelis, quibus datum est nocere terrae et mari, dicens: Nolite nocere terrae et mari, neque arboribus, quoadusque signemus servos Dei nostri frontibus eorum.

Lo I John saw another Angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the sign of the living God; and he cried with a loud voice to the four Angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying: Hurt not the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees, till we sign the servants of our God in their foreheads.

Rabanus Maurus, Abbot of Fulda and Archbishop of Mayence, is supposed to be the author of the following hymn. The perfidious nation, whose expulsion from Christian lands is prayed for, was in the ninth century the race of infidel Normans, who filled the empire with slaughter and ruin under Charlemagne’s weak successors. The striking conversion of these save destroyers was the answer of the Saints. May they ever hear the Church’s prayers in a like manner, enlighten those who persecute her without knowing her, and make of them her firmest supporters.


Placare, Christe, servulis,
Quibus Patris clementiam
Tuae ad tribunal gratiae
Patrona Virgo postulat.

Et vos beata, per novem
Distincta gyros agmina,
Antiqua cum praesentibus,
Futura damna pellite.

Apostoli cum Vatibus,
Apud severum Judicem,
Veris reorum fletibus
Exposcite indulgentiam.

Vos purpurati Martyres,
Vos candidati praemio
Confessionis, exsules
Vocate nos in patriam.

Chorea casta Virginum,
Et quos eremus incolas
Transmisit astris, coelitum
Locate nos in sedibus.

Auferte gentem perfidam
Credentium de finibus,
Ut unus omnes unicum
Ovile nos pastor regat.

Deo Patri sit gloria
Natoque Patris unico,
Sancto simul Paraclito,
In sempiterna saecula.


O Christ, be propitious to thy servants,
for whom thy Virgin Mother
stands as advocate before the throne of grace,
imploring the Father’s mercy.

Ninefold circle
of blessed choirs,
drive far from us all evils,
past, present, and to come.

Apostles and prophets,
plead before the terrible Judge,
and, for the unfeigned tears of us poor sinners,
obtain our pardon.

Ye martyrs crimson-clad
ye confessors with snow-white wreaths,
call us from exile
into our fatherland.

Spotless choirs of virgins
and ye who from the desert
have sped beyond the stars,
give us a place among your heavenly thrones.

Drive the perfidious race
far from Christian lands,
that we may all be gathered
by one Pastor into the one fold.

Glory be to God the Father,
and to his only Son,
together with the holy Paraclete,
through everlasting ages.


V. Laetamini in Domino, et exsultate justi.
℟. Et gloriamini omnes recti corde.
V. Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice ye just,
℟. And glory all ye right of heart.

All the choirs of Angels, all the ranks of the Saints receive, in the Magnificat Antiphon, the homage of the Church’s prayer; and all will join in praising the Queen of heaven and earth, by singing her own glorious Canticle.

Antiphon of the Magnificat.

Angeli, Archangeli, Throni et Dominationes, Principatus et Potestates, Virtutes coelorum, Cherubim atque Seraphim, Patriarchae et Prophetae, sancti legis Doctores, Apostoli, omnes Christi Martyres, sancti Confessores, Virgines Domini, Anachoritae, Sanctique omnes intercedite pro nobis.

Ye Angels and Archangels, Thrones and Dominations, Principalities and Powers, Virtues of the heavens, Cherubim and Seraphim, Patriarchs and Prophets, holy Doctors of the law, Apostles, all ye Martyrs of Christ, holy Confessors, Virgins of the Lord, Anchorets, and all ye Saints, make intercession for us.

The Canticle Magnificat page 44.


Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui nos omnium Sanctorum tuorum merita sub una tribuisti celebritate venerari: quaesumus; ut desideratam nobis tuae propitiationis abundantium, multiplicatis intercessoribus largiaris. Per Dominum.

O Almighty, everlasting God, who hast granted us to venerate in one solemnity the merits of all thy Saints, we beseech thee, that as our intercessors are multiplied, thou wouldst bestow upon us the desired abundance of thy mercy. Through our Lord.

When Rome had completed the conquest of the world, she dedicated to all the gods in token of her gratitude the Pantheon, the most durable monument of her power. But when she herself had been conquered by Christ, and invested by him with the empire over souls, she withdrew her homage from vain idols and offered it to the Martyrs; for they, praying for her as she slew them, had rendered her truly eternal. To the martyrs then, and to Mary their Queen, she consecrated forever, on the morrow of her merciful chastisement, the now purified Pantheon.

“Come forth from your dwellings, ye Saints of “God, hasten to the place prepared for you.”[9] For three centuries the catacombs were the resting‑place of our Lord’s athletes, when they were borne from the arena. These valiant warriors deserved the honours of a triumph far better than did the great victors of old. In 312, however, Rome disarmed but not yet changed in heart, was not at all disposed to applaud the men who had conquered the gods of Olympus and of the Capitol. While the Cross surmounted her ramparts, the white-robed army still lay entrenched in the subterranean crypts that surrounded the city like so many outworks. Three centuries more were granted to Rome, that she might make satisfaction to God’s justice, and take full cognizance of the salvation reserved for her by his mercy. In 69 the patient work of grace was completed; the Sovereign Pontiff Boniface IV uttered the word for the sacred crypts to yield up their treasures. It was a solemn moment, a forerunner of that wherein the Angel’s trumpet-call shall sound over the sepulchers of the world.[10] The successor of St. Peter, in all his apostolic majesty, and surrounded by an immense crowd, presented himself at the entrance of the catacombs. He was attended by eighteen chariots magnificently adorned for the conveyance of the martyrs. The ancient triumphal way opened before the Saints; the sons of the Quirites sang in their honour: “You shall come with joy and proceed with gladness; for behold, the mountains and the hills exult, awaiting you with joy. Arise, ye Saints of God, come forth from your hiding-places; enter into Rome, which is now the holy city; bless the Roman people following you to the temple of the false gods, which is now dedicated as your own church, there to adore together with you the majesty of the Lord.”[11]

Thus, after six centuries of persecution and destruction, the martyrs had the last word; and it was a word of blessing, a signal of grace for the great city hitherto drunk with the blood of Christians. More than rehabilitated by the reception she was giving up the witnesses of Christ, she was now not merely Rome, but the new Sion, the privileged city of the Lord. She now burned before the Saints the incense they had refused to offer to her idols; their blood had flowed before the very altar, on which she now invited them to rest, since the usurpers had been hurled back into the abyss. It was a happy inspiration that induced her, when she dedicated to the holy martyrs the temple built by Marcus Agrippa and restored by Severus Augustus, to leave upon its pediment the names of its primitive constructers and the title they had given it; for then only did the famous monument truly merit its name, when Christian Rome could apply to the new inhabitants of the Pantheon those words of the Psalm: I have said, you are gods.[12] The thirteenth of May was the day of their triumphant installation.

Every dedication on earth reminds the Church, as she herself tells us, of the assembly of the Saints, the living stones of the eternal dwelling which God is building for himself in heaven.[13] It is not astonishing, then, that the dedication of Agrippa’s Pantheon, under the above-mentioned circumstances, should have originated the feast of today.[14] Its anniversary, recalling the memory of the martyrs collectively, satisfied the Church’s desire of honouring year by year all her blessed sons who had died for the Lord; for, at an early date it became impossible to celebrate each of them on the day of his glorious death. In the age of peace there was added to the cultus of the martyrs that of the other just, who daily sanctified themselves in all the paths of heroism opened out to Christian courage. The thought of uniting these with the former in one common solemnity, which would supply for the unavailable omission of many of them, followed naturally upon the initiative given by Boniface IV.

In 732, in the first half of that eighth century which was such a grand age for the Church, Gregory III dedicated, at St. Peter’s on the Vatican, an oratory in honour of the Saviour, of his blessed Mother, of the holy Apostles, of all the holy Martyrs, Confessors, and perfect Just, who repose throughout the world.[15] A dedication under so extensive a title did not, it is true, imply the establishment of our feast of All Saints by the illustrious Pontiff; yet from this period it began to be celebrated by divers churches, and that too on the first of November; as is attested, with regard to England, by Venerable Bede’s Martyrology and the Pontifical of Egbert of York. It was far, however, from being universal, when in the year 835 Louis Le Débonnaire, at the request of Gregory IV and with the consent of all the bishops of his realm, made its celebration obligatory by law. This decree was welcomed by the whole Church and adopted as her own, says Ado, with reverence and love.[16]

The councils of Spain and Gaul, as early as the sixth century,[17] mention a custom then existing, of sanctifying the commencement of November by three days of penance and litanies, like the Rogation days which precede the feat of our Lord’s Ascension. The fast on the Vigil of All Saints is the only remaining vestige of this custom of our forefathers, who, after the institution of the feast, advanced the triduum of penance, so as to make it a preparation for the solemnity itself. “Let our devotion be ‘complete,’ is the recommendation of a contemporaneous author; ‘let us prepare ourselves for this ‘most holy solemnity by three days of fasting, prayer and almsdeeds.’”[18]

When extended to the entire world, the feast became complete; it was made equal to the greatest solemnities, and widened its horizon till it reached the infinite, embracing uncreated as well as created sanctity. Its object was now, not only Mary and the martyrs; not only al the just children of Adam, but moreover the nine choirs of Angels, and above all the Holy Trinity Itself, God who is all in all, the King of kings, that is, of the Saints, the God of gods in Sion. Hear how the Church awakes her children on this day: Come let us adore the Lord, the King of kings, for he is the crown of all the Saints.[19] Such was the invitation addressed by our Lord himself to St. Mechtilde, the chantress of Helfta, the privileged one of his divine Heart: “Praise me, for that I am ‘the crown of all the Saints.’” The virgin then beheld all the beauty of the elect and their glory drawing increase from the Blood of Christ, and resplendent with the virtues practised by him; and responding to our Lord’s appeal, she praised with all her might the blissful and ever adorable Trinity, for deigning to be to the Saints their diadem and their admirable dignity.[20]

Dante too describes Beatrice in the highest heaven, forming her crown of the reflection of the eternal rays. “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost,” sand the inhabitants of Paradise with one voice. “I seemed,” says the sublime poet, “to behold a smile of the universe. The kingdom of bliss, with all its people both ancient and new, turned look and love all towards one point. O triple light, which shining in a single star dost so delight them, look down upon our tempests!”[21]

In many churches, the ancient Office of the Feast, up the sixteenth century, had this peculiarity, that at the Nocturns the first Antiphon, the first Blessing, the first Lesson, and the first Responsory treated of the Blessed Trinity; the second of these respective pieces spoke of our Lady, the third of the Angels, the fourth of the Patriarchs and Prophets, the fifth of the Apostles, the sixth of the Martyrs; the seventh of the Confessors, the eighth of the Virgins, the ninth of all the Saints. On this account the first Lesson, contrary to the custom of the rest of the year, was given to the highest dignitary of the choir, and the first Responsory to the first cantors. The rest followed in order down to the children; one of whom sang the Lesson of the Virgins, and five others clothed in white and holding lighted tapers in their hands in memory of the five wise virgins, sang the eighth Responsory before the Lady-Altar. The ninth Lesson and Responsory were again chanted by Priest. All, or nearly all, these customs have been successively modified; but the arrangement of the Responsories remains the same.

Our readers will be glad to find here the primitive Antiphons and Responsories referred to in the visions of Saints, who show us each order of the blessed in heaven taking part, during this sacred night, in the prayers and thanksgivings of earth. The following texts are found alike in the Breviaries of Aberdeen and Salisbury.


1. Ant. Adesto, Deus unus omnipotens, Pater et Filius et Spiritus Sanctus.

2. Ant. Sicut lilium inter spinas, sic amica mea inter filias.

3. Ant. Laudemus Dominum quem laudant Angeli, quem Cherubim et Seraphim Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus proclamant.

4. Ant. Inter natos mulierum non surrexit major Johanne Baptista.

5. Ant. Estote fortes in bello et pugnate cum antiquo serpente, et accipietis regnum aeternum. Alleluia.

6. Ant. Isti sunt Sancti qui pro Dei amore minas hominum contempserunt; sancti Martyres in regnum aeternum exsultant cum Angelis: o quam pretiosa est mors Sanctorum, qui assidue assistunt ante Dominum, et ab invicem non sunt separati.

7. Ant. Sint lumbi vestri praecincti, et lucernae ardentes in manibus vestris, et vos similes hominibus exspectantibus dominum suum quando revertatur a nuptiis.

8. Ant. Virgines sanctae Dei, orate pro nobis, ut scelerum veniam per vos accipere mereamur.

9. Ant. Laudem dicite Deo nostro, omnes Sancti ejus, et qui timetis Deum pusilli et magni, quoniam regnavit Dominus Deus noster omnipotens: gaudeamus et exsultemus, et demus gloriam ei.

1. Ant. Be propitious to us, O God, who art One and Almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

2. Ant. As the lily among thorns, so is my beloved among the daughters.

3. Ant. Let us praise the Lord, whom the Angels praise, whom Cherubim and Seraphim proclaim: Holy, Holy, Holy.

4. Ant. Among those born of women there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist.

5. Ant. Be valiant in war and fight with the old serpent, and you shall receive an eternal kingdom. Alleluia.

6. Ant. These are the holy ones, who for the love of God despised the threats of men; the holy Martyrs now rejoice with the Angels in the eternal kingdom: Oh how precious is the death of the Saints, who continually stand before the Lord, and are not separated from one another.

7. Ant. Let your loins be girt, and lamps burning in your hands; and you yourselves like to men who wait for their lord, when he shall return from the wedding.

8. Ant. Holy Virgins of God, pray for us, that through you we may deserve to obtain pardon of our crimes.

9. Ant. Sing praise to our God, all his Saints, and you that fear the Lord, little and great, for the Lord our God Almighty hath reigned: let us rejoice and exult, and give glory to him.


1. ℟. Summae Trinitati, simplici Deo, una divinitas, aequalis gloria, co-aeterna majestas, Patri Prolique Sanctoque Flamini:
* Qui totum subdit suis orbem legibus.
V. Praestet nobis gratiam deitas beata Patris ac Nati pariterque Spiritus almi,
* Qui totum subdit suis orbem legibus.

2. ℟. Felix namque es sacra Virgo Maria et omni laude dignissima:
* Quia ex te ortus est Sol justitiae Christus Deus noster.
V. Ora pro populo, interveni pro clero, intercede pro devoto femineo sexu, sentiant omnes tuum levamen, quicumque celebrant tuam solemnitatem.
* Quia ex te.

3. ℟. Te sanctum Dominum in excelsis laudant omnes Angeli, dicentes:
* Te decet † Laus et honor, Domine.
V. Cherubim quoque ac Seraphim Sanctus proclamant, et omnis coelicus ordo dicens.
* Te decet. Gloria Patri. † Laus et honor.

4. ℟. Inter natos mulierum non surrexit major Johanne Baptista:
* Qui viam Domino praeparavit in eremo.
V. Fuit homo missus a Deo cui nomen Johannes erat.
* Qui viam.

5. ℟. Cives Apostolorum et domestici Dei advenerunt hodie:
* Portantes facem et illuminates patriam, dare pacem gentibus et librare populum Domini.
V. Audite preces supplicum vitae aeternae poscentes praemia, qui fertis in dextris manipulos justitiae, quique gaudentes advenistis hodie.
* Portantes.

6. ℟. O constantia Martyrum laudabilis: o charitas inexstinguibilis:
* patientia invincibilis quae, licet inter pressuras persequentium visa sit despicabilis:
* Invenietur in laudem et gloriam et honorem. * In tempore retributonis.
V. Nobis ergo petimus piis subveniant meritis, honorificati a Patre qui est in coelis.
* Invenietur. Gloria. † In tempore.

7. ℟. Sint lumbi vestri praecincti et lucernae ardentes in manibus vestris:
* Et vos similes hominibus exspectantibus dominum suum quando revertatur a nuptiis.
V. Vigilate ergo, quia nescitis qua hora Dominus vester venturus sit.
* Et vos.

8. ℟. Audivi vocem de coelo venientem: Venite, omnes Virgines sapientissimae:
* Oleum recondite in vasis vestris, dum Sponsus advenerit.
V. Media nocte clamor factus est: Ecce Sponsus venit.
* Oleum.

9. ℟. Concede nobis, Domine quaesumus, veniam delictorum: et intercedentibus Sanctis quorum hodie solemnia celebramus:
* Talem nobis tribue devotionem.
* Ut ad eorum pervenire mereamur societatem.
V. Adjuvent nos eorum merita, quos, propria impediunt scelera; excuset intercessio accusat quos actio: et qui eis tribuisti coelestis palmam triumphi, nobis veniam non denegos peccati.
* Talem. Gloria. † Ut ad.

1. ℟. To the most high Trinity, to the indivisible God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be one divinity, equal glory, co-eternal majesty. * Who subjects the whole world to his laws.
V. May the blessed God-head of the Father, and of the Son, and likewise of the Holy Spirit, grant us grace.
* Who subjects the whole world to his laws.

2. ℟. Happy art thou, O holy Virgin Mary, and most worthy of all praise:
* For from thee arose the Sun of justice, Christ our God.
V. Pray for the people, please for the clergy, intercede for the devout female sex, let all experience thy aid who celebrate thy solemnity.
* For from thee.

3. ℟. Thee, holy Lord, all the Angels praise on high, saying:
* To thee beseemeth † Praise and honour, O Lord.
V. The Cherubim also and the Seraphim cry out, Holy; and every heavenly rank, saying:
* To thee beseemeth. Glory be to the Father. † Praise and honour.

4. ℟. Among those born of women there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist:
* Who prepared the way for the Lord in the desert.
V. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
* Who prepared.

5. ℟. The fellow-citizens of the Apostles and the servants of God have come before us today:
* Bearing a torch and enlightening our fatherland, to give peace to the nations, and to deliver the people of the Lord.
V. Hear the prayers of suppliants imploring the rewards of eternal life, O ye who bear in your hands the sheaves of justice, and who come today rejoice.
* Bearing.

6. ℟. O praiseworthy constancy of the Martyrs; O inextinguishable charity; O invincible patience! Although under the tortures of the persecutors it appeared despicable,
* It shall be found worthy of praise and glory and honour, † In the time of retribution.
V. Therefore we pray that they may assist us with their blessed merits, now that they are honoured by the Father who is in heaven.
* It shall be found. Glory be to the Father. † In the time.

7. ℟. Let your loins be girt and lamps burning in your hands.
* And you yourselves like to men who wait for their lord, when he shall return from the wedding.
V. Watch ye therefore, because you know not what hour your Lord will come.
* And you yourselves.

8. ℟. I heard a voice coming from heaven: Come all ye most wise Virgins:
* Keep oil ready in your vessels, for when the Spouse shall come.
V. At midnight there was a cry made: Behold the Bride-groom cometh.
* Keep oil.

9. ℟. Grant us, O Lord we beseech thee, the pardon of our sins; and through the intercession of thy Saints whose solemnity we celebrate today: * Bestow upon us such great devotion, * That we may deserve to be admitted into their company.
V. May their merits assist us, who are hindered by our own crimes; may their intercession excuse us, who are accused by our own deeds; and thou who hast bestowed on them the palm of heavenly victory, refuse not to us the pardon of our sins.
* Bestow upon us. Glory be to the Father. † That we may.

The Greeks honour with us, on one common solemnity, “all the Saints of all the countries on earth, of Asia, Lybia, and Europe, of North and South.”[22] But, whereas the West celebrates at the close of the year a feast which represents the gathering of the harvest into our heavenly Father’s granary, the East keeps it on the first Sunday after Pentecost, in the spring time of the Church, when under the action of the Holy Ghost, sanctity was everywhere beginning to blossom.[23] We find it thus as early as the foruth century; for it was on this first Sunday after Pentecost, which with us Latins is now the feast of the most holy Trinity, that St. John Chrysostom pronounced his discourse in honour of “all the Martyrs, who have suffered throughout ‘the world.’”[24]

In the West also as we have seen, the origin of All Saints’ feast was this general commemoration of the Martyrs. This latter was placed by some Eastern churches on the Friday within the Octave of Easter.[25] It was a happy thought thus to associate the confession of Christ’s witnesses with the victory over death won by him, whose divine confession before Pontius Pilate had been an example and a support to them in presence of their executioners. Indeed Rome herself had had the same inspiration, when she made her solemn commemoration of the Martyrs in the beginning of May; and she still reserves to the Martyrs and Apostles the honour of having a special Office for the whole of Paschal Time.

We borrow the following passages from the Greek Office for the Sunday of All Saints.

In Magno Vespertino.

Discipuli Domini, organa Spiritus, ubique per orbem sparserunt divini semina nuntii: e quibus germinati Martyres supplicant pro animabus nostris.

Ecclesiae fulcimentum, Evangelii perfectio, Martyrum divinus chorus, Salvatoris verba vos implestis. Portae etenim inferi Ecclesiae inhiantes a vobis obseratae sunt; libamenta idolorum exsiccavit sanguinis effusio vestri; plenitudinem credentium immolati parturistis; Angelis admirandi, coronati statis ante Deum: quem sine fine deprecemini pro animabus nostris.

Venite, fideles universi; solemnem Sanctorum omnium memoriam celebremus in psalmis et hymnis et canticis spiritualibus: ecce nobis adest, locupletia secum ferens charismata. Itaque clamemus dicentes: Salvete, Prophetarum coetus, qui adventum Christi mundo nuntiastis, ea quae procul sunt tamquam prope videntes. Salvete, Apostolorum chorus, sagenam mittentes in nationes, piscatores hominum. Salvete, Martyrum exercitus, e finibus terrae adunti in fidem unam, qui propter illam injurias tormentorum tolerastis et pugnae coronam praeclare tulistis. Salvete, mellarium Patrum, qui corporibus ascesi maceratis et passionibus carnis mortificatis, mentem amore divino quasi pennis sublevastis coelum usque pervolantes, et laetantes cum Angelis fruimini saeculis beatis. Ast o Prophetae, Apostoli, Martyresque cum Ascentis, qui vos coronavit instanter orate ut salvet nos ab inimicis tam visibilibus quam invisibilibus.

Salvete, Sancti Justique; salvete, laudabilis feminarum chorus. Pro mundo apud Christum intercedite: principi det victoriam contra barbaros, atque animabus nostris magnam misericordiam.
The disciples of the Lord, the instruments of the Spirit, scattered throughout the world the seed of the divine word: whence sprang the Martyrs who intercede for our souls.

Support of the Church, perfection of the Gospel, O god-like choir of Martyrs, ye fulfilled the words of our Saviour. For, the gates of hell wide yawning against the Church ye have closed and bolted; by the shedding of your blood ye dried up the libations of the idols; your immolation gave birth to the fullness of believers. O admiration of the Angels, ye stand crowed before God; beseech him unceasingly for our souls.

Come, all ye faithful; let us celebrate with psalms and hymns and spiritual canticles the solemnity of all the Saints: behold it comes, bringing us the richest gifts. Therefore let us cry out and say: Hail, company of Prophets, who announced to the world the coming of Christ, seeing things afar off as though they were at hand. Hail, choir of Apostles, fishers of men, casting your net among the nations. Hail, army of Martyrs, brought together from the ends of the earth into one faith; ye endured, for that faith, injuries and torments, and gloriously won your laurels in the contest. Hail, honey-laden hive of the Fathers; who, having macerated your bodies with austerities, and mortified the passions of the flesh, raised your mind with divine love, as it were on wings, soaring even to heaven, where rejoicing with the Angels ye possess a blessed eternity. And now, O Prophets, O Apostles, O Martyrs and Ascetics, earnestly implore him who has crowned you to save us from our enemies both visible and invisible.

Hail, ye Saints and just ones; hail, praiseworthy choir of holy women. Intercede with Christ for the world; that he may give to our prince victory over the barbarians, and to our souls his great mercy.


Ancient documents referring to this day inform us, that on the Calends of November the same eagerness was shown as at Christmas to assist at the holy Sacrifice.[26] However general the Feast was, or rather because of its universality, was it not the special joy of everyone, and the honour of Christian families? Taking a holy pride in the persons whose virtues they handed down to posterity, they considered the heavenly glory of their ancestors, who had perhaps been unknown in the world, to be a higher nobility than any earthly dignity.

Faith was lively in those days; and Christians seized the opportunity of this feast to make amends for the neglect, voluntary or involuntary, suffered during the year by the blessed inscribed on the general Calendar. In the famous Bull Transiturus de hoc mundo, by which he established the feat of Corpus Christi, Urban IV mentions this as one of the motives that had led to the prior institution of All Saints;[27] and expresses a hope that the new solemnity may in like manner compensate for the distractions and coldness of the rest of the year, towards this divine Sacrament, wherein he resides who is the crown and the glory of all Saints.[28]

The Introit Antiphon resembles that of our Lady’s Assumption day. This feast is indeed a sequel to Mary’s triumph. As our Lord’s Ascension called for his Mother’s Assumption, both required for their completion the universal glorification of the human race which provides heaven with its King and Queen. Joy, then, on earth, which continues thus magnificently to give its fruit! Joy among the Angels, who see their vacant thrones filled up! Joy, says the Verse, to all the blessed, who are receiving the congratulations of heaven and earth!


Gaudeamus omnes in Domino, diem festum celebrantes sub honore Sanctorum omnium: de quorum solemnitate gaudent Angeli, et collaudant Filium Dei.

Ps. Exsultate, justi, in Domino: rectos decet collaudatio. Gloria Patri. Gaudeamus.

Let us all rejoice in the Lord, celebrating a festival day in honour of all the Saints: at whose solemnity the Angels rejoice, and give praise to the Son of God.

Ps. Rejoice in the Lord, ye just: praise becometh the upright. Glory be to the Father. Let us all.

But we sinners, who are still in exile, have always and everywhere need of mercy. Today we may well hope for it, since so many are interceding for us. If the prayer of one Saint is powerful, what must be the united suffrages of all heaven!


Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui nos omnium Sanctorum tuorum merita sub una tribuisti celebritate venerari: quaesummus; ut de sideratam nobis tuae propitiationis abundantiam, multiplicatis intercessoribus largiaris. Per Dominum.

O Almighty, everlasting God, who hast granted us to venerate I one solemnity the merits of all thy Saints; we beseech thee, that as our intercessors are multiplied, thou wouldst bestow upon us the desired abundance of thy mercy. Though.


Lectio libri Apocalypsis beati Joannis Apostoli.
Cap. Vii.

In diebus illis: Ecce ego Joannes vidi alterum Angelum ascendentem ab ortu solis, habentem signum Dei vivi: et clamavit voce magna quatuor Angelis, quibus datum est nocere terrae et mari, dicens: Nolite nocere terrae et mari, neque arboribus, quoaduaque signemus servos Dei nostri in frontibus eorum. Et audivi numerum signatorum, centum quadraginta quatuor milia signati, ex omni tribu filiorum Israel. Ex tribu Juda duodecim millia signati. Ex tribu Ruben duodecim millia signati. Ex tribu Gad duodecim millia signati. Ex tribu Aser duodecim millia signati. Ex tribu Nephthali duodecim millia signati. Ex tribu Manasse duodecim millia signati. Ex tribu Simeon duodecim millia signati. Ex tribu Levi duodecim millia signati. Ex tribu Issachar duodecim millia signati. Ex tribu Zabulon duodecim millia signati. Ex tribu Joseph duodecim millia signati. Ex tribu Benjamin duodecim millia signati. Post haec vidi turbam magnam, quam dinumerare nemo poterat ex omnibus gentibus, et tribubus, et populis, et linguis: stantes ante thronum, et in conspectu Agni, amicti stolis albis, et palmae in manibus eorum; et clamabant voce magna, dicentes: Salus Deo nostro, qui sedet super thronum, et Agno. Et omnes Angeli stabant in circuitu throni, et seniorum, et quatuor animalium: et ceciderunt in conspectu throni in facies suas, et adoraverunt Deum, dicentes, Amen. Benedictio, et claritas, et sapientia, et gratiarum actio, honor, et virtus, et fortitudo Deo nostro, in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Lesson from the Book of the Apocalypse of blessed John the Apostle.
Chap. vii.

In those days, behold I, John, saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the sign of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, Hurt not the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees, till we sign the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them that were signed: an hundred forty‑four thousand were signed, of every tribe of the children of Israel. Of the tribe of Juda were twelve thousand signed: of the tribe of Ruben twelve thousand signed: of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand signed: of the tribe of Aser twelve thousand signed: of the tribe of Nephthali twelve thousand signed: of the tribe of Manasses twelve thousand signed: of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand signed: of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand signed: of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand signed: of the tribe of Zabulon twelve thousand signed: of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand signed: of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand signed. After this I saw a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and tribes, and peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and in sight of the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and they cried with a loud voice saying: Salvation to our God who sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and the ancients, and the four living creatures; and they fell down before the throne upon their faces, and adored God, saying: Amen. Benediction, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, honour, and power, and strength to our God forever and ever. Amen.

At the time of his birth, the Man-God, through the instrumentality of Caesar Augustus, took a census of the world; it was fitting that on the eve of the Redemption, the statistics of the human race should be officially registered. And now it is time to make a fresh enrollment, and to enter in the Book of Life the results of the work of Redemption.

“Wherefore this number of the world at the time of our Lord’s birth,” says St. Gregory in one of the Christmas homilies, “save for this manifest reason, that he was appearing in the Flesh, who is to enregister the elect in eternity?”[29] But, many having withdrawn themselves by their own fault from the benefit of the first enrollment, which included all men in the ranks of those to be redeemed, there was need of a second and definitive registration, which should cancel the names of the guilty. Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and with the just let them not be written;[30] such are the words of the Psalmist, quoted by St. Gregory in the above-mentioned homily.

Today, however, the Church is too full of joy to think of any but the elect; they alone take part in the glorious close of human history described in the Epistle. Indeed, they alone are reckoned before God; the reprobate are but the waste of a world where sanctity alone responds to the Creator’s advances, to the ventures of his infinite love. Let our souls be supple to receive the divine stamp, which is to render us comformable to the image of the Only-begotten Son, and mark us out as God’s coin. Whoever is unwilling to receive the divine impress will inevitably be marked with the character of the beast;[31] and when the Angels come to make the final settlement, every coin unfit to bear the divine stamp will fall into the furnace, where the dross will burn eternally.

Let us then, as the Gradual recommends, live in fear; not that of the slave, who dreads punishment; but that filial fear, which is anxious never to displease him from whom are all good things, and whose kindness deserves all our love in return. Without losing aught of their beatitude, or diminishing their love, the angelic Powers and all the Saints in heaven prostrate with a holy trembling beneath the gaze of God’s awful majesty.[32]


Timete Dominum omnes Sancti ejus: quoniam nihil deest timentibus eum.
V. Inquirentes autem Dominum, non deficient omni bono.
Alleluia, alleluia.
V. Venite ad me omnes, qui laboratis, et onerati estis, et ego reficiam vos. Alleluia.

Fear the Lord, all ye his Saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.
V. But they that seek the Lord shall not be deprived of any good.
Alleluia, alleluia.
V. Come unto me all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you. Alleluia.


Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Matthaeum.
Cap. v.

In illo tempore: Videns Jesus turbas, ascendit in montem, et cum sedisset, accesserunt ad eum discipuli ejus, et aperiens os suum, docebat eos, dicens: Beati pauperes spiritu: quoniam ipsorum est regnum ocelorum. Beati mites: qoniam ipsi possidebunt terram. Beati, qui lugent: quoniam ipsi consolabuntur. Beati, qui esuriunt et sitiunt justitiam: quoniam ipsi saturabuntur. Beati misericordiam consequentur. Beati mundo corde: quoniam ipsi Deum videbunt. Beati pacifici: quoniam filii Dei vocabuntur. Beati qui persecutionem patiuntur propter justitiam: quoniam ipsorum est regnum coelorum. Beati estis cum maledixerint vobis, et persecuti vos fuerint, et dixerint omne malum adversum vos mentientes, propter me: gadete, et exsultate, quoniam merces vestra copiosa est in coelis.

Sequel of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.
Chap. v.

At that time, Jesus, seeing the multitudes, went up into a mountain; and when he was set down his disciples came unto him. And opening his mouth, he taught them saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the meek; for they shall possess the land. Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice; for they shall have their fill. Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart; for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven.

Earth is so near to heaven today, that the one thought which fills all hearts is happiness. The Friend, the Bridegroom, the divine Brother of Adam’s children, comes and sits down among them, and talks of blessedness: “Come to me all you that labour and suffer,” sang the Alleluia-Verse, that sweet echo from our fatherland remind us withal of our exile. And immediately in the Gospel appears the goodness and kindness of God our Saviour. Let us listen to him, teaching us the ways of blessed hope, the holy delights which are at once an assurance and a foretaste of the perfect bliss of heaven.

On Sinai Jehovah held the Jew at a distance, giving him precepts under pain of death. On the summit of this other mountain where the Son of God is seated how differently the Law of love is promulgated! In the New Testament, the eight beatitudes have taken the place occupied in the Old by the Decalogue graven on stone. Not that the beatitudes repeal the Commandments; but their superabundant justice goes far beyond all prescriptions. It. is from his Heart that Jesus brought them forth in order to imprint them, more lastingly than on stone, in the hearts of his people. They are the portrait of the Son of Man, the summary of our Redeemer’s life. Look then, and do according to the pattern that was shown thee in the mount.[33]

Poverty was the first mark of our God in Bethlehem; and who ever appeared so meek as Mary’s Child? Who wept for more noble causes than he in his crib, where he was already expiating our sins and appeasing his Father? They that hunger after justice, the merciful, the clean of heart, the peacemakers where, save in him, will they find the incomparable ideal, never attained yet ever imitable? And by his death he became the leader of all those who are persecuted for justice’ sake. In this the highest beatitude on earth, the Incarnate Word takes delight, returning upon it, detailing it, and closing with it in today’s Gospel as with a song of ecstasy. The Church has never had any other ideal; she has ever walked in the footsteps of her Spouse, and her history, throughout the ages, has been but the prolonged echo of the Beatitudes. Let us also understand; that we may be blessed both in this world and in the next, let us follow our Lord and the Church.

The evangelical beatitudes raise man above torments, above death itself, which disturbs not the peace of the just, but consummates it. Such is the burthen of the Offertory chant, taken from the Book of Wisdom.


Justorum animae in manu Dei sunt: et non tanget ilos tormentum malitiae: visi sunt oculis insipientium mori, illi autem sunt in pace. Alleluia.

The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the torment of malice shall not touch them: in the sight of the unwise they seemed to die, but they are in peace. Alleluia.

As the Secret explains, the Sacrifice in which we are allowed to take part, glorifies God, honours the Saints, and renders the divine goodness propitious to us.


Munera tibi, Domine, nostrae devotionis offerimus: quae et pro cunctorum tibi grata sint honore justorum, et nobis salutaria, te miserante, reddantur. Per dominum.

We offer to thee, O Lord, the gifts of our devotion; and may they be pleasing to thee in honour of the just, and be made salutary to us by thy mercy. Through our Lord.

The Communion Antiphon, like an echo of the Gospel, repeats the last three beatitudes, referring them, and rightly, to the divine Sacrament whereby they are nourished.


Beati mundo corde, quoniam ipsi Deum videbunt: beati pacifici, quoniam filii Dei vocabuntur: beati, qui persecutionem patiuntur propter justitiam, quoniam ipsorum est regnum coelorum.

Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God: blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God: blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

In the Postcommunion, the Church asks as the fruit of this feast, that her children may always honour the Saints, and ever benefit by their favour with God.


Da, quaesummus Domine, fidelibus populis, omnium Sanctorum semper veneratione laetari: et eorum perpetua supplicatione muniri. Per Dominum.

Grant, we beseech thee O Lord, to thy faithful people, ever to rejoice in the veneration of all the Saints, and to be defended by their perpetual supplication. Through.


Second Vespers

The Second Vespers are the same as the First, except the last Psalm, the Versicle, and the Magnificat Antiphon. The Psalm, which is as follows, puts upon the lips of the Saints a beautiful summary of their life of faith and suffering here on earth, and of their eternal gratitude and praise in heaven.

Psalm 115

Credidi propter quod locutus sum: * ego autem humiliatus sum nimis.
Ego dixi in excessu meo: * Omnis homo mendax.
Quid retribuam Domino: * pro omnibus quae retribuit mihi?
Calicem salutaris accipiam: * et nomen Domini invocabo.
Vota mea Domino reddam coram omni populo ejus: * pretiosa in conspectu Domini mors Sanctorum ejus.
O Domine, quia ego servus tuus: * ego servus unns, et filius ancillae tuae.
Dirupisti vincula mea: * tibi sacrificabo hostiam laudis, et nomen Domini invocabo.
Vota mea Domino reddam in conspectu omnis populi ejus: * in atriis domus Domini, in medio tui, Jerusalem.

I have believed, therefore have I spoken: but I have been humbled exceedingly.
I said in my excess: Every man is a liar.
What shall I render to the Lord, for all the things that he hath rendered to me?
I will take the chalice of salvation; and I will call upon the name of the Lord.
I will pay my vows to the Lord, before all his people: precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.
O Lord, for I am thy servant: I am thy servant and the son of thy handmaid.
Thou hast broken my bonds: I will sacrifice to thee the sacrifice of praise, and I will call upon the name of the Lord.
I will pay my vows to the Lord in the sight of all his people; in the courts of the house of the Lord, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem!

V. Exsultabunt Sancti in gloria.
℟. Laetabuntur in cubilibus suis.
V. The Saints shall rejoice in glory;
℟. They shall be joyful in their beds.

Antiphon of the Magnificat.

O quam gloriosum est regnum in quo cum Christo gaudent omnes Sancti, amicti stolis albis sequuntur Agnum quocutnque ierit.

Oh! How glorious is the kingdom, where all the Saints rejoice with Christ; clothed in white robes, they follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth!

This Antiphon which expresses at once an unspeakable delight and a patient longing, closes the solemnity of the Saints. But the Church’s day is not yet ended. Scarcely has she given the last salute to her glorious sons disappearing in their white robes in the train of the Lamb, when an innumerable crowd of suffering souls surrounds her at the gate of heaven; and to these she at once lends her voice and her heart. The glittering vestments, which reminded her of the snowy garments of the blessed, are changed for the colour of mourning; the ornaments and flowers disappear from the Altar; the organ is hushed; the bells ring a plaintive knell. Without any transition, the Vespers of All Saints’ are followed by the Vespers of the Dead.[34]


Vespers Of The Dead

No human science or eloquence could ever reach the depth of teaching, the power of soul-stirring supplication contained in the office of the Dead. This intimate knowledge of the secrets of the other world, and of the way to win the Heart of her Spouse, belongs to the Bride alone; and she alone, the true Mother of men, is able with exquisite tact to console the orphans and the bereaved, by shortening the painful purification of those who have passed away.

Dilexi: this first song of the holy souls is all love; as the Credidi, the last Psalm sung by the heavenly citizens on this feast, recalled their faith, and the trials they have endured on earth. We have just remarked that there is no transition between the two solemnities. What need of any? The suffering souls and the blessed, both are the captives of love; love gives them their dignity, and is their imperishable treasure. In the case of the blessed, faith having given place to the vision of God, their love is highest bliss; but to the suffering souls, imprisoned in darkness by sins not yet expiated, love is the source of inexpressible pain. However, they are now free from the anxieties of this world, the perils of hell; they are confirmed in grace, and can never sin again; they are full of gratitude towards God who has saved them in his mercy, and in his justice is purifying them to make them worthy himself. They are in a state of absolute and perfect resignation, and of calm expectancy, called by holy Church a “sleep of peace.”[35]

Ant. Placebo Domino in regione vivorum.

Ant. I will please the Lord in the land of the living.

Psalm 114.

Dilexi, quoniam exaudiet Dominus: * vocem orationis meae.
Quia inclinavit aurem suam mihi: * et in diebus meis invocabo.
Circumdederunt me dolores mortis: * et pericula inferni invenerunt me.
Tribulationem et dolorem inveni: * et nomen Domini invocavi.
O Domine, libera animem meam: * misericors Dominus, et justus, et Deus noster miseretur.
Custodiens parvulos Dominus: * humiliatus sum; et liberavit me.
Convertere anima mea in requiem tuam: * quia Dominus benefecit tibi.
Quia eripuit animam meam de morte: * oculos meos a lacrimis, pedes meos a lapsu.
Placebo Domino: * in regione vivorum.

I have loved, because, the Lord will hear the voice of my prayer.
Because he has inclined his ear to me, and in my das I will call to him.
The sorrows of death have surrounded me; and the dangers of hell are come upon me.
I have found tribulation and sorrow; and I have invoked the name of the Lord.
O Lord, deliver my soul: the Lord is merciful and just: and our God shows mercy.
The Lord keeps the little ones; I was humbled, and he delivered me.
Return, my soul, into thy rest; because the Lord has done good to thee.
Because he has delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from slipping.
I will please the Lord in the land of the living.

Instead of the usual doxology the Church makes, at the end of every Psalm, a fervent prayer for the departed.


Requiem aeternam * dona eis Domine.
Et lux perpetua * luceat eis.

Ant. Placebo Domino in regione vivorum.

Grant them eternal rest, O Lord:
And let perpetual light shine on them.

Ant. I will please the Lord in the land of the living.

The soul in Purgatory, separated from the body which weighed her down and distracted her by a thousand vain preoccupations, is now entirely absorbed by the one desire of becoming at length perfectly pleasing to God. Towards this end her whole energy is directed; and so too is the force of the torments for whose violence she is so grateful. Purgatory is a crucible where the dross of sin is burnt away, until every debt is cancelled. When its flames have effaced every stain and every wrinkle that marred the soul’s beauty, then she flees away to her Spouse, truly a blessed one and sure of offering no obstacle to the complacent love of her Lord.

Yet to what a sad length her exile is prolonged! True she is united by charity to the inhabitants of heaven: but the fire which torments her is of the same nature as that of hell; her abode is nigh to that of the damned: she must endure the proximity of the infernal Cedar, and of those adversaries of all peace, the detestable demons, who attacked her unceasingly during her mortal life with their assaults and their snares, and who still with deceitful tongue accuse her before the throne of God. Presently we shall hear the Church imploring: “ From the gate of hell deliver her!”

Psalm 119.

Ad Dominum eum tribularer clamavi: * et exaudivit me.
Domine libera animam meam a labiis iniquis: * et a lingua dolosa.
Quid detur tibi aut quid apponatur tibi: * ad linguam dolosam?
Sagittae [ptemtos acitae” * eum carbonibus desolatoriis.
Heu mihi, quia incolatus meus prolongatus est: habitavi cum habitantibus cedar: * multum incola fuit anima mea.
Cum his, qui oderunt pacem, eram pacificus: * cum loquebar illis, impugnabant me gratis.
Requiem aeternam * dona eis Domine.
Et lux perpetua * luceat eis.

Ant. Hei mihi Domine, quia incolatus meus prolongatus est.

When I was in tribulation, I cried t the Lord; and he heard me.
O Lord deliver my soul from unjust lips, and from a deceitful tongue.
What is to be given to thee, or what is to be added to thee: to a deceitful tongue?
The sharp arrows of the mighty: with coals of desolation.
Woe is me that my abode is prolonged. I have dwelt with the inhabitants of Cedar; my soul has been long a sojourner.
I was peaceable with those that hated peace; when I spoke to them, they insulted me for no reason.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord;
And let perpetual light shine on them.

Ant. Woe is me, O Lord, that my abode is prolonged.

Yet the soul faints not; lifting up her eyes to the mountains, she feels that she can rely upon her Lord, and that she is abandoned neither by heaven which expecting her arrival, nor by her mother the Church on earth. Although Purgatory, where justice and peace meet and embrace, is so near to the region of endless weeping, it is still accessible to the Angels. These august messengers comfort the soul with divine communications; while the blessed in heaven and the just on earth assist her with their prayers and suffrages. She is well assured that sin, the only real evil, can never touch her.

Ant. Dominus custodit to ab omni malo: custodiat animam tuam Dominue.

Ant. The Lord preserve thee from all evil: may the Lord keep thy soul.

Psalm 120.

Levavi oculos meos in montes: * unde veniet auxilium mihi.
Auxilium meum a Domino: * qui fecit coelum et terram.
Non det in commotionem pedem tuum: * neque dormitet quit custodit te.
Ecce non dormitabit neque dormiet: * qui custodit Israel.
Dominus custodit te, Dominus protectio tua: * super manum dexteram tuam.
Per diem sol non uret te: * neque luna per noctem.
Dominus custodit te ab omni malo: * custodiat animam tuam Dominus.
Dominus custodiat introitum tuum, et exitum tuum: * ex hoc nunc, et usque in saeculum.

Requiem aeternam * dona eis Domine.
Et lux perpetua * luceat eis.

Ant. Dominus custodit te ab omni malo: custodiat animam tuam Dominus.

I lifted up my eyes to the mountains: from whence my help will come.
My help is from the Lord: who made heaven and earth.
May he not suffer thy foot to stagger; and may he not slumber that keeps thee.
Lo, he will not slumber nor sleep: that keeps Israel.
Our Lord keeps thee, our Lord is thy protection: on thy right hand.
The sun shall not burn thee by day: nor the moon by night.
The Lord preserveth thee from all evil; may the Lord keep thy soul.
May the Lord keep thy coming in, and thy going out: from henceforth, now and forever.

Grant them eternal rest, O Lord:
And let perpetual light shine on them.

Ant. The Lord preserve thee from all evil: may the Lord keep thy soul.

Christian usage has appropriated the 129th Psalm as the peculiar prayer for the dead; it is a cry of anguish, mingled with hope. The destitute condition of the holy souls is well calculated to touch our hearts. Though not yet in heaven, they no longer belong to earth, and have consequently lost those privileges whereby God compensates us for the dangers which surround us in our passage through this world of trial. Their perfect acts of love, of hope, of faith, and of resignation have no merit. Such unspeakable sufferings, accepted with their dispositions, would earn for us a reward equal to that of a thousand martyrs; yet to these souls they profit nothing, for all eternity, beyond the mere payment of the penalty exacted by the just judge. Besides their inability to merit, they can no longer satisfy God’s justice by offering him an equivalent such as he can accept. Their powerlessness to help themselves is more absolute than that of the paralytic of the Pool of Bethsaida:[36] the saving waters are left behind on earth, together with the holy Sacrifice, the Sacraments, and the use of the all-powerful keys entrusted to the Church.

The Church, however, albeit she has no longer any jurisdiction over these poor souls, still feels towards them all a mother’s tenderness; nor has she lost her credit with the Spouse. She makes their prayer her own. Opening the treasure she has inherited from the plenteous redemption of the Lord, she makes an offering from her dowry to him who gave it her, begging in return the deliverance of the captives, or at least an alleviation of their sufferings. Thus, all rights being duly respected, abundant mercy penetrates into the kingdom of inexorable justice.

Psalm 129.

De profundis clamavi ad te Domine: * Domine exaudi vocem meam.
Fiant aures tuae intendentes: * in vocem deprecationis meae.
Si iniquitates observaveris Domine: * Domine quis sustinebit?
Quia apud te propitiatio est: * et propter legem tuam sustinui te Domine.
Sustinuit anima mea in verbo ejus: * speravit anima mea in Domino.
A custodia matutina usque ad noctem: * speret Israel in Domino.
Quia apud Dominum misericordia: * et copiosa apud eum redemptio.
Et ipse redimet Israel: * ex omnibus iniquitatibus ejus.

Requiem aeternam * dona eis Domine.
Et lux perpetua * luceat eis.

Ant. Si iniquitates observaveris Domine: Domine quia sustinebit?

From the depths I have cried unto thee, O Lord: Lord hear my voice.
Let thy ears be attentive: to the voice of my petition.
If thou wilt observe iniquities, O Lord: Lord, who shall sustain it?
Because with thee is propitiation: and for thy law I have expected thee, O Lord.
My soul has relied on his word: my soul has hoped in the Lord.
From the morning watch even until night: let Israel hope in the Lord.
Because with the Lord there is mercy: and with him plentiful redemption.
And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

Grant them eternal rest, O Lord:
And let perpetual light shine on them.

Ant. If thou wilt observe iniquities, O Lord; Lord who shall bear it?

I will praise thee for thou hast heard me. The Church’s prayer is never in vain. The last Psalm utters her gratitude, and that of the souls freed, by the Office we are now saying, from the abyss, or drawn nearer to heaven. The Church has prayed, and in answer to her prayer many who were captives this morning make their entrance into everlasting light on the evening of this beautiful feast; and they enhance its joy and glory at its close. Let our hearts and our thoughts follow these new Saints; they smile upon us, they thank us their brethren and children, as they ascend all radiant from the land of shadows singing; In the sight of Angels I will sing to thee, O Lord ; I will adore in thy holy temple. –No; the Lord does not despise the works of his hands.

Ant. Opera manuum tuarum Domine ne despicias.

Ant. Despise not, O Lord, the works of thy hands.

Psalm 137.

Confitebor tibi Domine in toto corde meo: * quoniam audisti verba oris mei.
In conspectu angelorum psallam tibi: * adorabo ad templum sanctum tuum, et confitebor nomini tuo.
Super misericordia tua et veritate tua: * quoniam magnificasti super omne, nomen sanctum tuum.
In quacumque die invoavero te, exaudi me: * multiplicabis in anima mea virtutem.
Confiteantur tibi Domine omnes reges terrae: * quia audierunt omnia verba oris tui:
Et cantent in viis Domini: * quoniam magna est gloria Domini.
Quoniam excelsus Dominus, et humilia respecit: * et alta a longe cognoscit.
Si ambulavero in medio tribulationis, vivificabis me: * et super iram inimicorum meorum extendisti manum tuam, et salvum me fecit dextera tus.
Dominus retribuet pro me: Domine, misericordia tua in saeculum: * opera manuum tuarum ne despiias.

Requiem aeternam * dona eis Domine.
Et lux perpetua * luceat eis.

Ant. Opera manuum tuarum Domine ne despicias.

I will praise thee, O Lord, with all my heart: because thou hast heard the words of my mouth.
In the sight of angels I will sing to thee: I will adore in thy holy temple, and praise thy name.
For thy mercy and thy truth; because thou hast magnified thy holy name above everything.
In what day soever I shall call to thee, hear me: thou wilt increase strength in my soul.
Let all kings of the earth confess thee, O Lord; for they have heard all the words of thy mouth.
And let them sing in the ways of our Lord: because the glory of the Lord is great:
Because the Lord is high, and he beholds the low things; and the high things he knows afar off.
If I shall walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt enliven me; and upon the wrath of my enemies thou hast stretched thy hand, and thy right hand has saved me.
The Lord will repay for me: thy mercy, O Lord, is forever: despise not the works of thy hand.

Grant them eternal rest, O Lord:
And let perpetual light shine on them.

Ant. Despise not, O Lord, the works of thy hands.

And now from heaven itself, as if sent to us by the dear newly-delivered souls, comes this intimation of their happiness:[37]

V. Audivi vocem de coelo dicentum mihi:
℟. Beati mortui qui in Domino moriuntur.

V. I heard a voice from heaven saying to me:
℟. Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord.

The whole of this wonderful liturgical drama, which has been represented before us, points to the fulfilment of our Lord’s promise,[38] which the Church repeats in the following Antiphon.

Antiphon of the Magnificat.

Omne quod dat mihi Pater, ad me veniet: et eum qui venit ad me, non ejiciam foras.

All that my Father gives me shall come to me; and him that comes to me I will not cast out.

But as in this world every grace from Jesus comes to us through Mary, so in the next world it is through her that deliverance and all good things are obtained. The Mother of God is queen over all whom her Son has redeemed. Thus the revelations of the saints tell us that she is truly the queen of Purgatory; whether she graciously sends the Angels of her guard to represent her there; or deigns herself, the beautiful dawn of eternal day, to enter its gloomy precincts, and shed upon its flames the abundant dew of morning. Shall the snow of Libanus fail from the rock of the field? Or can the cold waters that gush out and run down, be taken away?[39] We must understand, then, why we sing the Magnificat in the Office of the Dead: it is the loyal homage to Mary of the souls that are entering heaven, and the sweet hope of those still detained in the region of expiation.

Our Lady’s Canticle.
(St. Luke, i.)

Magnificant: * anima mea Dominum;
Et exsultavit spiritus meus: * in Deo Salutari meo.
Quia respexit suae: * ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes.
Quia fecit mihi magna qui potens est: * et sanctum Nomen ejus.
Et misericordia ejus a progenie in progenies: * timentibus eum.
Fecit potentiam in brachio suo: * dispersit superbos mente cordis sui.
Deposuit potentes de sede: * et exaltavit humiles.
Esurientes implevit bonis: * et divites dimisit inanes.
Suscepit Israel puerum suum: * recordatus misericordiae suae.
Sicut locutus est a patres nostros: * Abraham et semini ejus in saecula.

Requiem aeternam: * dona eis Domine.
Et lux perpetua * luceat eis.

Ant. Omne quod dat mihi Pater, ad me veniet: et eum qui venit ad me, non ejiciam foras.

My soul magnifies the Lord.
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
Because he has regarded the humility of his handmaid: for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
Because he that is mighty had done great things for me: and holy is his Name.
And his mercy is from generation to generation: on them that fear him.
He has showed power in his arm: he has dispersed the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He has deposed the mighty from their seat: and has exalted the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things: and has sent the rich away empty.
He has received Israel his servant: being mindful of his mercy.
As he spoke to our fathers; to Abraham, and his seed forever.

Grant them eternal rest, O Lord:
And let perpetual light shine on them.

Ant. All that my Father gives me shall come to me; and him that comes to me I will not cast out.

Here all kneel, and the Priest begins the Lord’s Prayer:

Pater noster.

Our Father.

The rest is said in silence as far as this conclusion, which is followed by the Versicles and Prayer that close the Vespers of the Dead.

V. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem.
℟. Sed libera nos a malo.

V. A porta inferi.
℟. Erue Domine animas eorum.

V. Requiescant in pace.
℟. Amen.

V. Domine exaudi orationem meam.
℟. Et clamor meus ad te veniat.

V. Dominus vobiscum.
℟. Et cum spiritu tuo.

V. And lead us not into temptation.
℟. But deliver us from evil.

V. From the gates of hell.
℟. Deliver their souls, O Lord.

V. May they rest in peace.
℟. Amen.

V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
℟. And let my cry come to thee.

V. The Lord be with you.
℟. And with thy spirit.


Fidelium Deus omnimum Conditor et Redemptor, animabus famulorum famularumque tuarum remissionem cunctorum tribue peccatorum: ut indulgentiam, quam semper optaverunt, piis supplicationibus consequantur. Qui vivis et regnas cum Deo Patre in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.

℟. Amen.

V. Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine.
℟. Et lux perpetua luceat eis.

V. Requiescant in pace.
℟. Amen.

O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, give to the souls of thy servants, men and women, the remission of their sins; that by pious supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired. Who livest and reignest with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.

℟. Amen.

V. Eternal rest give to them, O Lord.
℟. And let perpetual light shine on them.

V. May they rest in peace.
℟. Amen.

Let us offer our Lady this touching supplica0tion, which for a long time many churches addressed to her for the dead. It was composed in the fourteenth century, by John IV. de Langoueznou, Abbot of Landevenec, inspired by his tender love for Mary.


Languentius in purgatorio,
Qui purgantur ardore nimio,
Et torquentur gravi supplicio,
Subveniat tua compassio:
O Maria!

Fons es patens qui culpas abluis,
Omnes juvas et nullum respuis:
Manum tuam extende mortuis,
Qui sub poenis languet continuis:
O Maria!

Ad te pie suspirant mortui,
Cupientes de poenis erui,
Et adesse tuo conspectui,
Eternisque gaudiis perfrui:
O Maria!

Gementibus Mater accelera,
Pietatis ostende viscera:
Illos Jesus per sua vulnera
Ut sanare dignetur impetra:
O Maria!

Tu ver apes ad to clamantium:
Ad te clamat turba sodalium.
Pro fratribus ut places Filium,
Et coeleste det sis premium:
O Maria!

Fac lacrymae quas bona respicia,
Quas fundimus ad pedes Judicis,
Mox exstinguant vim flammae vindicis,
Ut jungantur choris angelicis:
O Maria!

Et cum fiet stricta discussio,
In tremendo Dei judicio,
Judicanti supplica Filio,
Ut cum Sanctis sit nobis portio:
O Maria!


To the sufferers in Purgatory,
whom the burning flame is cleansing
and sharp pains are tormenting,
may thy compassion bring assistance,
O Mary!

Fount accessible to all and washing away their sins,
thou aidest all, despisest none:
to the dead who languish in unceasing tortures
stretch forth thy hand,
O Mary!

How lovingly do the departed souls sigh towards thee,
yearning to be delivered from their sufferings
and to be admitted to the sight
of thee in the enjoyment of eternal bliss,
O Mary!

Hear their groans, and hasten, O Mother,
to show the love of thy heart;
obtain of Jesus that he would deign
to heal them thro’ his own wounds,
O Mary!

Thou art the true hope of them that call upon thee:
lo! United multitudes cry to thee for their brethren,
that thou wouldst appease thy Son,
and obtain for them the heavenly reward,
O Mary!

In thy goodness, cause the tears
thou seest us shed before the feet of the Judge,
to speedily extinguish the flames of the avenging fire,
that he dear souls may join the angelic choirs,
O Mary!

And when the strict examination
shall take place at Gods terrible judgment,
oh! Then implore thy Son the Judge
that we may share the inheritance of the Saints,
O Mary!


Truly this day is grand and beautiful. Earth, midway between heaven and purgatory, has united them together. The wonderful mysterfyllof the communion of saints is revealed in all its ness. The immense family of the sons of God is shown to be one in love, while distinct in its three states of beatitude, trial, and purifying expiation: the trial and expiation being but temporary, the beatitude eternal. It is the fitting completion of the teaching given us through the entire year; and every day within the octave we shall see the light increase.

Meanwhile, every soul is recollected, pondering over the dearest and noblest memories. On leaving the home of God, let our thoughts linger lovingly upon those who have the best claim to them. It is the feast of our beloved dead. Let us hear their suppliant voices in the plaintive tones that, from belfry to belfry throughout the Christian world, areushering in this dark November night. This evening or to-morrow they will expect us to visit them at the tombs where their mortal remains rest in peace. Let us pray for them; and let us also pray to them: we need never be afraid to speak to them of the interests that were dear to them before God. For God loves them; and, as his justice keeps them in an utter inability to help themselves, he makes amends to his goodness by hearing them all the more willingly on behalf of others.

[1] Apoc vi. 9, 10.
[2] Ibid. 12.
[3] I Cor. xv. 24.
[4] I Cor. xv. 24-28.
[5] Is. vi. 1-3.
[6] Apoc. xix. 9.
[7] St. Matth. v. 5.
[8] Ps. cxxi.
[9] Pontificale rom. Ant. In Eccl. dedicatione.
[10] Sequence Dies irae.
[11] Cf. Pontifical. Rom. Ant. In Eccl. dedicat.
[12] Ps. lxxxi. 6.
[13] Collects in die Dedicationis Altaris; Postcom. Anniv. Ded. Eccl
[14] Martyrolog. ad hanc diein.
[15] Lib pontific. in Gregorio III.
[16] Ado. Martyrol.
[17] Concil. Gerund. an. 517, can. 3; Lugdun. II. an. 567, can. 1.
[18] Inter Opera ALCUINI, Epist. xci. Ad calccem.
[19] Invitatory of the Feast.
[20] Liber specialis gratiae, P. I. cap. Xxxi.
[21] Dante, Paradiso, xxvii, xxxi.
[22] Pentecostarion, in Dominica Sanctorum omnium.
[23] LEON. PHILOSOPH. Oratio xv. In universae terrae Sanctos universos.
[24] CHRYS. Opera ii, 711.
[25] Calendaria Syrorum et Chaldaeorum.
[26] Lectiones antiquae Breviarii Romani ad hanc diem.
[27] HIL/TROP. Ordo rom.
[28] Cap. SI DOMINUM, De Relinquiis et Veneratione Sanctorum. Clementin. iii. 16.
[29] Lectio vii. In Nocte Natal. Domini; ex Homil. viii. In Ev.
[30] Ps. lxviii. 29
[31] Apoc. xiii. 16.
[32] Cf. Praefat. Missae.
[33] Exod. xxv. 40
[34] If the morrow of All Saints’ be a Sunday, the Commemoration of the Dead is transferred to the Monday.
[35] Canon Missae.
[36] St John v.
[37] Apoc. xiv. 13.
[38] St. John vi. 37.
[39] Jerem. xviii.14.


From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

Including descriptions of the following:

We will not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them that are asleep, that you be not sorrowful, even as others who have no hope.[1] The Church today has the same desire as the Apostle thus expressed to the first Christians. The truth concerning the dead not only proves admirably the union between God’s justice and his goodness; it also inspires a charitable pity which the hardest heart cannot resist, and at the same time offers to the mourners the sweetest consolation. If faith teaches us the existence of a purgatory, where our loved ones may be detained by unexpiated sin, it is also of faith that we are able to assist them;[2] and theology assures us that their more or less speedy deliverance lies in our power. Let us call to mind a few principles, which throw light on this doctrine. Every sin causes a twofold injury to the sinner: it stains his soul, and renders him liable to punishment. Venial sin, which displeases God, requires a temporal expiation. Mortal sin deforms the soul, and makes the guilty man an abomination to God: its punishment cannot be anything less than eternal banishment, unless the sinner, in this life, prevent the final and irrevocable sentence. But even then the remission of the guilt, though it revokes the sentence of damnation, does not cancel the whole debt. Although an extraordinary overflow of grace upon the prodigal may sometimes, as is always the case with regard , to baptism and martyrdom, bury every remnant and vestige of sin in the abyss of divine oblivion; yet it is the ordinary rule, that for every fault satisfaction must be made to God’s justice, either in this world or in the next.

On the other hand, every supernatural act of virtue brings a double profit to the just man: it merits for his soul a fresh degree of grace; and it makes satisfaction for past faults, in exact proportion to the value, in God’s sight, of that labour, privation, or trial accepted, or that voluntary suffering endured, by one of the members of his beloved Son. Now, whereas merit is a personal acquisition and cannot be transferred to others, satisfaction may be vicarious; God is willing to accept it in payment of another’s debt, whether the recipient of the boon be in this world or in the next, provided only that he be united by grace to the mystical Body of our Lord, which is one in charity. This is a consequence of the mystery of the Communion of Saints, as Suarez explains in his beautiful treatise on Suffrages. Appealing to the authority of the greatest and most ancient princes of science, and discussing the objections and restrictions since proposed by others, the illustrious theologian does not hesitate to formulate this conclusion, with regard to the suffering souls in particular: “I believe that this satisfaction of the living for the dead is a matter of simple justice,[3] and that it is infallibly accepted with its full value, and according to the intention of him who applies it. Thus, for instance, if the satisfaction make would, if kept for myself, avail me in strict justice for the remission of four degrees of purgatory, it will remit exactly the same amount to the sould for whom I choose to offer it.[4]

We well know how the Church seconds the goodwill of her children. A By the practice of Indulgences, she places at their charitable disposal the inexhaustible treasure accumulated, from age to age, by the superabundant satisfactions of the Saints, added to those of the Martyrs, and united to those of our blessed Lady and the infinite residue of our Lord’s sufferings. These remissions of punishment she grants to the living by her own direct power; but she nearly always approves of and permits their application to the dead by way of suffrage, that is to say, in the manner in which, as we have seen, each of the faithful may offer to God who accepts it, for another, the suffrage or succour[5] of his own satisfactions. Such is the doctrine of Suarez, who adds that an Indulgence ceded to the dead, loses nothing either of the security or of the value it would have had for ourselves who are still militant.[6]

Now, Indulgences under every form are continually coming in our way. Let us make use of our treasures, and exercise mercy towards the poor suffering souls. Is any condition more pitiable than theirs? So great is their anguish, that no distress on earth can approach to it; and withal so nobly endured, that not a murmur breaks the silence of that “river of fire, which in its imperceptible current bears them on little by little to the ocean of Paradise.”[7] All heaven cannot help them, for there is no merit to be gained there. God himself, though most merciful, owes it to his justice not to deliver them until they have paid the whole debt that they carried with them beyond the world of trial. The debt was contracted perhaps through our fault, and in our company; and it is to us they turn for help, to us who are still dreaming of nothing but pleasure, while they are burning, and we could so easily shorten their torments! Have pity on me, have pity on me, at least you my friends, because the hand of the Lord hath touched me.[8]

Whether it be that Purgatory is now more than ever overflowing with the multitudes daily sent thither through the worldliness of the age, or that the last and universal judgment is approaching, - the Holy Ghost is no longer satisfied with keeping up the zeal of ancient confraternities devoted to the service of the departed. He raises up new associations, and even religious families, whose one aim is to promote, by every possible means, the deliverance or the solace of the suffering souls. In this kind of redemption of captives there are likewise to be found Christians, who at their own risk offer to take upon themselves the chains of their brethren, by utterly foregoing, for this purpose, not only all their own satisfactions, but even the suffrages which may be offered for them after death: an heroic act of charity, which must not be lightly undertaken, but which the Church approves;[9] for it greatly glorifies our Lord, and in return for the risk incurred of a temporary delay of beatitude, merits for its author a greater nearness to God, both by race here below, and in glory in heaven. If the suffrages of the simple faithful are of such value, of how much more are those of the whole Church, in the solemnity of public prayer, and the ablation of the awful Sacrifice, wherein God himself makes satisfaction to God for every sin! From the very beginning the Church has always prayed for the dead, as did even the Synagogue before her.[10]

As she honoured with thanksgiving the anniversaries of her martyred sons, so she celebrated with supplications the memory of her other children, who might not yet be in heaven. In the sacred Mysteries she daily uttered the names of both, for this twofold purpose of praise and prayer. As in each particular church it was impossible to name all the Blessed of the entire world, a common mention was made of them all; and in like manner, after the recommendations peculiar to each place and day, a general commemoration was made of all the dead. Thus, as St. Augustine remarks, those who had no relatives and friends on earth, were henceforth not deprived of suffrages; for, to make up for their abandonment, they had the tender compassion of the common Mother.[11]

The Church having always followed the same method with regard to the commemoration of the blessed and that of the departed, it might be expected that the establishment of All Saints’ Feast in the ninth century, would soon lead to the solemn Commemoration of All Souls. In 998, according to the Chronicle of Sigebert of Gembloux,[12] St. Odilo, Abbot of Cluny, instituted it in all the monasteries under his crosier, to be celebrated in perpetuity on the morrow of All Saints’. In certain visions, recorded in his Life,[13] Odilo and his monks had been denounced by the demons as the most indefatigable helpers of the holy souls, and most formidable to the powers of hell; and this institution was the Saint’s retaliation. The world applauded the decree; Rome adopted it; and it became the law of the whole Latin Church.

The Greeks make a general Commemoration of the dead on the eve of our Sexagesima Sunday, which with them is called Apocreos or Carnival, and on which they celebrate the second coming of our Lord. They give the name of “Saturday of all souls” to this day, as well as to the eve of Pentecost when they again pray solemnly for the departed.




As early as the ninth century, Amalarius remarked the similarity between the dirge and the Office which commemorates the death of our Lord.[14] There is the same lack of hymns, doxologies, absolutions, and blessings; the same suppression of the customary introduction Domine labia mea aperies, Deus in adjutorium meum intende. There is this difference however: that the Office of Holy Week has no Invitatory; while that of the Dead has either always kept it, or long ago taken it up again.

This Invitatory, like the first Psalm of Vespers, is a song of love and hope: Come, let us adore the King, to whom all things live. Beyond the tomb, as well as on this side of it, all men are living in the sight of him who is one day to raise them up again. In the language of the Church, the graveyard is the cemetery, that is the dormitory where her children sleep; and they themselves are defuncti, labourers who have finished their task and are awaiting their recompense.

Rome has been better inspired than some other churches, where the Antiphon chosen as refrain to the joyous Venite exsultemus was: Circumdederunt me gemitus mortis; dolores inferni circumdederunt me.[15] Were we to make an historical study of the Office of the Dead, which however is beyond the limits of the present work, we should find innumerable instances of such variations, always to the advantage of the mother-church.


Regem cui omnia vivunt: * Venite, adoremus.

Come, let us adore the King, to whom all things live.

Psalm 94

Venite, exsultemus Domino, jubilemus Deo Salutari nostro: praeoccupemus faciem ejus in confessione, et in psalmis jubilemus ei.

Regem cui omnia vivunt: * Venite, adoremus.

Quoniam Deus magnus Dominus, et Rex magnus super omnes deos: quoniam non repellet Dominus plebem suam, quia in manu ejus sunt omnes fines terrae, et altitudines montium ipse conspicit.

Venite, adoremus.

Quoniam ipsius est mare, et ipse fecit illud, et aridam fundaverunt manus ejus: venite, adoremus, et procidamus ante Deum: ploremus coram Domino, qui fecit nos, quia ipse est Dominus Deus noster: nos autem populus ejus, et oves pascuae ejus.

Regem cui omnia vivunt: * Venite, adoremus.

Hodie si vocem ejus audieritis, nolite obdurare corda vestra, sicut in exacerbatione secundum diem tentationis in deserto: ubi tentaverunt me patres vestri, probaverunt, et viderunt opera mea.

Venite, adoremus.

Quadraginta annis proximus fui generationi huic, et dixi: Semper hi errant corde: ipsi vero non cognoverunt vias meas, quibus juravi in ira mea, si introibunt in requiem meam.

Regem cui omnia vivunt: * Venite, adoremus.

Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine: et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Venite, adoremus.

Regem cui omnia vivunt: * Venite, adoremus.

Come, let us rejoice in the Lord, let us make a joyful noise to God our Saviour: let us approach his presence in praise and let us sing joyfully in psalms to him.

Come, let us adore the King, to whom all things live.

Because the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods: because the Lord repels not his people, for in his hands are all the bounds of the earth: and he beholds the heights of the mountains.

Come, let us adore.

Because the sea is his, and he made it, and his hands formed the dry land: come, let us adore, and fall down before God: let us lament before the Lord that made us: because he is the Lord our God: and we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Come, let us adore the King, to whom all things live.

Today, if you shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, according to the day of temptation in the wilderness: where your fathers tempted me, they proved, and saw my works.

Come, let us adore.

Forty years was I nigh to this generation, and said, they always err in their hearts: and have not known my ways, to whom I swore in my wrath, that they should not enter into my rest.

Come, let us adore the King, to whom all things live.

Grant them eternal rest, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine on them.

Come, let us adore.

Come, let us adore the King to whom all things live.

This opening of the Office shows us what prominence the Church gives to thanksgiving and praise in her prayers for the dead.


First Nocturn


The first Psalm expresses the overflowing gratitude and praise of the soul escaped from the snares of sinners, at that first dawn of her eternally secured salvation, when she took her place among the holy ones in Purgatory. With what confidence she entrusts to our Lord the care of directing her along the painful and purifying way, which is to lead her to the very entrance of God’s house!

Ant. Dirige Domine Deus meus in conspectu tuo viam meam.

Ant. Direct, O Lord, my God, my way in thy sight.

Psalm 5

Verba mea auribus percipe Domine: * intellige clamorem meum.
Intende voci orationis meae: * Rex meus, et Deus meus.
Quoniam ad te orabo: * Domine mane exaudies vocem meam.
Mane astabo tibi, et videbo: * quoniam non Deus volens iniquitatem tu es.
Neque habitabit juxta te malignus: * neque permanebunt injusti ante oculos tuos.
Odisti omnes, qui operantur iniquitatem: * perdes omnes, qui loquuntur mendacium.
Virum sanguinum et dolosum abominabitur Dominus: * ego autem in multitudine misericordiae tuae.
Introibo in domum tuam: * adorabo ad templum sanctum, tuum in timore tuo.
Domine deduc me in justitia tua: * propter inimicos meos dirige in conspectu tuo viam meam.
Quoniam non est in ore eorum veritas: * cor eorum vanum est.
Sepulchrum patens est guttur eorum, linguis suis dolose agebant: * judica illos Deus.
Decidant a cogitationibus suis, secundum multitudinem impietatem eorum expelle eos: * quoniam irritaverunt te Domine.
Et laetentur omnes, qui sperant in te: * in aeternum exsultabunt: et habitabis in eis.
Et gloriabuntur in te omnes, qui diligunt nomen tuum: * quaniam tu benedices justo.
Domine, ut scuto bonae voluntatis tuae: * coronasti nos.
Requiem aeternam * dona eis Domine.
Et lux perpetua * luceat eis.

Ant. Dirige Domine Deus meus in conspectu tuo viam meam.

Give ear, O Lord, to my words: hearken to my cry.
Attend to the voice of my prayer: my King and my God.
Because I will pray to thee: O Lord, in the morning thou wilt hear my voice.
In the morning I will stand by thee and will see: for thou art not a God that willest iniquity.
Neither shall the wicked dwell near thee: nor the unjust abide before thy eyes.
Thou hatest all that work iniquity: thou wilt destroy all that apeak lies.
The bloody and deceitful man the Lord will abhor: but I, in the multitude of they mercies,
Will enter into thy house: I will adore at thy holy temple in thy fear.
Conduct me, O Lord, in thy justice: because of my enemies, direct my way in thy sight.
Because there is no truth in their mouth: their heart is vain.
Their throat is a gaping aepulchre, they dealth deceitfully with their tongues: judge them, O God.
Let them fail in their designs: according to the multitude of their impieties expel them, for they have provoked thee, O Lord.
And let all be glad that hope in thee, they shall rejoice forever: and thou wilt dwell in them.
And all that love thy name shall glory in thee, because thou wilt bless the just.
Lord, as with a shield of thy goodwill thou hast crowned us.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord:
And let perpetual light shine on them.

Ant. Direct, O Lord, my God, my way in thy sight.

The soul has been heard: the time of mercy being at an end, justice has laid hold of her. Under the terrible grasp of this her new guide, and placed in the irresistible light of God’s infinite purity, which lays open her most secret recesses, the flaws in her virtues and every remaining trace of ancient stains, the poor soul feels all her strength fail her. Trembling; she beseeches God not to confound her, in his wrath, with those cursed forever, whose proximity increases her torment. But her supplication and her fear are still full of love: Lord, save me; for there is none in that death who will be mindful of praising thee. This Psalm is the first of the seven Penitentials.

Ant. Convertere Domine, et eripe animam meam: quoniam non est in morte, qui memor sit tui.

Ant. Turn, O Lord, and delivery my soul: for there is none in death who will be mindful of thee.

Psalm 6

Domine, ne in furore tuo arguas me: * neque in ira tua corripias me.
Mserere mei Domine, quoniam infirmus sum: * sana me Domine, quoniam conturbata sunt ossa mea.
Et anima mea turbata est valde: * sed tu Domine usquequo?
Convertere Domine, et eripe animam meam: * salvum me fac propter misericordiam tuam.
Quoniam non est in morte, qui memor sit tui: * in inferno autem quis confitebitur tibi?
Laboravi in gemitu meo, lavabo per singulas noctes lectum meum: * lacrymis meis stratum meum rigabo.
Turbatus est a furore oculus meus: * inveteravi inter omnes inimicos meos.
Discedite a me omnes qui operamini iniquitatem: * quoniam exaudivit Dominus vocem fletus mei.
Exaudivit Dominus deprecationem meam: * Dominus orationem meam suscepit.
Erubescant, et conturbentur vehementer omnes inimici mei: * convertantur et erubesant valde velociter.
Requiem aeternam * dona eis Domine.
Et lux perpetua * luceat eis.

Ant. Convertere Domine, et eripe animam meam: quoniam non est in morte, qui memor sit tui.

Lord, rebuke me not in thy fury, nor chastise me in thy wrath.
Have mercy on me, O Lord, because I am infirm: heal me, O Lord, because my bones are disordered.
Any my soul is very much troubled: but thou, O Lord, how long?
Turn, O Lord, and deliver my soul: save me for thy mercy’s sake.
Because there is none in death that is mindful of thee, and in hell who will praise thee?
I have laboured in my sighing, every night I will wash my bed: I will water my couch with my tears.
My eye is troubled with fury; I am grown old among all my enemies.
Depart from me, all ye that work iniquity: because the Lord has heard the voice of my weeping.
The Lord has head my petition: the Lord has received my prayer.
Let all my enemies blush, and be troubled exceedingly: let them be turned back and ashamed very speedily.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord:
And let perpetual light shine on them.

Ant. Turn, O Lord, and deliver my soul: for there is none in death who will be mindful of thee.

In the following Psalm, David accused by his enemies cries to the Lord against their calumnies. The fear, which causes the soul in Purgatory to prostrate with a holy trembling before God’s Justice, has no more shaken her hope than her love; nay, she trusts to the very sentence of her Judge and to the help sought from him, that she may be able to cope with the infernal lion, who pursues her with his roaring in the midst of her poverty and desolation.

Ant. Nequando rapiat ut leo animam meam, dum non est qui redimat, neque qui salvum faciat.

Ant. Lest at any time the enemy snatch my sould as a lion, whilst there is none to redeem, nor to save it.

Psalm 7

Domine Deus meus, in te speravi: * salvum me fac ex omnibus persequentibus me, et libera me.
Nequando rapiat ut leo animam meam: * dum non est qui redimat, neque qui salvum faciat.
Domine Deus meus, si feci istud: * si est iniquitas in manibus meis.
Si reddidi retribuentibus mii mala: * decidam merito ab inimicis meis inanis.
Persequatur inimicus animam meam, et comprehendat, et conculcet in terra vitam meam: * et gloriam meam in pulverem deducat.
Exsurge Domine in ira tua: * et exaltare in finibus inimicorum meorum.
Et exsurge Domine Deus meus in praecepto quod mandasti: * et synagoga populorum circumdabit te.
Et propter hanc in altum regredere: * Dominus judicat populos.
Judica me Domine secundum justitiam meam: * et secundum innocentiam meam super me.
Consumetur nequitia peccatorum, et diriges justum: * sorutas corda, et enes Deus.
Justum adjutorium meum a Domino: * qui salvos facit rectos corde.
Deus judex justus, fortis et patiens: * numquid irascitur per singuos dies?
Nisi conversi fueritis, gladium suum vibrabit: * arcum suum tetendit, et paravit illum.
Et in eo paravit vasa mortis: * sagittas suas ardentibus effecit.
Ecce parturiit injustitiam: * concepit dorlorem, et peperit iniquitatem.
Lacum aperuit, et effodit eum: * et incidit in foveam, quam fecit.
Convertetur dolor ejus in caput ejus: * et in verticem ipsius iniquitas ejus descendet.
Confitebor Domino secundum justitiam ejus: * et psallam nomini Domini altissimi.
Reqiem aeternam * dona eis Domine.
Et lux perpetua * luceat eis.

Ant. Nequando rapiat ut leo animam meam, dum non est qui redimat, neque qui salvum faciat.

O Lord my God, I have hoped in thee: save me from all that persecute me, and deliver me.
Lest at any time he snatch away my soul as a lion: whilst there is none to redeem, nor to save it.
O Lord my God, if I have done this: if there be iniquity in my hands:
If I have repaid to them that returned me evils: let me deservedly fall empty before mine enemies.
Let the enemy persecute my soul, and seize it, and treat down my life on the earth: and bring down my glory into dust.
Arise, O Lord, in thy wrath; and be exalted in the borders of my enemies.
And arise, O Lord my God, in the precept which thou hast commanded: and an assembly of people shall encompass thee.
And for this return on high: the Lord judges the people.
Judge me, O Lord, according to my justice: and according to my innocence upon me.
The wickedness of sinners shall be consumed, and thou wilt direct the just: who searchest the hearts and reins, O God.
My just help is from the Lord: who saves the right of heart.
God is a just judge, strong and patient: is he angry every day?
Except ye be converted, he will shake his sword: he has bent his bow, and prepared it:
And in it he has prepared weapons of death: he has made his arrows with fiery points.
Behold he has bred injustice: he has conceived sorrow, and brought forth iniquity.
He has opened a pit and diffed it up: and he is fallen into the ditch which he made.
His sorrow shall be turned upon his head: and his iniquity shall descent upon his crown.
I will praise our Lord according to his justice: and will sing to the name of the most high Lord.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord:
And let perpetual light shine on them.

Ant. Lest at any time the enemy snatch my soul as a lion, while there is none to redeem nor to save it.

V. A porta inferi.
℟. Erue Domine animas ecrum.

V. From the gates of hell.
℟. Deliver their souls, O Lord.

After this cry has escaped from the maternal heart of the Church, the whole assembly prays in silence, offering to God the Lord’s Prayer for the departed, who are struggling with the powers of hell.

And now, from the midst of this recollected silence rises the single voice of the lector. He receives no benediction, for he is speaking in the name of the holy souls, who have no longer the same right as we have to ask a blessing from the Church. He borrows the accents of the afflicted Job, in order to relate their overwhelming sufferings, their invincible faith, their sublime prayer. As in the ancient tragedy, the choir intervenes after each Lesson with a Responsory, whose melody is marvelously in keeping with these echoes from beyond the tomb. At one time it is man taking up the words of the dead and making them his own, or supporting their grayer with his own supplications; at another, terrified at God’s rigour towards souls that are so dear to him, and that are sure of loving him eternally, he trembles for himself a sinner, whose judgment is still uncertain.

According to St. Antoninus and Demochares quoted by Gavanti,[16] some of these admirable Responseries were composed by Maurice de Sully, the Bishop of Paris who began to build the Cathedral of Notre-Dame; the greater number, however, were already to be found in earlier Gregorian manuscripts.

Other Books of holy Scripture, besides that of Job, and also the works of St. Augustine, were long used in various places to furnish the Lessons of the Dirge; and it was customary in divers churches to conclude them with the formula: Beati mortui qui in Domino moriuntur.[17]

First Lesson
(Job. vii.)

Parce mihi, Domine, nihil enim sunt dies mei. Quid est homo, quia magnificas eum? Aut quid apponis erga eum cor tuum? Visitas eum diluculo, et subito probas illum. Usquequo non parcis mihi, nec dimittis me ut glutiam salivan meam? Peccavi, quid faciam tibi, o custos hominum? Quare posuisti me contratium tibi, et factus sum mihimetipsi gravis? Cur non tollis peccatum meum, et quare non aufers iniquitatem meam? Ecce, nunc in pulvere dormiam: et si mane me quaesieris, non subsistam.

Spare me, O Lord, for my days are nothing. What is man, that thou magnifiest him? Or why settest thou thy heart towards him? Thou dost visit him early, and suddenly thou provest him: how long dost thou not spare me, nor suffer me to swallow my spittle? I have sinned: what shall I do to thee, O keeper of men? Why hast thou set me contrary to thee, and I am become burthensome to myself? Why dost thou not take away my sin, and why dost thou not take away my iniquity? Behold now I shall sleep in the dust, and if thou seek me in the morning, I shall not be.

℟. Credo quod Redemptor meus vivit: et in novissimo die de terra surrecturrus sum: * Et in carne mea videbo Deum Salvatorem meum.
V. Quem visurus sum ego ipse, et non alius, et oculi mei conspecturi sunt. * Et in.
℟. I believe my Redeemer liveth, and that in the last day I shall rise from the earth, * and in my flesh I shall see my Saviour.
V. Whom I myself shall see, and not another, and my eyes shall behold. * And in my flesh.

Second Lesson
(Job. x.)

Taedet animam meam vitae meae, dimittam adversum me eloquium meum, loquar in amaritudine animae meae. Dicam Deo: Noli me condemnare: indica mihi cur me ita judices. Numquid bonum tibi videtur, si calumnieris me, et opprimas me opus manuum tuarum, et consilium impiorum adjuves? Numquid oculi carnei tibi sunt: aut sicut videt homo, et tu videbis? Numquid sucut dies hominis dies tui, et anni tui sicut humana sunt tempora, ut quaeras iniquitatem meam, et peccatum meum scruteris? Et scias quia nihil impium fecerim, cum sit nemo qui de manu tua possit eruere.

My soul is weary of life, I will let my speech loose against myself, I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. I will say to God, Condemn me not; show me why thou judgest me so. Does it seem good to thee, if thou calumniate me, and oppress me, the work of thy hands, and help the design of the impious? Hast thou eyes of flesh; or as a man sees, shalt thou also see? Are they days as the days of man; and are thy years as the times of men, that thou shouldst seek my iniquity, and search my sin? And thou mayst know that I have done no impious thing; whereas there is no man that can escape out of thy hand.

℟. Qui Lazarum resuscitasti a monumento foetidum: * Tu eis, Domine, dona requiem, et locum indulgentiae.
V. Qui venturus es judicare vivos et mortuos, et saeculum per ignem. * Tu eis.

℟. Thou who didst raise Lazarus fetid from the grave. * Thou, O Lord, give them rest, and a place of pardon.
V. Who art to come to judge the living and the dead, and the world by fire. * Thou, O Lord.

Third Lesson
(Job. x.)

Manus tuae fecerunt me, et plasmaverunt me totum in circuitu: et sic repente praecipitas me? Memento quaeso, quod sicut lutum feceris me, et in pulverem reduoes me. Nonne sicut lac mulsisti me, et sicut caseum me coagulasti? Pelle et carnibus vestisti me: ossibus et nervis compegisti me. Vitam et misericordiam tribuisti mihi, et visitatio tus custodivit spiritum meum.

Thy hands have made me, and framed me, wholly round about; and dost thou thus suddently cast me down head-long? Remember, I beseech thee, that as clay thou didst make me, and into dust thou wilt bring me again. Hast thou not miled me like milk, and curdles me like cheese? With skin and flesh hast thou clothed me: with bones and sinews hast thou bound me. Life ad mercy thou hast given me, and thy visitation has kept my spirit.

℟. Domine, quando veneris judicare terram, ubi me abscondam a vultu irae tuae? * Quia peccavi nimis in vita mea.
V. Commissa mea pavesco, et ante te erubesco: dum veneris judicare, noi me condemnare. * Quis.
V. Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine: et lx perpetua luceat eis. * Quis.

℟. O Lord, when thou shalt come to judge the earth, where shall I hide myself from the face of thy wrath? * For I have sinned exceedingly in my life.
V. I dread my misdeeds, and blush before thee: do not condemn me, when thou shalt come to judge. * For I have sinned exceedingly in my life.
V. Grant them eternal rest, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine on them. * For I have.


Second Nocturn


Our astonishment at finding the following Antiphon in the Office of the Dead might elicit from the dear souls the reply: “I have meat to eat which you know not.” And, being just and holy, they might add with our Lord: “ My meat is to do the will of my Father.” Seen from such a height in the light of our Antiphon, what a place of pasture is Purgatory! O Lord, who guidest me, who by thy grace deignest to be with me in the midst of this shadow of death; thy rod, by striking me, comforts me; my resignation to thy justice is the oil which flows from my head, and, anointing all my members, strengthens them for battle ; my heart, thirsting for submission, has found its inebriating cup.

St. John Chrysostom informs us that in his time this Psalm was chanted at Christian funerals, together with the Dilexi, our first Psalm of Vespers.

Ant. In loco pascuae ibi me collocavit.

Ant. In a place of pasture, he has put me there.

Psalm 22

Dominus regit me, et nihil mihi deerit: * in loco pascuae ibi me collocavit.
Super aquam refectionis educavit me: * animam meam convertit.
Deduxit me super semitas justitiae: * propter nomen suum.
Nam, et si ambulavero in medio umbrae mortis, non timebo mala: * quoniam tu mecum es.
Virga tua, et baculus tuus: * ipsa me consolata sunt.
Parasti in conspectu meo mensam: * adversus eos, qui tribulant me.
Impinguasti in oleo caput meum: * et calix meus inebrians quam praeclarus est!
Et misericordia tua subsequetur me: * omnibus diebus vitae meae.
Et ut inhabitem in domo Domini: * in longitudinem dierum.
Requiem aeternam * dona eis Domine.
Et lux perpetua * luceat eis.

Ant. In loco pascuae ibi me collocavit.

The Lord rules me, and I shall want nothing: in a place of pasture, he has put me there.
Near the refreshing waters, he has brought me up: and has converted my soul.
He has conducted me in the paths of justice, for his name’s sake.
For though I shall walk in the midst of the shadow of death, I will not fear evils: because thou art with me.
Thy rod and thy staff: they have comforted me.
Thou hast prepared in my sight a table: against them that afflict me.
Thou has anointed my head with oil: and my inebriating cup, how excellent is it!
And thy mercy shall follow me: all the days of my life.
And that I may dwell in the house of the Lord: for length of days.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord:
And let perpetual light shine on them.

Ant. In a place of pasture, he has put me there.

The sins of my youth and my ignorances remember not, O Lord. Would to God that we now examined our conscience as seriously as we shall be forced to do in the place of expiation, in order to repair our sent negligence in that respect! Ignorance, which is now considered so excusable, will be a sad thing for those, whose neglect to seek instruction has darkened their faith, lulled their hope to sleep, cooled their love, and falsified on a thousand points their Christian life. Then too must be paid, to the last farthing, the debts of penance accumulated by so many sins, which have been forgiven, it is true, as to the guilt, perhaps long ago, and as long ago entirely forgotten. O God, see my humiliation and my labour!

Ant. Delicta juventutis meae, et ignorantias meas ne memineris Domine.

Ant. The offences of my youth, and my ignorances remember not, O Lord.

Psalm 24

Ad te Domine levavi animam meam: * Deus meus in te confido, non erubescam.
Neque irrideant me inimici mei: * etenim universi, qui sustinent te, non confundentur.
Confundantur omnes iniqua agentes: * supervacue.
Vias tus Domine demonstra mihi: * et semitas tuas edoce me.
Dirige me in veritate tua, et doce me: * quia tu es Deus salvator meus, et te sustinui tota die.
Reminiscere miserationum tuarum Domine: * et misericordiarum tuarum, quae a saeculo sunt.
Delicta juventutis meae: * et ignorantias meas ne memineris.
Secundum misericordiam tuam memento mei tu: * propter bonitatem tuam Domine.
Dulcis et rectus Dominus: * propter hoc legem dabit delinquentibus in via.
Diriget mansuetos in judicio: * docebit mites vias suas.
Universae viae Domini misericordia et veritas: * requirentibus testamentum ejus, et testimonia ejus.
Propter nomen tuum Domine propitisberis peccato meo: * multum est enim.
Quis est homo qui timet Dominum? * legem statuit ei in via, quam elegit.
Anima ejus in bonis demorabitur: * et semen ejus haereditabit terram.
Firmamentum est Dominus timentibus eum: * et testamentum ipsius, ut manifestetur illis.
Oculi mei semper ad Dominum: * quoniam ipse evellet de laqueo pedes meos.
Respice in me, et miserere mei: * quia unicus et pauper sum ego.
Tribulationes cordis mei multiplicatae sunt: * de necessitatibus meis erue me.
Vide humilitatem meam, et laborem meum: * et dimitte universa delicta mea.
Respice inimicos meos, quoniam multiplicati sunt: * et odio iniquo oderunt me.
Custodi animam meam, et erue me: * non erubescam, quoniam speravi in te.
Innocentes et recti adhaeserunt mihi: * quia sustinui te.
Libera Deus Israel: * ex omnibus tribulationibus suis.
Requiem aeternam * dona eis Domine.
Et lux perpetua * luceat eis.

Ant. Delicta juventuti meae, et ignorantiae meas ne memineris Domine.

To thee, O Lord, I have lifted up my soul: my God in thee I put my trust, let me not be ashamed.
Neither let my enemies insult over me: for all that hope in thee shall not be confounded.
Let all be confounded: who vainly do unjust things.
Show me thy ways, O Lord: and teach me thy paths.
Direct me in thy truth, and teach me: because thou art God my saviour, and thee I have expected all the day.
Remember thy compassions, O Lord: and thy mercies that are from the beginning of the world.
The sins of my youth: and my ignorances, remember not.
According to thy mercy do thou remember me: for thy goodness’ sake, O Lord.
The Lord is sweet and righteous: for this cause he will give a law to them that sin in the way.
He will direct the mild in judgment: he will teach the meek his ways.
All the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth: to them that seek his testament and his testimonies.
For thy name, O Lord, thou wilt be propitious to my sin: for it is great.
Who is the man that fears the Lord? He appoints him a law in the way he has chosen.
His soul shall abide in good things: and his seed shall inherit the land.
The Lord is a support to them that fear him: and that his testament may be manifested to them.
My eyes are always towards the Lord: because he will deliver my feet out of the snare.
Look upon me: and have mercy on me: because I am alone and poor.
The tribulations of my heart are multiplied: deliver me from my necessities.
See my humiliation and my labour: and remit all my sins.
Look upon my enemies, for they are multiple: and with unjust hatred they hated me.
Keep my soul, and deliver me: I shall not be ashamed, because I have hoped in thee.
The innocent and righteous have adhered to me: because I have expected thee.
Deliver Israel, O God, out of all his tribulations.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord:
And let perpetual light shine on them.

Ant. The offences of my youth, and my ignorances, remember not, O Lord.

On Good Friday the 26th Psalm was sung, to express the unfailing confidence of the Messias throughout his Passion. It was repeated at the Matins of the morrow, to announce his approaching deliverance; and on this latter occasion it was accompanied by the very Antiphon we are now about to sing. As the dwellers in limbo on the great Saturday when our Saviour was among them, so the souls in Purgatory unite themselves to their divine Head in his expectation of a return to light and life. Their prayer, which the Church also makes her own, is such as may well touch the Heart of our Lord.

Ant. Credo Videre bona Domini in terra viventium.

Ant. I believe I shall see the god things of the Lord, in the land of the living.

Psalm 26

Dominus illuminatio mea, et salus mea: * quem timebo?
Dominus protector vitae mae: * a quo trepidabo?
Dum appropiant super me nocentes: * ut edant carnes meas.
Qui tribulant me inimici mei: * ipsi infirmati sunt, et ceciderunt.
Si consistant adversum me castra: * non timebit cor meum.
Si exsurgat adversum me praelium: * in hoc ego sperabo.
Unam petii a Domino, hanc requiram: * ut inhabitem in domo Domini omnibus diebus vitae meae.
Ut videam voluptatem Domini: * et visitem templum ejus.
Quoniam abscondit me in tabernaculo suo: * in die malorum protexit me in abscondito tabernaculi sui.
In petra exaltavit me: * et nunc exaltavit caput meum super inimocos meos.
Circuivi, et immolavi in tabernaculo ejus hostiam vociferationis: * cantabo et psalmum dicam Domino.
Exaudi Domine vocem meam, qua clamavi ad te: * miserere mei, et exaudi me.
Tibi dixit cor meum, exquisivit te facies mea: * faciem tuam Domine requiram.
Ne avertas faciem tuam a me: ne declines in ira a servo tuo.
Adjutor meus esto: * ne derelinqus me, neque despicias me Deus salutaris meus.
Quoniam pater meus, et mater mea dereliquerunt me: * Dominus sutem assumpsit me.
Legem pone mihi Domine in via tua: * et dirige me in semitam rectam propter inimicos meos.
Ne tradideris me in animas tribulantium me: * quoniam insurrexerunt in me testes iniqui, et mentita est iniquitas sibi.
Credo videre bona Domini: * in terra viventium.
Expecta Dominum, viriliter age: * et confortetur cor tuum, et sustine Dominum.
Requiem aeternam * dona eis Domine.
Et lux perpetua * luceat eis.

Ant. Credo videre bona Domini in terra viventium.

The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the protector of my life: who shall make me tremble?
Whilst the wicked approach to me: to devour my flesh.
My enemies that afflict me: themselves are weakened and are fallen.
If camps stand against me: my heart shall not fear.
If battle rise up against me: in this will I hope.
One thing have I asked of the Lord, this will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
That I may see the delight of the Lord: and visit his temple.
Because he has hid me in his tabernacle: in the day of evils he has protected me in the secret of his tabernacle.
On a rock he has exalted me: and now he hath exalted my head above my enemies.
I have gone round, and have immolated in his tabernacle a host of oud acclamation: I will sing and say a psalm to the Lord.
Hear my voice, O Lord, wherewith I have cried to thee: have mercy on me, and hear me.
My heart has spoken to thee, my face has sought thee out: thy face, O Lord, I will seek.
Hide not thy face from me: turn not away in wrath from thy servant.
Be thou my helper: forsake me not, nor despise me, O God my Saviour.
Because my father and my mother have forsaken me: but the Lord has received me.
Set me a law, O Lord, in thy way; and direct me in the right paths, because of my enemies.
Deliver me not to the will of them that afflict me; because unjust witnesses have risen up against me, and iniquity has lied to itself.
I believe I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
Expect the Lord, do manfully: and let thy heart taken courage, and expect thou the Lord.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord:
And let perpetual light shine on them.

Ant. I believe I shall see the good things of the Lord in the lands of the living.

V. Collocet eos Dominus cum principibus.
℟. Cum principibus populi sui.

V. May the Lord place them with the princes.
℟. With the princes of his people.

The Choir having echoed in the Versicle the desire of the holy souls, the Pater noster is once more recited in secret.

It was at the commencement of the following Lesson, that took place the terrifying scene immortalized by the pencil of Le Sueur in his Life of St. Bruno. Accordin g to a tradition preserved in his Order, St. Bruno, while yet a secular, was assistmg in Notre-Dame at Paris at the funeral service of a renowned Doctor, Raymund Diecrés; when at the words: Responde mihi, quantas habeo iniquitates et peccata, the dead man raised himself upon the bier and uttered the words: “I am accused by the just judgment of God” So great was the universal consternation,that the Office was deferred to the following day; when in answer to the same question, the dead man again sat up and said: “I am judged by the just judgment of God.” The interrupted service was gun again on the third day; when at the same juncture, the voice of the unhappy man was heard once more, petrifying the assembly with terror by the awful words: “I am condemned by the just judgment of God.”[18]

Fourth Lesson
(Job. xiii.)

Responde mihi: Quantas habeo iniquitates es peccata, scelera mea et delicta ostende mihi. Cur faciem tuam abscondis, et arbitraris me inimicum tuum? Contra folium quod vento rapitur, ostendis potentiam tuam, et stipulam siccam persequeris. Scribis enim contra me amaritudines, et consumere me vis peccatis adolescentiae meae. Posuisti in nervo pedem meum, et observasti omnes semitas meas, et vestigia pedum meorum considerasti: qui quasi putredo consumendus sum, et quasi vestimentum quod comeditur a tinea.


Answer me; how many iniquities and sins I have: my crimes and my offences show me. Why dost thou hide thy face, and esteem me thy enemy? Against the leaf that is carried away with the wind, thou showest thy power, and pursuest a dry straw. For thou writest bitter things against me, and hast a mind to consume me for the sins of my youth. Thou hast put my feet in the stocks, and hast observed all my paths, and hast considered the steps of my feet. Who as rottenness am to be consumed, and as a garment that is eaten by the moth.

℟. Memento mei, Deus, quia ventus est vita mea: * Nec aspiciat me visus hominis.
V. De profundis clamavi ad te, Domine: * Domine, exaudi vocem meam. * Nec aspiciat.

℟. Remember me, O God, because my life is but wind: * nor may the sight of man behold me.
V. From the depths I have cried to thee, O Lord: Lord, hear my voice. * Nor may.

Fifth Lesson
(Job. xiv.)

Homo natus de muliere, brevi vivens tempore, repetur multis miseriis. Qui quasi flos egreditur, et conteritur, et fugit velut umbra, et numquam in eodem statu permanet. Et dignum ducis super hujuscemodi aperire oculos tuos, et adducere eum tecum in judicium? Quis potest facere mundum de immundo conceptum semine? Nonnetu qui soluses? Breves dies hominis sunt, numerus mensium ejus apud te est: constituisti terminos ejus, qui praeteriri non poterunt. Recede paululum ab eo, ut quiescat, donec optata veniat, sicut mercenarii dies ejus.


Man born of a woman, living a short time, is filled with many miseries. Who as a flower comes forth, and is destroyed, and flies away as a shadow, and never abides in the same state. And dost thou count it a worthy thing, to open thy eyes on such a one, and to bring him with thee into judgment? Who can make him clean that is conceived of unclean seed? Is it not thou who only art? The days of man are short, the number of his months is with thee; thou hast appointed his limits, which cannot be passed. Depart a little from him, that he may rest, till his wished for day comes, even as that of the hired man.

℟. Hei mihi, Domine, quia peccavi nimis in vita mea. Quid faciam miser? Ubi fugiam, nisi ad te, Deus meus? * Miserere mei, dum veneris in novissimo die.
V. Anima mea turbata est valde, sed tu, Domine, succurre ei. * Miserere.

℟. Woe is me, O Lord, because I have sinned exceedingly in my life: O wretch what shall I do, whither shall I fly but to thee, my God? * Have mercy on me when thou comest at the latter day.
V. My soul is greatly troubled; but thou, O Lord, succour it. * Have mercy on me.

Sixth Lesson
(Job. xiv.)

Quia mihi hoc tribuat, ut in inferno protegas me, et abscondas me, donec pertranseat furor tuus, et constituas mihi tempus, in quo recorderis me? Putasne mortuus homo rursum vivat? Cunctis diebus, quibus nunc milito, exspecto donec veniat immutatio mea. Vocabis me, et ego respondebo tibi: operi manuum tuarum porriges dexteram. Tu quidem gressus meos dinumerasti, sed parce peccatis meis.


Who will grant me this, that in hell thou protect me, and hide me till thy fury pass away, and appoint me a time wherein thou wilt remember me? Shall a man that is dead, thinkest thou, live again? All the days, in which I am now in warfare, I expect till my change comes. Thou shalt call me, and I shall answer thee: to the work of thy hands thou shalt stretch out thy right hand. Thou indeed hast numbered my steps, but spare my sins.

℟. Ne recorderis peccata mea, Domine, * Dum veneris judicare saeculum per ignem.
V. Dirige, Domine Deus meus, in conspectu tuo viam meam. * Dum veneris.
V. Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine: et lux perpetua luceat eis. * Dum veneris.

℟. Remember not my sins, O Lord, when thou shalt come to judge the world by fire.
V. Direct, O Lord my God, my way in thy sight. * When thou shalt come to judge the world by fire.
V. Grant them eternal rest, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine on them. * When.


Third Nocturn


As the purifying expiation goes on, the darkness that surrounds the soul is gradually dissipated, and glory begins to dawn. The 39th Psalm, which we also sang at the death of our Saviour, contains lively expressions of sorrow as well as the most ardent prayer. It also shows how suffering leads to closer union with the divine Liberator, whose Blood extinguished the flames of all the ancient holocausts. It is full of thanksgiving, of admiration for God on account of his goodness, and of the desire of praising him and seeing him praised by all. Yes; may it please thee, O Lord to deliver me : but let all that seek tlzee rejoice and be glad in thee, and let them say always: The Lord be magnified!

Ant. Complaceat tibi Domine, ut eripias me: Domine ad adjuvandum me respice.

Ant. May it please thee, O Lord, to deliver me: Lord, have regard to help me.

Psalm 39

Exspectans exspetavi Dominum: * et intendit mihi.
Et exaudivit preces meas: * et eduxit me de lacu miseriae, et de luto faecis.
Et statuit super petram pedes meos: * et direxit gressus meos.
Et immisit in os meum canticum novum: * carmen Deo nostro.
Videbunt multi, et timebunt: * et sperabunt in Domino.
Beatus vir, cujus est nomen Domini spes ejus: * et non respexit in vanitates et insanias falsas.
Multa fecisti tu Domine Deus meus mirabiia tua: * et cogitationibus tuis non est qui similis sit tibi.
Annuntiavi, et locutus sum: * multiplicati sunt super numerum.
Sacrificium et oblationem noluisti: * aures autem perfecisti mihi.
Holocaustum et prop peccato non postulasti: * tunc dixi: Ecce venio.
In sapite libri scriptum est de me ut facerem voluntatem tuam: * Deus meus volui, et legem tuam in medio cordis mei.
Annuntiavi justitiam tuam in Ecclesia magna: * ecce labia mea non prohibebo: Domine tu scisti.
Justitiam tuam non abscondi in corde meo: * veritatem tuam, et salutare tuum dixi.
Non abscondi misericordiam tuam, et veritatem tuam: * a condilio multo.
Tu autem Domine ne longe facias miserationes tuas a me: * misericordia tua et veritas tua semper susceperunt me.
Quoniam circumdederunt me mala, quorum non est numerus: * comprehenderunt me iniquitates meae, et non potui ut viderem.
Multiplicate sunt super capillos capitis mei: * et cor meum dereliquit me.
Complaceat tibi Domine ut eruas me: * Domine ad adjuvandum me respice.
Confundantur et revereantur simul qui querunt animam meam: * ut auferant eam.
Conertantur retrorsum, et revereantur: * qui volunt mihi mala.
Ferant confestim confusionem suam: * qui dicunt mihi: Euge, suge.
Exsultent et laetentur super te omnes quaerentes te: * et dicant semper: Magnificetur Dominus: qui diligunt salutare tuum.
Ego autem mendicus sum, et pauper: * Dominus sollicitus est mei.
Adjutor meus, et protector meus tu es: * Deus meus ne tardaveris.
Requiem aeternam * dona eis Domine.
Et luc perpetua * luceat eis.

Ant. Complaceat tibi Domine, ut eripias me: Domine ad adjuvandum me respice.

Expecting, I expected the Lord: and he has heard me.
He heard my prayers, and brought me out of the lake of misery, and from the mire of dregs.
And he has set my feet upon a rock: and has directed my steps.
And he has put a new song into my mouth: a song to our God.
Many shall see, and shall fear: and they shall hope in the Lord.
Blessed is the man, whose hope is the name of the Lord: and has not regarded vanities, and false madness.
Thou hast done many wonderful things, O Lord my God: and in thy thoughts there is none like to thee.
I have declared and have spoken: they are multiplied above number.
Sacrifice and oblation thou wouldst not: but ears thou hast perfected to me.
Holocaust, and for sin thou didst not require: then said I Behold I come.
In the head of the book it is written of me, that I shall do thy will; my God, I am willing, and have thy law in the midst of my heart.
I have declared thy justice in the church: behold I will not stay my lips, Lord, thou hast known it.
Thy justice I have not hid in my heart: thy truth and thy salvation I have spoken.
I have not hidden thy mercy and truth: from the great council.
But thou, O Lord, remove not thy compassion far from me: thy mercy and thy truth have always received me.
Because evils without number have encompassed me: my iniquities have overtaken me, and I was not able to see.
They are multiplied above the hairs of my head: and my heart has forsaken me.
May it please thee, O Lord, to delivery me: Lord, have regard to help me.
Let them be confounded and ashamed together, who seek my soul: to take it away.
Let them be turned backward, and be ashamed: who desire evils to me.
Let them forthwith receive their confusion; who say to me, Well, Well.
Let all that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: and let them that love thy salvation say always, the Lord be magnified.
But I am needy and poor: the Lord is careful of me.
Thou art my helper and my protector: my God, do not delay.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord:
And let perpetual light shine on them.

Ant. May it please thee, O Lord, to deliver me: Lord, have regard to help me.

We have just been saying; I am needy and poor, the Lord is careful of me; and the following Psalm declares: Blessed is the man that thinks on the needy and poor. Among all the noble sentiments that reign in Purgatory, there could not be wanting that of gratitude towards those who have a thought for the too often neglected dead. How odious is this indifference for the departed, especially in those men of their peace who ate their bread in happier days, and in whom the so vainly hoped and confided. But hear how humbly and sweetly they pray for the benefactor, whom their themselves perhaps ignored or even despised in the time of worldly prosperity, and who now assists them in their need: May the Lord make him blessed in the land, and deliver him not to the will of his enemies. May the Lord help him when he is on his bed of sorrow!

Ant. Sana Domine animam meam, quia peccavi tibi.

Ant. Heal my soul, O Lord, because I have sinned against thee.

Psalm 40

Beatus qui intelligit super egenum et pauperem: * in die mala liberabit eum Dominus.
Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum; et beatum faciat eum in terra: * et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum ejus.
Dominus opem ferat illi super lextum doloris ejus: * universum stratum ejus versasti in infirmitate ejus.
Ego dixi: Domine miserere mei: * sana animam meam, quia peccavi tibi.
Inimici mei dixerunt mala mihi: * Quando morietur, et peribit nomen ejus?
Et si ingrediebatur ut videret, vana loquebatur: * cor ejus congregavit iniquitatem sibi.
Egrediebatur foras: * et loquebatur in idipsum.
Adversum me susurrabant omnes inimici mei: * adversum me cogitabant mala mihi.
Verbum iniquum constituerunt adversum me: * numquid qui dormit, non adjiciet ut resurgat?
Etenim homo pacis meae, in quo speravi: * qui edebat panes meos, magnificavit super me supplantationem.
Tu autem Domine miserere mei, et resuscita me: * et retribuam eis.
In hoc cognovi, quoniam voluisti me: * quoniam non gaudebit inimicus meus super me.
Me autem propter innocentiam suscepisti: * et confirmasti me in conspectu tuo in aeternum.
Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel a saeculo, et usque in saeculum: * fiat, fiat.
Requiem aeternam * dona eis Domine.
Et lux perpetua * luceat eis.

Ant. Sana Domine animam meam, quia peccavi tibi.

Blessed is the man that thinks on the needy and poor: in the evil day the Lord will deliver him.
May the Lord preserve him and give him life, and make him blessed in the land: and deliver him not to the will of his enemies.
May the Lord help him on his bed of sorrow: thou hast turned all his couch; in his sickness.
I said: Lord, have mercy on me: heal my soul, because I have sinned againse thee.
My enemies have said evil things to me: when shall he die, and his name perish?
And if he came in to see, he spoke vain things: his heart assembled iniquity to itself.
He went forth: and spoke to the same purpose.
All my enemies whispered against me: they thought evils against me.
They have made an unjust decree against me: he that sleeps, shall he not rise again?
For the man of my peace, in whom I hoped; who did eat my bread, has gloried in supplanting me.
But thou, O Lord, have mercy on me, and raise me up again: and I will repay them.
In this I have kown that thou hast consented to me: because my enemy shall not rejoice over me.
But thou hast received me, because of my innocence: and thou hast confirmed me in thy sight forever.
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from eternity to eternity: so be it so be it.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord:
And let perpetual light shine on them.

Ant. Heal my soul, O Lord, because I have sinned against thee.

“I believe,” says St. Catharine of Genoa, “that no happiness can be compared with that of a soul in Purgatory, except that of the Saints in Paradise. And this happiness increases in proportion as the rust of sin is consumed away by the fire, enabling the soul to reflect, more and more clearly, the rays of the true sun, which is God. The suffering, however, does not diminish. On the contrary; it is love kept back from its object, which causes the pain; and consequently the suffering is greater according as God has made the soul capable of a greater perfection of love.”[19] But let us listen to the soul herself expressing her anguish; no mortal tongue, were it even that of the great theologian of Purgatory, could give a similar utterance to such sublime sentiments. How the Church, in her Psalms and her Liturgy, surpasses even the most saintly and learned of her children!

Ant. Sitivit anima mea ad Deum vivum: quando veniam, et apparebo ante faciem Domini?

Ant. My soul has thirsted after the living God: when shall I come and appear befoe the face of the Lord?

Psalm 41

Quemadmodum desiderat cervus ad fontes aquarum: * ita desiderat anima mea ad to Deus.
Sitivit anima mea ad Deum fortem vivum: * quando veniam, et apparebo ante faciem Dei?
Fourunt mihi lacrymae meae panes die ac nocte: * dum dicitur mihi quotidie: Ubi est Deus tuus?
Haec recordatus sum, et effudi in me animam meam: * quoniam transibo in locum tabernaculi admirabilis, usque ad domum Dei.
In voce exsultationis, et confessionis: * sonus epulantis.
Quare tristis es anima mea? * et quare conturbas me?
Spera in Deo, quoniam adhuc confitebor illi: * salutare vultus mei, et Deus meus.
Ad meipsum anima mea conturbata est: * propterea memor ero tui de terra Jordanis, et Hermoniim a monte modico.
Abyssus abyssum invocat: * in voce cataractarum tuarum.
Omnia excelsa tua, et fluctus tui: * super me transierunt.
In die mandavit Dominus misericordiam suam: * et nocte canticum ejus.
Apud me oratio Deo vitae meae: * dicam Deo: Susceptor meus ea.
Quare oblitus es mei? * et quare contristatus incedo, dum affligit me inimicus?
Dum confringuntur ossa mea: * exprobraverunt mihi qui tribulant me inimici mei.
Dum dicunt mihi per singulos dies: Ubi est Deus tuus? * quare tristis es anima mea? Et quare conturbas me?
Spera in Deo, quoniam adhuc confitebor illi: * salutare vultus mei, et Deus meus.
Requiem aeternam * dona eis Domine.
Et lux perpetua * luceat eis.

Ant. Sitivit anima mea ad Deum vivum: quando veniam, et apparebo ante faciem Domini?

Even as the hart thirsts after the fountains of waters: so does my soul thirst after thee, O God.
My soul has thirsted after the mighty living God: when shall I come, and appear before the face of God?
My tears have been my bread day and night: whilst it is said to me daily: Where is thy God?
These things I remember, and have poured out my soul within me: because I shall pass to the place of a wonderful tabernacle, even to the house of God.
In the voice of joyfulness and confession: the sound of one who feasts.
Why art thou sorrowful, may soul: and why dost thou trouble me?
Hope in God, for I will still praise him: the salvation of my countenance, and my God.
My soul is troubled within myself: therefore I will be mindful of thee, from the land of Jordan and Hermoniim from the little mountain.
Abyss calls upon abyss, in the hoice of thy waterfalls.
All thy high things and thy waves have passed over me.
In the day the Lord hath commanded his mercy; and in the niht his song.
With me is prayer to the God of my life: I will say to God, thou art my defender.
Why hast thou forgotten me, and why go I sorrowful: whilst my enemy afflicts me?
Whilst my bones are broken, my enemies that afflict me have upbraided me.
Whilst they said to me every day: where is thy God? Why art thou sorrowful, O my soul, and why dost thou trouble me?
Hope in God, for I will still praise him: the salvation of my countenance, and my God.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord:
And let perpetual light shine on them.

Ant. My soul has thirsted after the living Gd: when shall I come and appear before the face of the Lord?

V. Ne tradas bestiis animas confitentes tibi.
℟. Et animas pauperum tuorum ne obliviscaris in finem.

V. Deliver not to beasts the souls that praise thee.
℟. And the souls of thy poor forget not to the end.

The poor, for whom the Versicle makes such earnest supplication, are, as before, the suffering souls.

After the silent recitation of the Pater noster by the Choir, the vome of Job is again heard, setting before us in. the name of the departed the vanity of this short hie, the darksome reahties of the tomb, and also, beyond this life and beyond the tomb, the glory to come at the final resurrection, when, in his every flesh every man shall see his God.

Seventh Lesson
(Job. xvii.)

Spiritus meus attentuabitur, dies mei breviabuntur, et solum mihi superest sepeulchrum. Non peccavi, et in amaritudinibus moratur oculus meus. Libera me, Domine, et pone me juxta te, et cujusvis manus pugnet contra me. Dies mei transierunt, cogitationes meae dissipatae sunt, torquentes cor meum. Noctem verterunt in diem, et rursum post tenebras spero lucem. Si sustinuero, infernus domus mea est, et in tenebris stravi lectulum meum. Putredini dixi: Pater meus es: mater mea, et soror mea, vermibus. Ubi est ergo nunc praestolation mea, et patientiam meam quis considerat?

My spirit shall be humbled; my days shall be shortened, and the grave only remains for me. I have not sinned, and my eye abides in bitterness. Deliver me, O Lord, and set me beside thee, and let any man’s hand fight against me. My days are passed, my thoughts are dissipated, tormenting my heart. Night they have turned into day, and again after darkness, I hope for light. If I shall expect, hell is my house, and in darkness I have made my bend. I have said to rottenness: thou art my father; my mother and sister; my mother and sister, to the worms. Where then is now my expectations and my patience who considers?

℟. Peccantem me quotidie, et non me poententem, timor mortis conturbat me: * Quia in inferno nulla est redemptio, miserere mei, Deus, et salva me.
V. Deus, in nomine tuo salvum me fac, et in virtute tua libera me. * Quia.

℟. The fear of death troubles me: sinning daily and not repenting: * because in hell there is no redemption, have mercy on me, O God, and save me.
V. O God, in thy name save me, and in thy strength deliver me: * because in hell.

Eighth Lesson
(Job. xix.)

Pelli meae, consumptis carnibus, adhaesit os meum, et derelicta sunt tantummodo labia circa dentes meos. Miseremini mei, miseremini mei, saltem vos amici mei, quia manus Domini tetigit me. Quare persequimini me sicut Deus, et carnibus meis saturamini? Quis mihi tribuat ut scribantur sermones me? Quis mihi det ut exarentur in libro stylo ferreo, et plumbi lamina, vel ceite sculpantur in silice? Scio enim quod Redemptor meus vivit, et in novissimo die de terra surrecturus sum: et rursum circumdabor pelle mea, et in carne mea videbo Deum meum. Quem visurus sum ego ipse, et oculi mei conspecturi sunt, et non alius: reposita est haec spes mea in sinu meo.

My flesh being consumed, my bone has cleaved to my skin, and there are left only lips about my teeth. Have mercy on me, have mercy on me, at least you my friends, because the hand of the Lord has touched me. Why do you persecute me as God, and are glutted with my flesh? Who will grant e that my words may be written? Who will grant me that they may be drawn in a book, with an iron pen, and on a place of lead, or else be graven with steel on a flint stone? For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the last day I shall rise out of the earth: and I shall be encompassed again with my skin, and in my flesh I shall see God my Saviour, whom I myself shall see, and my eyes shall behold, and not another: this my hope is laid up in my bosom.

℟. Domine, secundum actum meum noli me judicare: nihil dignum in conspectu tuo egi: ideo deprecor majestatem tuam, * Ut tu, Deus, deleas iniquitatem meam.
V. Amplius lava me, Domine, ab injustitia mea, et a delicto meo munda me. * Ut tu.

℟. Judge me not, O Lord, according to my deeds, for I have done nothing worthy in thy sight: therefore I beseech thy majesty, * that thou, O God, mayest blot out my iniquity.
V. Wash me, O Lord, yet more from my injustice, and cleanse me from my sin. * That.

Ninth Lesson
(Job. x.)

Quare de vulva eduxisti me? Qui utinam consumptus essem ne oculus me videret. Fuissem quasi non essem, de utero translatus ad tumulum. Numquid non paucitis dierum meorum finietur brevi? Dimitte ergo me, ut plangam paululum dolrem meum: antequam vadam, et non revertar, ad terram tenebrosam, et opertam mortis caligine: terram miseriae et tenebrarum, ubi umbra mortis, et nullus ordo, sed sempiternus horror inhabitat.

Why didst thou bring me forth out of the womb? O would to God I had been consumed, that eye might not see me. I had been as if I were not, translated from the womb to the grave. Shall not the fewness of my days be shortly ended? Suffer me then, that I may a little lament my sorrow; before I go, and return not, unto the dark land, that is covered with the mist of death, a land of misery and darkness, where the shadow of death, and no order, but everlasting horror, inhabits.

℟. Libera me, Domine, de morte aeterna, in die illa tremenda: * Quando coeli movendi sunt et terra: * Dum veneris judicare saeculum per ignem.
V. Tremens factus sum ego, et timeo, dum discussio venerit, atque ventura ira. * Quando.
V. Dies illa, dies irae, calamitatis et miseriae, dies magna et amara valde. * Dum veneris.
V. Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine: et lux perpeta luceat eis.
℟. Libera me usque ad primum V.

℟. Deliver me, O Lord, from eternal death, in that dreadful day, * when the heavens and earth are to be moved, * when thou shalt come to judge the world by fire.
V. I tremble and do fear, when the examination is to be, and thy wrath to come, * when the heavens and the earth are to be moved.
V. That day is the day of anger, of calamity, and of misery, a great day, and very bitter. * When thou.
V. Grant them eternal rest, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine on them.
℟. Deliver me, &c, to the first V.

Lauds Of The Dead

The Lauds for the Dead commence, like the Ferial Office throughout the year, with the 50th Psalm, which David composed after his sin, and in which gives the liveliest expression of his humble repentance. The Church makes use of it whenever she wishes to implore the mercy of God; and of all the Canticles of the Prophet-king, this one is the most familiar to Christians. In the place of expiation it seems to rise naturally to their lips.

Ant. Exsultabunt Domino ossa humiliata.

Ant. The humbled bones shall rejoice in the Lord.

Psalm 50

Miserere mei Deus: * secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum: * dele iniquitatem meam.
Amplius lava me ab iniquitate mea: * et a peccato meo munda me.
Quoniam iniquitatem meam ego cognosco: * et peccatum meum contra me est semper.
Tibi soli peccavi et malum coram te feci: * ut justifliceris in sermonibus tuis, et vincas cum judicaris.
Ecce enim in iniquitatibus conceptus sum: * est in peccatis concepit me mater mea.
Ecce enim veritatem dilexisti: * incerta et occulta sapientiae tuae manifestasti mihi.
Asperges me hyssopo et mundabor: * lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor.
Auditui meo dabis gaudium et laetitiam: * et exsultabunt ossa humiliata.
Averta facem tuam a peccatis meis: * et omnes iniquitates meas dele.
Cor mundum crea in me Deus: * et spiritum rectum innova in visceribus meis.
Ne projicias me a facie tua: * et Spiritum Sanctum tuum ne suferas a me.
Docebo iniquos vias tuas: * et impii ad te convertentur.
Libera me de sanguinibus Deus, Deus salutis meae: et exsultabit lingua mea justitiam tuam.
Quoniam si voluisses sacrificium, dedissem utique: * holocaustis non delectaberis.
Sacrificum Deo spiritus contribulatus: * cor contritum et humiliatum, Deus non despicies.
Benigne fac, Domine, in bona voluntate tua Sion: * ut aedificentr muri Jerusalem.
Tunc acceptable sacrifium justitiae, oblationes, et holocaust: * tunc imponent super altare tuum vitulos.
Requiem aeternam * dona eis Domine.
Et lux perpetua * luceat eis.

Ant. Exsultabunt Domino ossa humiliata.

Have mercy on me, O God; according to thy great mercy.
And according to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my iniquities.
Wash me yet more from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
Because I know my iniquity: and my sin is always against me.
To thee only have I sinned, and have done evil before thee, that thou mayest be justified in thy words, and overcome when thou art judged.
For behold I was conceived in iniquities: and in sins my mother conceived me.
For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast manifested to me.
Thou wilt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed: thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow.
To my hearing thou wilt give joy and gladness: and the humbled bones shall rejoice.
Turn away thy face from my sins: and blot out all my iniquities.
Create a clean heart in me, O God: and renew a right spirit within my bowels.
Cast me not away from they face: and take not away thy holy spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of thy salvation: and confirm me with a perfect spirit.
I will teach thy ways to the unjust: and the impious shall be converted to thee.
Deliver me from blood, O God, the God of my salvation: and my tongue shall extol thy justice.
Lord, thou wilt open my lips: and my mouth shall declare thy praise.
Because if thou wouldst have sacrifice, I had verily given it: with holocausts thou wilt not be delighted.
An afflicted sprit is a sacrifice to God: a contrite and humble heart, O God thou wilt not despise.
Deal favourably, O Lord, in thy good will with Sion: that the walls of Jerusalem may be built up.
They wilt thou accept a sacrifice of justice, oblations, and holocausts; then shall they lay calves on thy altar.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord:
And let perpetual light shine on them.

Ant. The humbled bones shall rejoice in the Lord.

The prolonged prayer of the faithful in union with their Mother the Church, is beginning to show its effects upon the departed. The time is growing shorter, the distance is dwindling, the land of promise begins to appear on the horizon. About to set out from Babylon, the captive tribes celebrate the sweet vision of their fatherland, with its fresh waters, its blessed hills, its fertile valleys; the happy Sion, the true Jerusalem, where God is praised as he deserves to be praised.

Ant. Exaudi Domine orationem meam: ad te omnis caro veniet.

Ant. Hear my prayer, O Lord: all flesh shall come to thee.

Psalm 64

Te decet hymnus Deus in Sion: * et tibi reddetur votum in Jerusalem.
Exaudi orationem meam: * ad te omnis caro veniet.
Verba iniquorum praevaluerunt super nos: * et impietatibus nostris tu propitiaberis.
Beatus, quem elegisti, et assumpsisti: * inhabitabit in striis tuis.
Replebimur in bonis domus tuae: * sanctum est templum tuum, mirabile in aequitate.
Exaudi nos deus salutaris noster: * spes omnium finium terrae, et in mari longe.
Praeparans montes in virtute tua, accinctus potentia: * qui conturbas profundum maris, sonum fluctuum ejus.
Turbabuntur Gentes, et timebunt qui habitant terminos a signis tuis: * exitus matutini et vespere delectabis.
Visitasti terram, et inebriasti eam: * multiplicasti locupletare eam.
Flumen Dei repletum est aquis, parasti cibum illorum: * quoniam ita est praeparatio ejus.
Rivos ejus inebria, multiplica genimina ejus: * in stillicidiis ejus laetabitur germinans.
Benedices coronae anni benignitatis tuae: * et campi tui replebuntur ubertate.
Pinguescent speciosa deserti: * et exsultatione colles accingentur.
Induti sunt arietes ovium, et valles abundabunt frumento: * clamabunt, etenim hymnum dicent.
Requiem aeternam * dona eis Domine.
Et luc perpetua * luceat eis.

Ant. Exaudi Domine orationem meam: ad te omnis caro veniet.

A hymn, O God, becomes thee in Sion: and a vow shall be rendered to thee in Jerusalem.
Hear my prayer: all flesh shall come to thee.
The words of the wicked have prevailed over us; and thou wilt be propitious to our impieties.
Blessed is he whom thou hast chosen and taken: he shall dwell in thy courts.
We shall be filled with the good things of thy house: holy is thy temple: wonderful in equity.
Hear us, O God, our Saviour: the hope of all the bounds of the earth, and in the sea afar off.
Preparing mountains in thy strength, girded with power: who troublest the depth of the sea and the sound of its waives.
The nations shall be troubled, and they that inhabit the borders shall be afraid of thy signs : the end of the morning and evening thou shalt delight.
Thou hast visited the earth, and hast inebriated it : thou hast greatly enriched it.
The river of God is replen­ished with waters, thou hast prepared their meat : because so is the preparation thereof.
Inebriate its rivers, multiply its fruits : in its drops it shall rejoice springing.
Thou wilt bless the circle of the year of thy goodness : and thy fields shall be filled with plenty.
The beautiful places of the desert shall be fat, and the lit­tle hills encompassed with joy.
The rams of the sheep are clothed, and the valleys shall abound with corn : they shall cry out, yes, they shall sing a hymn.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord :
And let perpetual light shine on them.

Ant. Hear my prayer, O Lord : all flesh shall come to thee.

It is dawn in Purgatory; and therefore the Church here inserts the usual third Psalm of her morning Office on earth. It is the expression of the Christian's love and confidence, as he raises his heart to God at day-break. This Psalm is always joined with the 66th, in which the Psalmist, at the rising of the material sun, begs of God to enlighten the world with the brightness of his merciful countenance.

Ant. Me suscepit dextera tua Domine.

Ant. Thy right hand, O Lord, hs received me.

Psalm 62

Deus, Deus meus: * ad te de luce vigilo.
Sitivit in te anima mea: * quam multipliciter tibi caro mea.
In terra deserts, et invia, et inssquosa: * sic in sancto apparui tibi, ut viderem virtutem tuam et gloriam tuam.
Quoniam melior est misericordia tua super vitae: * labia mea laudabunt te.
Sic benedicam te in vita mea: * et in nomine tuo levabo manus meas.
Sicut adipe et pinguedine repleatur anima mea: * et labiis exsultationis laudabit os meum.
Si memor fui tui super stratum meum, in matutinis meditabor in te: * quia fuisti adjutor meus.
Et in velamento alarum tuarum exsultabo; adhaesit anima mea post te: * me suscepit dextera tua.
Ipsi vero in vanum quaesierunt animam meam: introibunt in inferiora terrae: * tradentur in manus gladii, partes vulpium erunt.
Rex vero laetabitur in Deo, laudabuntur omnes qui jurant in eo: * quia obstructum est os loquentium iniqua.

O God, my God, to thee I watch from the morning light.
My soul has thirsted after thee: as also my flesh very much.
In a desert land, inaccessi­ble, and without water: so in the holy place have I appeared to thee, to behold thy strength and glory.
Because thy mercy is better than lives: my lips shall praise thee.
So will I bless thee in my life: and in thy name will I lift up my hands.
As with marrow and fatness let my soul be filled: and my mouth shall praise with lips of joyfulness.
If I have been mindful of thee on my bed, in the morn­ing I will meditate on thee: because thou hast been my helper.
And under the cover of thy wings I will rejoice ; my soul has cleaved after thee: thy right hand has received me.
But they have sought my soul in vain, they shall enter into the lower parts of the earth: they shall be delivered into the power of the sword, they shall be the portion of foxes.
But the king shall reioice in God ; all shall be praised, that swear by him: because the mouth of those who speak wicked things is stopped.

Psalm 66

Deus misereatur nostri, et benedicat nobis: * illuminet vultum suum super nos, et misereatur nostri.
Ut cognoscamus in terr viam tuam: * in omnibus Genticus salutare tuum.
Confiteantur tibi populi Deus: * confiteantur tibi populi omnes.
Laetentur et exsultent Gentes: * quoniam judicas populos in aequitate, et Gents in terra dirigis.
Confiteantur tibi populi Deus, confiteantur tibi populi omnes: * terra dedit fructum suum.
Benedicat nos Deus, Deus noster, benedicat nos Deus: * et metnant eum omnes fines terrae.
Requiem aeternam * dona eis Domine:
Et lux perpetua * luceat eis.

Ant. Me suscepit dextera tua Domine.

May God have mercy on us, and bless us : may he make his countenance shine upon us, and have mercy on us.
That we may know thy way on earth: thy salvation in all the nations.
Let people, O God, praise thee: let all the people praise thee.
Let nations be glad and re­joice : because thou judgest the people with equity, and directest the nations on the earth.
Let people, O God, praise thee ; let all people, O God, praise thee : the earth has yielded its fruit.
May God, our God, bless us, may God bless us : and may all the bounds of the earth fear him.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord :
And let perpetual light shine on them.

Ant. Thy right hand, O Lord, has received me.

Holy Saturday, which the Man-God spent in Limbo, is the great day for the faithful departed. The Church therefore, as she daily sings a Canticle at this point in her morning Lauds, puts today upon the lips of her suffering children the Canticle of Ezechias. On the great Saturday it expressed the words of Christ praying for his speedy deliverance. It is also accompanied by the same Antiphon as on that occasion.

Canticle of Ezechias.

Ego dixi: in dimidio dierum meorum: * vadam ad portas inferi.
Quaesivi residuum annorum meorum: * dixi: Non videbo Dominum Deum in terra viventium.
Non aspiciam hominem utra: * et habitatorem quietis.
Generatio mea ablata est, et convoluta est a me: * quasi tabernaculum pastorum.
Praecisa est velut a texente vita mea: dum adhuc ordirer, succidit me: * de mane usque ad vesperam finies me.
Sperabam usque ad mane: * quasi leo six contribit omnia ossa mea.
De mane usque ad vesperam finies me: * sicut pullus hirundinis six clamabo, meditabor ut columba.
Attenuati sunt oculi mei: * suspicientes in excelsum.
Domine vim patior, responde pro me: * quid dicam, aut quid respondebit mihi, cum ipse fecerit?
Recogitabo tibi omnes annos meos: * in amaritudine animae meae.
Domine, si sic vivitur, et in talibus vita spiritus mei, corripies me, et vivificabis me: * ecce in pace amaritudo mea amarissima.
Tu autem eruisti animam meam ut non periret: * projecisti post tergum tuum omnia peccata mea.
Quia non infernus confitebitur tibi, neque mors laudabit te: * non exspectabunt qui descendunt in lacum veritatem tuam.
Vivens vivens ipse confitebitur tibi, sicut et ego hodie: * pater filiis notam faciet veritatem tuam.
Domine salvum me fac: * et psalmos nostros catabimus cunctis diebus vitae nostrae in domo Domini.
Requiem aeternam * dona eis Domine.
Et lux perpetua * luceat eis.

Ant. A porta inferi erue Domine animam meam.

I have said : in the midst of my days I shall go to the gates of hell.
I have sought the residue of my years : I have said, I shall not see the Lord God in the land of the living.
I shall behold man no more : and the inhabitant of my rest.
My generation is taken away, and is folded up from me : as the tent of shepherds.
My life is cut off as by a weaver; whilst I yet began he cut me off: between morn­ing and night thou wilt make an end of me.
I hoped until the morning : as a lion so has he broken all my bones.
Between morning and even­ing thou wilt make an end of me: as a young swallow so will I cry, I will meditate as a dove.
My eyes are weakened : looking up on high.
Lord, I suffer violence, an­swer for me ; what shall I say, or what shall he answer me, whereas himself has done it?
I will relate to thee all my years: in the bitterness of my soul.
Lord, if man's life be such, and the life of my spirit in such things, thou shalt chas­tise me and enliven me: behold, in peace is my bitterness most bitter.
But thou hast delivered my soul, that it should not perish: thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.
Because hell shall not praise thee, neither shall death praise thee : they that go down into the lake shall not expect thy truth.
He that lives, he that lives shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father shall make thy truth known to the children.
Lord, save me : and we will sing our psalms all the days of our life in the house of the Lord.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord :
And let perpetual light shine on them.

Ant. From the gate of hell deliver my soul, O Lord.

Let every spirit, everything that breathes, praise the Lord In Purgatory love is overflowing, praise becomes the sole occupation, for heaven is at hand. Absolute self-forgetfulness characterizes the close of the painful purification. Had the soul to remain still longer in the expiatory fire, it would not hurt her, since she has no longer any stain or rust for the flame to consume, but is full of God, incapable of any other sentiment than the desire of his glory.

Ant. Omnis spiritus laudet Dominum.

Ant. Let every spirit praise the Lord.

Psalm 148

Laudate Dominum de coelis: * laudate eum in excelsis.
Laudate eum omnes Angeli ejus: * laudate eum omnes virtutes ejus.
Laudate eum sol et luna: * laudate eum omnes stellae, et lumen.
Laudate sum oceli ccelo­ram: * et aquae omnes, quae super coelos sunt, laudent nomen Domini.
Quia ipse dixit et facta sunt: * ipse mandavit et creata aunt.
Statuit es in aeternum, et in saeculum saeculi: * praeceptum posuit, et non praeteribit.
Laudate Dominum de terra: * dracones, et omnes abyssi.
Ignis, grando, nix, glacies, spiritus procellarum: * quae faciunt verbum ejus.
Montes, et omnes colles: * ligna fructifers, et omnes cedri.
Bestiae, et universa pecora: * serpentes, et volucres pennatae.
Reges terrae, et omnes populi: * principes, et omnes judices terrae.
Juvenes et virgines, senes cum junioribus laudent nomen Domini: * quia exaltatum est nomen ejus solius.
Confessio ejus super coelum et terram: * et exaltavit cornu populi sui.
Hymnus omnibus sanctis ejus: * filiis Israel, populo appropinquanti sibi.

Praise the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the highest places.
Praise ye him all his angels; praise ye him all his powers.
Praise ye him sun and moon: praise him all ye stars and light.
Praise him ye heavens of heavens ; and let all the waters that are above the heavens praise the name of the Lord.
Because he spoke, and they were made; he commanded, and they were created.
He established them forever, and world without end ; he made a precept not to be annulled.
Praise the Lord from the earth; ye dragons and all abysses.
Fire, hail, snow, ice, tempestuous winds ; which obey his word.
Mountains and all hills ; fruit-bearing trees and all cedars.
Beasts and all cattle ; serpents and feathered fowls.
Kings of the earth and all people; princes and all judges of the earth.
Youths and virgins, the old with the young, let them praise the name of the Lord ; because his name alone is exalted.
The praise of him is above heaven and earth : and he has exalted the horn of his people.
A hymn to all his saints; to the children of Israel, a people approaching to him.

Psalm 149

Cantate Domino canticum novum: * laus ejus in Ecclesia sanctorum.
Laetetur Israel in eo, qui fecit eum: * et filii Sion exsultent in rege suc.
Laudent nomen ejus in choro: * in tympano et psalterio psallant ei.
Qui beneplacitum est Deomino in populo suc: * et exaltabit mansuetos in salutem.
Exsultabunt sancti in gloria: * letabuntur in cubilibus suis.
Exaltationes Dei in guture eorum: * et gladii ancipites in manibus eorum.
Ad faciendam vindictam in nationibus: * increpationes in populis.
Ad alligandos reges eorum in compedibus: * et nobiles eorum in manicis ferreis.
Ut faciant in eis judicium conscriptum: * gloria haec est omnibus sanctis ejus.

Sing to the Lord a new song: let his praise be in the church of his saints.
Let Israel be joyful in him that made him: and let the children of Sion rejoice in their king.
Let them praise his name in choir: on the timbrel and psalter let them sing to him.
Because the Lord is well pleased in his people: and he will exalt the meek to salvation.
The saints shall rejoice in glory; they shall rejoice in their resting-places.
The exaltations of God shall be in their mouths; and two-edged swords in their hands.
To execute vengeance on nations: chastisements among the people.
To bind their kings in fetters; and their nobles in iron manacles.
That they may execute on them the judgment that is written; this glory is to all his saints.

Psalm 150

Laudate dominum in sanctis ejus: * laudate eum in firmamento virtutis ejus.
Laudate eum in virtutibus ejus: * laudate eum secundum multitudinem magnitudinis ejus.
Laudate eum in sono tubae: * laudate eum in psalterio et cithars.
Laudate eum in tympano et choro: * laudate eum in chordis et organo.
Laudate eum in cymbalis benesonantibus, laudate eum in cymbalis jubilationis: * omnis spiritus laudet Dominum.
Requiem aeternam * dona eis Domine.
Et lux perpetua * luceat eis.

Ant. Omnis spiritus laudet Dominum.

Praise the Lord in his holy places: praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him in his powers: praise him according to his exceeding greatness.
Praise him in the sound of trumpet ; praise him on the psaltery and harp.
Praise him on the timbrel and in the choir: praise him on strings and organs.
Praise him on well-sounding cymbals, praise him on cymbals of joyfulness: let every spirit praise the Lord.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord :
And let perpetual light shine on them.

Ant. Let every spirit praise the Lord.

Again, as at the close of Vespers, the cry of joy contained in the Versicle comes down to us from heaven.

V. Audivi vocem de coelo dicentem mihi.
℟. Beati mortui qui in Domino moriuntur.

V. I hear a voice from heaven saying to me:
℟. Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord.

And in the Canticle of Zachary, the Church, to­gether with all the souls delivered or comforted by her liturgical suffrages, thanks the Lord God of Israel who has visited and redeemed his people. We too re­turn thanks, for our beloved dead, to him who is the resurrection and the life, and who never abandons, even in death, those who believed in him during their earthly sojourn.


Ant. Ego sum resurrectio et vita: qui credit in me, etiam si mortuus fuerit, vivet: et omnis qui vivit et credit in me, non morietur in aeternum.

Ant. I am the resurrection and the life: he that believes in me, though he be dead, shall live; and every one that lives, and believes in me, shall never die.

Canticle of Zachary

Benedictus Dominum Deus Israel: * quia visitavit, et fecit redemptionem plebis suae.
Et erexit cornu salutia nobis: * in domo David pueri sui.
Sicut locutus est per os sanctorum: * qui a saeculo sunt, prophetarum ejus.
Salutem ex inimicis nostris: * et de manu omnium qui oderunt nos.
Ad faciendam misericordiam cum patribus nostris: * et memorari testamenti sui sancti.
Jusjurandum, quod juravit ad Abraham patrem nostrum: * daturum se nobis.
Ut sine timore, de manu inimicorum nostrorum liberati: * serviamus illi.
In sanctitate et justitia coram ipso: * omnibus diebus nostris.
Et tu puer, Propheta Altissimi vocaberis: * praeibis enim ante faciem Domini parare vias ejus.
Ad dandam scientiam salutis plebi ejus: * in remissionem peccatorum eorum.
Per viscera misericordiae Dei nostri: * in quibus visitavit nos, oriens ex alto.
Illuminare his, qui in tenebris, et in umbra mortis sedent: * ad dirigendos pedes nostros in viam pacis.
Requiem aeternam * dona eis Domine.
Et lux perpetua * luceat eis.

Ant. Ego sum resurrectio et vita: qui credit in me, etiam si mortuns fuerit, vivet: et omnis qui vivit et credit in me, non morietur in aeternum.

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; because he has visited and wrought the redemption of his people.
And he has raised up the horn of salvation to us; in the house of David his servant.
As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets: that were from the beginning.
Salvation from our enemies: and from the hand of all that hate us.
To work mercy with our fathers; and remember his holy testament.
The oath which he swore to Abraham our father: that he would grant us.
That being delivered from the hand of our enemies; we may serve him without fear.
In holiness and justice be­fore him : all our days.
And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways.
To give the knowledge of salvation to his people; for the remission of their sins.
By the bowels of the mercy of our God, in which the orient from on high has visited us.
To enlighten them that sit in darkness and in the shades of death; to direct our feet in the way of peace.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord:
And let perpetual light shine on them.

Ant. I am the resurrection and the life: he that believes in me, though he be dead, shall live; and every one that lives, and believes in me, shall never die.

The Priest commences, and the whole assembly receites kneeling, the Lord’s Prayer.

Pater noster.

Our Father.

The rest is said in silence as far as this conclusion, which is followed by the Versicles and Prayer that close the Office of the Dead.

V. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem.
℟. Sed libera nos a malo.

V. A porta inferi.
℟. Erue Domine animas eorum.

V. Requiescant in pace.
℟. Amen.

V. Domine exaudi orationem meam.
℟. Et clamor meus ad to veniat.

V. Dominus vobiscum.
℟. Et cum spiritu tuo.

V. And lead us not into temptation.
℟. But deliver us from evil.

V. From the gate of hell.
℟. Deliver their souls, O Lord.

V. May they rest in peace.
℟. Amen.

V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
℟. And let my cry come to thee.

V. The Lord be with you.
℟. And with thy spirit.


Fidelium Deus omnium Conditor et Redemptor, animabus famulorum famulatumque tuarum remissionem cunctorum tribue peccatorum: ut indulgentiam, quam semper optaverunt, piis supplicationibus consequantur. Qui vivis et regnas cum Deo Patre in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.

℟. Amen.

O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, give to the souls of thy servants, men and women, the remission of all their sins: that by pious supplications they may obtain the pardon which they have always desired. Who livest and reignest with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost one God, world without end.

℟. Amen.

V. Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine.
℟. Et lux perpetua luceat eis.

V. Requiescant in pace.
℟. Amen.

V. Eternal rest give to them, O Lord.
℟. And let perpetual light shine on them.

V. May they rest in peace.
℟. Amen.




Today the Roman Church doubles her task of daily service to the divine Majesty. The Commemoration of the Dead does not distract her from the Saints. The Office of the second day within the Octave preceded the Dirge; Tierce of All Saints has been followed by the corresponding Mass; and it is after None of the same Office that the holy Sacrifice is offered for the faithful departed.

On account of this increase, and her solicitude to maintain the harmony she has established between the two liturgical objects of this day, Rome has never countenanced the extension of a privilege existing in Spain, which allows each Priest to offer three Masses for the Dead. For a long period Rome alone, with a few churches that kept the most closely to her, recited the Office of All Saints on the second of November. Most of the Western churches said only that of the Dead. At the day Hours, as well as at Matins and Lauds, the Hymn and the Deus in adjutorium were suppressed; the ordinary Psalms were concluded with Requiem aeternam; and the Collect for the Dead was said at the close, as is still the custom among the Friars Preachers. The one Solemn Mass, that of the Dead, was celebrated after Tierce. This Commemoration of the faithful departed usually ended at None; but Cluny maintained, up to last century, the custom of celebrating second Vespers.

As to the obligation of resting from servile works on All Souls' day, it was of semi-precept in England, the more necessary works being permitted; in some places the obligation lasted only till mid-day; in others assistance at Mass was alone enjoined. For some time, Paris kept the 2nd November as a Feast of obligation; in 1673 the command to observe it until mid-day was retained in the statutes by the Archbishop Francis de Harlay. The precept no longer exists, even at Rome.

The remark of Amalarius, quoted above with regard to the Office of the Dead, is no less applicable to the Mass. Not to mention the suppression of the Gloria in excelsis and of the Alleluia, the Priest omits the Psalm Judica me at the foot of the Altar, as in Passiontide. As on Good Friday, he is clothed in black vestments; most of the blessings are omitted, as also the kiss of peace, and the various marks of honour shown to the celebrant; the altar is thurified but once; and the singing of the Gospel is done as on that great day, viz: the Deacon receives no blessing from the Celebrant, lights and incense are not used, and the Priest does not kiss the sacred text. So closely, even in death, does the Church draw her children to him whose members they are.

The Introit Antiphon is the same earnest suppli­cation, which takes the place of every doxology throughout the Office, and which was suggested by a passage in the fourth Book of Esdras.[20] The Verse is taken from the second Psalm of Lauds.


Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine: et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Ps. Te decet hymnus Deus in Sion, et tibi reddetur votum in Jerusalem: exaudi orationem meam, ad te omnis caro veniet. Requiem.

Eternal rest give to them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them.
Ps. A hymn, O God, be­cometh thee in Sion ; and a vow shall be paid to thee in Jerusalem: O Lord, hear my prayer; all flesh shall come to thee. Eternal rest, &c.

In the Collect, Mother Church makes her own the prayer of the suffering souls; she presents it to her Spouse, God made Man, calling him by his titles of Creator and Redeemer; for these titles remind him of all he has done for these souls, and invite him to perfect his work.


Fidelium Deus omninum Conditor et Redemptor, animabus famulorum famularumque tuarum remissionam conctorum tribue peccatorum: ut indulgentiam, quam semper optaverunt, piis supplicationibus consequantur. Qui vivis et regnas cum Deo Patre in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.

O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, give to the souls of thy servants, men and women, the remis­sion of all their sins; that by pious supplications they may obtain the pardon which they have always desired. Who livest and reignest with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.


Lectio Epistolae beati Pauli Apostoli ad Corinthios.
I. Cap. xv.

Fratres: ecce mysterium vobis dico: Omnes quidem resurgemus, sed non omnes immutatimur. In momento, in ictu oculi, in novissima tuba, canet enim tuba et mortui resurgent incorrupti: et nos immutabimur. Oportet enim corruptibile hoc induere incorruptionem: et mortale hoc indurere immortalitatem. Cum autem mortale hoc induerit immortalitatem, tunc fiet sermo, qui scriptus est: Absorpta est mors in victoria. Ubi est, mors, victoria tua? Ubi est, mors, stimulus tuus? Stimulus autem mortis peccatum est: virtus vero peccati lax. Dec autum gratias, ui dedit nobis victoriam per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum.

Lesson of the Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians.
I. Chap. xv.

Brethren, behold, I tell you a mystery: we shall all in­deed rise again, but we shall not all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an. eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall rise again incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality. And when this mortal hath put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy victory? O death where is thy sting? Now the sting of death is sin: the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who hath given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

While the soul is supplying in Purgatory for the insufficiency of her expiations, the body she has quitted returns to the earth in virtue of the sentence pronounced against Adam and his race from the beginning of the world. But, with regard to the body as well as the soul, justice is full of love; its claims are a prelude to the glory which awaits the whole man. The humiliation of the tomb is the just punishment of original sin; but in this return of man to the earth from whence he sprang, St. Paul would have us recognize the sowing necessary for the transformation of the seed, which is destined to live again under very different conditions. For flesh and blood cannot poems the kingdom of God;[21] neither can corruptible members aspire to immortality. The

Immortality. The body of the Christian, which St. Ignatius of Antioch calls the wheat of Christ, is oast into the tomb, as it were into the furrow, there to leave its own corrup­tion, the form of the first Adam with its heaviness and infirmity; but by the power of the new Adam reforming it to his own likeness, it shall spring up all heavenly and spiritualized, agile, impassible, and glorious. Blessed be he, who willed to die for us in order to destroy death, and to make his own victory ours!

In the Gradual, the Church continues to pray for the deliverance of the departed souls/


Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine: et lux perpetua luceat eis.
V. In memoria aeterna erit justus: ab aditone mala non timebit.

Eternal rest give to them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. The just shall be in ever­lasting remembrance; he shall not fear the evil hearing.


Absolve, Domine, animas omnium fidelium defunctorum ab omni vinculo delictorum.
V. Et gratia tua illis succurrente, mereantur evadere judicium ultonis.
V. Et lucis aeternae beatitudine perfrui.

Absolve, O Lord, the souls of all the faithful departed from every bond of sins.
V. And by the help of thy grace may they be enabled to escape the judgment of pun­ishment.
V. And enjoy the happiness of light eternal.

The Church, as we shall see, did not formerly exclude from the funerals of her children the joyful Alleluia; it expressed the happiness she felt at the thought that a holy death had secured heaven to the new elect, although his expiation might not yet be completed. But the adaptation of the Liturgy for the Dead to the rites of Holy Week havin altered this ancient custom, it would seem that the uenoe, originally a festive sequel to the Alleluia, ought also to be excluded from the Requiem Mass. Rome, however, has made a welcome exception to the traditional rule, in favour of the remarkable poem of Thomas de Celano. This and the Stabat Hater of Fra Jaoopone have won renown for the Franciscan lyre. The Dies irce was first sung in Italy in the fourteenth century and in two centuries more it had spread to the entire Church.


Dies irae, dies illa,
Solvet saeclum in favilla,
Teste David cum Sibylla.

Quantus tremor est futurus,
Quando Judex est venturus,
Cuncta stricte discussurus.

Tuba mirum spargens sonum
Per sepulchra regionum,
Coget omnes ante thronum.

Mors stupebit et natura,
Cum resurget creatura,
Judicanti responsura.

Liber scriptus proferetur
In quo totum continetur,
Unde mundus judicetur.

Judex ergo cum sedebit,
Quidquid latet, apparebit:
Nil inultum remanebit.

Quid sum miser tunc dictutus?
Quem patronum rogaturus
Cum vix justus sit securus?

Rex tremendae majestatis,
Qui salvandos salvas gratis,
Salva rae, fons pietatis.

Recordare, Jesu pie,
Quod sum causa tuae viae:
Ne me perdas illa die.

Quaerena me, sedisti lassus:
Redemisti, crucem passus:
Tantus labor non sit cassus.

Juste judex ultionis,
Donum fac remissionis
Ante diem rationis.

Ingemisco, tamquam reus;
Culpa rubet vultus meus:
Supplicanti parce, Deus.

Qui Mariam absolvisti,
Et latronem exaudisti,
Mihi quoque spem dedisti.

Preces meae non sunt diguae:
Sed tu bonus fac benige
Ne perenni cremer igne.

Inter oves locum praesta,
Et ab hoedis me sequestra,
Statuena in parte dextra.

Confutatis maledictis,
Flammis scribus addictis:
Voca me cum benedictis.

Oro supplex et acclinis,
Cor contritum quasi cinis,
Gere curam mei finis.

Lacrymosa dies illa,
Qua resurget ex favilla
Judicandus homo reus:

Huic ergo parce, Deus.
Pie Jesu Domine,
Dona eis requiem.


The day of wrath, that awful day,
shall reduce the world to ashes,
as David and the Sibyl prophesied.[22]

How great will be the ter­ror,
when the Judge shall come
to examine all things rigorously!

The trumpet, with astound­ing blast,
echoing over the sepulchres of the whole world,
shall summon all before the throne.

Death and nature will stand aghast,
when the creature shall rise again,
to answer before his Judge.

The written book shall be brought forth,
containing all for which
the world must be judged.

When, therefore, the Judge shall be seated,
whatsoever is hidden shall be brought to light;
nought shall remain unpunished.

What then shall I, unhappy man, allege?
Whom shall I invoke as protector?
When even the just shall hardly be secure.

O King of awful majesty,
who of thy free gift savest them that are to be saved,
save me, O fount of mercy!

Remember, O loving Jesus,
'twas for my sake thou tamest on earth:
let me not, then, be lost on that day.

Seeking me thou satest weary;
thou redeemedst me by dying on the Cross:
let not such suffering be all in vain.

O righteous Awarder of punishment,
grant me the gift of pardon
before the reckoning-day.

I groan as one guilty,
while I blush for my sins:
oh! Spare thy suppliant, my God!

Thou didst absolve Mary Magdalen,
and didst hear the prayer of the thief:
to me, then, thou hast also given hope.

My prayers deserve not to be heard;
but thou art good: grant, in thy kindness,
that I may not burn in the un­quenchable fire.

Give me a place among thy sheep,
separating me from the goats
and setting me on thy right hand.

When the reprobate, cover­ed with confusion,
shall have been sentenced to the cruel flames,
call me with the blessed.

Prostrate in supplication I implore thee,
with a heart contrite as though crushed to ashes;
oh! Have a care of my last hour!

A mournful day that day shall be,
when from the dust shall arise.
Guilty man, that he may be judged;

spare him, then, O God!
O tender Lord Jesus,
give them eternal rest.



Sequentia sanci Evangelii secundum Johannem.
Cap. v.

In illo tempore: Dixit Jesus turbia Judaeorum: Amen, amen dico vobis, quia venit hora, et nunc est, quando mortui audient vocem Filii Dei: et qui audierint, vivent. Sicut enim Pater habet vitam in semetipso: sic dedit et Filio habere vitam in semetipso: et potestatem dedit ei judicium facere, quia Filius hominis est. nolite mirari hoc, quia venit hora, in qua omnes qui in monumentis sunt, audient vocem Filii Dei: et procedent, qui bona fecerunt, in resurrectionem vitae: qui vero mala ergerunt, in resurrectionem judicii.

Sequel of the holy Gospel according to St. John.
Chap. v.

At that time Jesus said to the multitudes of the Jews, Amen, amen, I say unto you, that the hour cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself, so he hath given to the Son also to have life in himself: and he hath given him power to do judgment, because he is the Son of man. Wonder not at this, for the hour cometh wherein all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that have done good things shall come forth unto the resurrection of life, but they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment.

Purgatory is not eternal. Its duration varies ac­cording to the sentence pronounced at each particular judgment. It may be prolonged for centuries in the case of the more guilty souls, or of those who, being excluded from the Catholic communion, are deprived of the suffrages of the Church, although by the divine mercy they have escaped hell. But the end of the world, which will be also the end of time, will close forever the place of temporary expiation. God will know how to reconcile his justice and his goodness in the purification of the last members of the human race, and to supply by the intensity of the expiatory suffering what may be wanting in duration. But, whereas a favourable sentence at the particular judgment admits of eternal beatitude being suspended, and postponed, and leaves the bodies of the elect to the same fate as those of the reprobate; at the universal judgment, every sentence, whether for heaven or for hell, will be absolute, and will be executed immediately and completely. Let us, then, live in expectation of the solemn hour, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God.[23] He that is to come, will come and will not delay, as the Doctor of the Gentiles reminds us; his arrival will be sudden, as that of a thief, we are told, not only by St. Paul, but also by the Prince of the Apostles and the Beloved Disciple; and these in turn are but echoing the words of our Lord himself: As lightning cometh out of the East and appeareth even unto the West: so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.

Let us enter into the sentiments contained in the beautiful Offertory. Although the poor suffering souls are sure of their eternal blessedness, yet they entered upon this road to heaven at a moment of utmost peril: the supreme effort of the devil in his last assault, and the agony of the judgment. The Church, therefore, extending her prayer to every stage of this painful way, does not forget its opening. Nor is she afraid of being too late; for, to God, who sees all times at one glance, this day's supplication was present at the moment of the dread passage, and obtained assistance for the straitened souls. This same prayer follows them also in their struggles with the powers of hell, when God permits these, according to the revelations of the Saints, to be the ministers of his justice in the place of expiation. At this solemn moment, when the Church is offering her gifts for the tremendous and all-powerful Sacrifice, let us redouble our prayers for the faithful departed. Let us implore their deliverance from the jaws of the infernal lion. Let us obtain from the glorious Archangel, whom God has set over Paradise and appointed to lead souls thither,[24] that he would bear them up to the light, to life, to God, who is himself the reward promised to all believers in the person of their father Abraham.


Domine jesu Christe, Rex gloriae, libera animas omnium fidelium defunctorum de poenis inferni, et de profundo lacu: libera eas de ore leonis, ne absorbeat eas tartarus, ne cadant in obsecurum: sed signifer sanctus Michael repraesentet eas in lucem sanctam:
* Quam olim Abrahae promisisti et semini ejus.
V. hostias et preces tibi, Domine, laudis offerimus: tu suscipe pro animabus illis, quarum hodie memoriam facimus: fac eas, Domine, de morte transire ad vitam.
* Quam olim.

O Lord Jesus Christ, King of glory, deliver the souls of all the faithful departed from the pains of hell and from the deep pit : deliver them from the mouth of the lion, that hell may not swallow them. up, and they may not fall into darkness, but may the holy standard-bearer Michael in­troduce them to the holy light;
* Which thou didst promise of old to Abraham and to his seed.
V. We offer to thee, O Lord, sacrifices and prayers: do thou receive them in behalf of those souls whom we commemorate this day. Grant them, O Lord, to pass from death to life;
* Which thou didst pro­mise of old to Abraham and to his seed.

The holy souls had the gift of faith, and did the works of faith, while on earth; their eternal reward is therefore secured, and God mercifully accepts the offerings we make for them, as the Secret implies.


Hostias, quaesumus Domine, quas tibi pro animabus famulorum famularumque tuarum offerimus, propitiatus intnde: ut quibus fidei christianae meritum contulisti, dones et praemium. Per Dominum.

Mercifully look down upon this sacrifice which we offer to thee for the souls of thy servants, O Lord, we beseech thee; that to those to whom thou didst grant the merit of Christian faith thou mayest also grant its reward. Through our Lord.

At the Agnus Dei, instead of asking as usual for peace for the living, we pray that the dead may have eternal rest.

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona eis requiem.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona eis requiem.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona eis requiem sempiternam.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, give them rest.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, give them rest.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, give them eternal rest

Like myriad silent snowflakes falling earthward on a winter's day, the delivered souls, white and lovely, are mounting heavenward at this hour, when the Church, the whole world over, concluding her long supplications, pours over the expiatory flames the sacred Blood of Redemption. Strong in the power given to our prayer by our participation in the divine mysteries, let us say with her in the Communion Antiphon:


Lux aeterna luceat eis, Domine, * Cum sanctis tuis in aeternum, quia pius es.
V. Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine: et lux perpetua luceat eis. * Cum Sanctis.

May light eternal shine upon them, O Lord: * With thy saints for ever, because thou art merciful.
V. Eternal rest give to them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them. * With thy saints.

Such, however, is the impenetrable and adorable mystery of God's justice, which baffles all human conception, that for some souls the expiation must still be prolonged. The Church, then, without growing weary or losing hope, prolongs her prayer also in the Postcommunion. Moreover, at every Hour of the daily Divine Office, and at every Mass offered throughout the year, the faithful departed are remembered by their Mother.


Animabus, quaesumus Domine, famulorum famularumque tuarum oration proficiat supplicantium: ut eas et a peccatis omnibus exuas, et tuae redemptionis facias esse participes. Qui vivis.

We beseech thee, O Lord, that the prayer of thy suppliants may benefit the souls of thy servants; that thou mayest deliver them from all their sins, and make them. partakers of thy redemption. Who livest.

In Masses in which the Gloria in excelsis is omitted, Benedicamus Domino is said instead of Ite missa est, but in Masses for the Dead the following petition is substituted,

Requiescant in pace.
℟. Amen.

May they rest in peace.
℟. Amen.

The Absolution

After Mass, the Clergy preceded by the Cross range themselves round the catafalque, which is placed in the nave of the church, to represent the dead, at the very spot where their bodies once rested before the altar of God. The cantors intone the ninth Responsory of Matins; it is followed by the Prayers said at the conclusion of the Office, during the singing of which, the Priest honours the dead with holy water and incense, as on each one's funeral-day. This rite is called Absolution from the Prayer Absolve, the one most frequently used, although, as today, the Collect of the Mass may be chosen instead, or some other Prayer according to circumstances.


Libera me Domine, de morte aeterna, in die illa tremenda: * Quando coeli movendi sunt et terra: * Dum veneris judicare saeculum per ignem.

V. Tremens factus sum ego, et timeo, dum discussio venerit, atque ventura ira, * Quando.
V. Dies illa, dies irae, calamitatis et miseriae, dies magna et amara valde. * Dum veneris.
V. Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine: et lux perpetua luceat eis.
V. Libera me, usque ad primum V.

Kyrie, eleison.
Christe, eleison.
Kyrie, eleison.

Pater noster, quod secreto prosequitur.
V. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem.
℟. Sed libera nos a malo.

V. A porta inferi.
℟. Erue Domine animas eorum.
V. Requiescant in pace.
℟. Amen.

V. Domine exaudi orationem meam.
℟. Et clamor meus ad te veniat.

V. Dominus vobiscum.
℟. Et cum spiritu tuo.

Deliver me, O Lord, from eternal death, in that dread­ful day, * when the heavens and earth are to be moved, * when thou shalt come to judge the world by fire.

V. I tremble and do fear, when the examination is to be, and thy wrath to come. * When the heavens and the earth are to be moved.
V. That day is the day of anger, of calamity, and of misery, a great day, and very bitter, * when thou shalt come to judge the world by fire.
V. Grant them eternal rest, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine on them.
V. Deliver me, as far as the first V.

Lord have mercy upon us.
Christ have mercy upon us.
Lord have mercy upon us.

Our Father, the rest in secret.
V. And lead us not into temptation.
℟. But deliver us from evil.

V. From the gate of hell.
℟. Deliver their souls, O Lord.
V. May they rest in peace.
℟. Amen.

V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
℟. And let my cry come unto thee.

V. The Lord be with you.
℟. And with thy spirit.


Absolve, quaesumus Domine, animas famulorum famularumque tuarum ab omni vinculo delictorum: ut in resurrectionis gloria, inter Sanctos et electos tuos resuscitati respirent. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.
℟. Amen.

V. Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine.
℟. Et lux perpetua luceat eis.

V. Requiescant in pace.
℟. Amen.

Absolve, we beseech thee, O Lord, the souls of thy servants from every chain of sin: that rising again in the glory of thy resurrection, they may enjoy a new life amongst thy saints and elect. Through Christ our Lord.
℟. Amen.

V. Grant them eternal rest, O Lord.
℟. And let perpetual light shine on them.

V. May they rest in peace.
℟. Amen.

The Missal of Marmoutier offers us the following Sequence wherewith to honour the Saints, whose Octave is celebrated side by side with the Commemoration of the Dead.


Ut sequamur pari zelo
Sanctorum vestigia,
Nobis horum vitam, mores
Proponit Ecclesia.

Offert nobis tria: rosam,
Violam et lilium,
Ut ostendat nobis viam
Ad coeleste bravium.

Rosa signat Martyres
Per colorem rubeum;
Confessores viola
Per florem purpureum;

Virginalem candidatum
Attestatur lilium:
Per hoc ergo sequi Deum
Nos oportet trivium.

Nos mactet ut martyres
Vera patientis,
Confessores faciat
Jugis abstinentia.

Nos conservet virgines
Jugis castimonis,
Aut lapsos aliquando
Firma continentia.

Adjuvent nos Sancti quorum
Colimus sollemnia,
Ut horum prece possimus
Assequi coelestia.


That we with equal zeal
may tread the footprints of the Saints,
the Church proposes to our contemplation
their life and actions.

She offers us the rose,
the violet, and the lily;
emblems of the triple way
leading to the heavenly reward.

The rose by its ruby colour
signifies the Martyrs;
the violet's purple flower
the Confessors.

The lily proclaims
the lover of Virginity:
by these three ways, then,
must we follow our God.

Let true patience make us
suffer as Martyrs;
and by continual abstinence
let us be Confessors.

May constant purity
preserve us Virgins;
but if any have fallen,
courageous con­tinence will save them.

May the Saints, whose feast we celebrate,
come to our as­sistance;
that by their inter­cession we may be enabled
to attain the heights of heaven.


[1] I Thess. iv. 12.
[2] Conc. Trid. Sess. xxv.
[3] Esse simpliciter de justitia.
[4] SUAREZ. De Suffragiis, Sectio vi.
[5] Est enim suffragium, ut summitur ex D. Thoma et allis in 4 d. 45, auxilium quoddam, quod unus fidelis praebet alteri ad obtinendum a Deo remissionem poenae temporalis, vel alluid hujusmodi. SUAREZ. De Suffragiis, in Procemio.
[6] De Indulgentiis, Disput. liii. Sect. iii.
[7] MGR. GAY. Christian life and virtues: Of charity towards the Church. Ii.
[8] Job, xix. 21.
[9] Propagated in the 18th century by the Regular Clerks Theatines, and enriched with spiritual favours by the Soverign Pontiffs Benedict xiii, Pius vi, and Pius ix.
[10] II Mach. xii. 46.
[11] AUG. De cura pro mortuis iv.
[12] Ad hunc annum.
[13] PETR. DAM.; JOTSALD. ii. 13.
[14] AMALAR. De ecclesiast. Officiis. iii.44.
[15] The groans of death surrounded me, the sorrows of hell encompassed me.
[16] De Officio Defunct.
[17] Blessed are the dead, who die in the Lord.
[18] D. LE COUTEULX, Annal. Cartus. In Procemio, nos xxi-xli; where arguments are adduced in support of the substance of the narrative, if not of the details.
[19] Treatise on Purgatory.
[20] IV Esdr. ii, 34-35.
[21] I Cor. xv. 50.
[22] An allusion to the celebrated oracle of the Erytheaen Sibyl, quoted by St. Augustine in his City of God, Book xviii, chap. 23. The initial letters of the verses give in Greek the formula: Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour.
[23] St. John v. 25.
[24] Ant. Et Resp. in festo S. Michaelis.

From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

Including descriptions of:

HAD we Angels' eyes, we should see the earth as a vast field sown with seed for the resurrection. The death of Abel opened the first furrow, and ever since, the sowing has gone on unceasingly the wide world over. This land of labour and of suffering, what treasures it already holds laid up in its bosom ! And what a harvest for heaven, when the Sun of Justice, suddenly darting forth his rays, shall cause to spring up as suddenly from the soil the elect ears ripe for glory! No wonder that the Church herself blesses and superintends the laying of the precious grain in the earth.

But the Church is not content to be always sowing. Sometimes, as though impatient of delay, she raises from the ground the chosen seed she had sown therein. Her infallible discernment preserves her from error; and, disengaging from the soil the immortal germ, she forestalls the glory of the future. She encloses the treasure in gold or precious stuffs, carries it in triumph, invites the multitudes to come and reverence it; or she raises new temples to the name of the blessed one, and assigns him the highest honour of reposing under the Altar, whereon she offers to God the tremendous Sacrifice.

“Let your charity understand," explains St. Augustine:[1] “it is not to Stephen we raise an altar in this place; but of Stephen's relics we make an altar to God. God loves these altars; and if you ask the reason: Precious in the sight of the Lord is “the death of his saints.”[2] In obedience to God the invisible soul has quitted its visible dwelling. But God preserves this dwelling; he is glorified by the honour we pay to this lifeless flesh ; and, clothing it with the might of his divinity, he gives it the power of working miracles.”[3] Hence the origin of pilgrimages to the shrines of the Saints.

“Christian people," says St. Gregory of Nyasa, wherefore are you assembled here? A tomb has no attractions; nay, the sight of its contents inspires horror. Yet, see what eagerness to approach this sepulchre! So great an object of desire is it, that a little of the dust from around it is esteemed a gift of great price. As to beholding the remains it conceals, that is a rare favour, and an enviable one, as those can testify who enjoy the privilege: they embrace the holy body as though it were yet alive, they press their lips and their eyes upon it, shedding tears of love and devotion. What emperor ever received such honour?”[4]

“Emperors!” rejoins St. John Chrysostom; as the porters at their gates, such have they become with regard to poor fishers. The son of the great Constantine deemed he could not pay a higher honour to his father, than to procure him a place of sepulture in the porch of the fisherman of Galilee.”[5] And again, concluding his commentary on St. Paul's admirable Epistle to the Romans, the golden-mouthed Doctor exclaims: “And now, who will grant me to prostrate myself at Paul's sepulchre, to contemplate the ashes of that body which, suffering for us, filled up what was wanting of the sufferings of Christ? The dust of that mouth, which spoke boldly before kings, and, showing what Paul was, revealed the Lord of Paul? The dust of that heart, truly the heart of the world, more lofty than the heavens, more vast than the universe, as much the heart of Christ as of Paul, and wherein might be read the book of grace, graven by the Holy Spirit? Oh! that I might see the remains of the hands, which wrote those Epistles; of the eyes, which were struck with blindness and recovered their sight for our salvation; of the feet which traversed the whole earth! Yes; I would fain contemplate the tomb where repose these instruments of justice and of light, these members of Christ, this temple of the Holy Ghost. O venerable body, which, together with that of Peter, protects Rome more securely than all ramparts!”[6]

In spite of such teachings as these, the heretics of the sixteenth century profaned the tombs of the Saints, under pretext of bringing us back to the doc­trine of our forefathers. In contradiction to these strange reformers, the Council of Trent expressed the unanimous testimony of Tradition in the follow­ing definition, which sets forth the theological reasons of the honour paid by the Church to the relics of Saints:

“Veneration ought to be shown by the faithful to the bodies of the Martyrs and other Saints, who live with Jesus Christ. For they were his living members and the temples of the Holy Ghost; he will raise them up again to eternal life and glory; and through them God grants many blessings to mankind. Therefore, those who say that the relies of the Saints are not worthy of veneration, that it is useless for the faithful to honour them, that it is vain to visit the memorials or monuments of the Saints in order to obtain their aid, are absolutely to be condemned; and, as they have already been long ago condemned,[7] the Church now condemns them once more.”[8]

Considering the unequal distribution of relics throughout the world, Rome has not fixed one universal feast for the essentially local cultus of these precious remains. She leaves the particular churches free to consult their own convenience, reserving it to herself to bless and sanction the choice of each.




As the feast of the holy Relics is in many places celebrated on the Sunday within the Octave of All Saints', we here give the Mass and Vespers most commonly used. The liturgical formulae are, however, not less variable than the date of the feast.

The Introit, borrowed from the thirty-third Psalm, tells us of God's solicitude for his own, in death as in life. Whatever may become of the just, under trial and persecution, their bones shall be gathered together again on the last day, at the voice of the Son of Man,


Multae tribulationes justorum, et de his omnibus liberavit eos Dominus: Dominus custodit omnia ossa eorum: unum ex his non conteretur.

Ps. Benedicam Dominum in omni tempore: semper laus ejus in ore meo. Gloria Patri. Multae.

Many were the afflictions of the just, and out of all these the Lord delivered them: the Lord keepeth all their bones, not one of them shall be broken.

Ps. I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall be ever in my mouth. Glory be to the Father. Many were.

The miracles wrought by these dry bones prove, says St. Augustine, that they are not really dead.[9] Let our faith in the future resurrection be thereby increased; and let us pray with the Church in her Collect, that we too, at the appointed time, may par­take in the glory of which their wonder-working power is the pledge.


Auge in nobis, Domine, resurrectionis fidem, qui in Sanctorum tuorum reliquiis mirabilia operaris: et fac nos immortalis gloriae participes, cujus in eorum cineribus pignora veneramur. Per Dominum.

Increase within us, O Lord, the faith of the resurrection, thou who workest wonders in the relics of thy Saints: and make us partakers of immortal glory, of which we venerate the pledges in their ashes. Through.

Then are commemorated the occurring Sunday and the Octave of All Saints, by their respective Collects.


Lectio libri Sapientiae.
Eccli. xliv.

Hi viri misericordiae sunt, quorum pietates non defuerunt: cum semine eorum permanent bona, haereditas sancta nepotes eorum, et in testamentis stetit semen eorum: et filii eorum propter illos usque in aeternum manent: semen eorum, et gloria eorum non derelinquetur. Corpora ipsorum in pace sepulta sunt, et nomen eorum vivit in generationem et generationem. Sapientiam ipsorum narrent populi, et laudem eorum nuntiet Ecclesia.

Lesson from the Book of Wisdom.
Eccli. xliv.

These were meu of mercy, whose godly deeds have not failed. Good things continue with their seed, their posterity are a holy inheritance, and their seed hath stood in the covenants; and their children for their sakes remain for ever: their seed and their glory shall not be forsaken. Their bodies are buried in peace, and their name liveth unto generation and generation. Let the people shew forth their wisdom, and the Church declare their praise.

Our ancestors looked upon holy relics as their greatest riches, the treasure by excellence of their cities. Dew of heaven and fatness of the earth, the blessings of this world and of the next, seemed to distil from the bodies of the Saints. Their presence was a check to hostile armies, as well as to the legions of hell; it guarded morals, fostered faith, and encouragedprayer in the heart of cities, to which they attracted as great crowds as now flock to our centres of pleasure. And with what vigilance was cherished the blessed deposit, the loss whereof would have been considered the greatest of public calamities!

“I have here, my brethren,” says Cardinal Pie, to unfold to you a marvellous design of the God whom Scripture calls wonderful in his Saints. The Lord Jesus, who said to his disciples: Go ye and teach, euntes ergo docete, frequently takes pleasure in sending them forth again after their death; and he makes use of their apostolate from beyond the tomb, to carry the blessings of grace to other nations, besides those whom they evangelized in life. I have appointed you, he said, that you should go and should bring forth fruit: Posui vos ut eatis et fructum afferatis. In obedience to this command, the Saints, even after having reached the blessed term of their mortal pilgrimage, consent to become wayfarers once more. Had I leisure to recount to you all the posthumous wanderings of our illustrious pontiffs and thaumaturgi, for instance the repeated journeys of our own Hilary and Martin during more than ten centuries, I should, though captivating your attention by narratives full of interest, run the risk of wearying you by the length of my discourse.”[10]

The Gradual and its Verse, taken from the Psalms, extol the future glory feebly imaged by that which here surrounds the blessed on their couches of honour.


Exsultabunt Sancti in gloria: laetabuntur in cubilibus suis.
V. Cantate Domino canticum novum: laus ejus in Ecclesia Sanctorum.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. Justi epulentur, et exsultent in conspectu Dei: et delectentr in laetitis. Alleluia.

The Saints shall rejoice in glory: they shall be joyful in their beds.
V. Sins ye to the Lord a new canticle: let his praise be in the church of the Saints.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. Let the just feast and rejoice before God, and be delighted with gladness. Alleluia.


Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam.
Cap. vi.

In illo tempore: Descendens Jesus de monte, stetit in loco campestri, et turba discipulorum ejus, et multitudo copiosa plebis ab omni Judaea et Jerusalem, et maritims, et Tyri, et Sidonis, qi venerant, ut audirent eum, et sanarentur a languoribus suis. Et qui vexabantur a spiritibus immundis, curabantur. Et omnis turba quaerebat eum tangere: quia virtus de illo exibat, et sanabat omnes. Et pise, elevatis oculis in discipulos suos, dicebat: Beati pauperes: quia vestrum est regnum Dei. Beati, qui nunc esuritis: quia saturabimini. Beati, qui nunc fietis: quia ridebitis. Beati eritis cum vos oderint homines, et cum separaverint vos, et exprobraverint, et ejecerint nomen vestrum tamquam malum, propter Filium hominis. Gaudete in illa die, et exsultate: ecce enim merces vestra multa est in coelo.

Sequal of the holy Gospel according to St. Luke.
Chap. vi.

At that time, Jesus coming down from the mountain stood in a plain place, and the company of his disciples, and a very great multitude of people from all Judaea and Jerusalem, and the sea-coast both of Tyre and Sidon, who were come to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases. And they that were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all the multitude sought to touch him, for virtue went out from him, and healed all. And he, lifting up his eyes on his disciples, said: Blessed are ye poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now, for you shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now, for you shall laugh. Blessed shall you be when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man's sake be glad in that day and rejoice, for behold, your reward is great in heaven.

Amen, Amen, I say to you, he that believeth in me, the works that I do he also shall do, and greater than these shall he do![11] Our Lord was speaking of his Saints and disciples, who would believe in him so fully as to place their earthly happiness in poverty, hunger, mourning, and persecution. His word was to be accomplished in them during life; but frequently it was to be still more manifested after death, in the power retained by their relics of driving away demons, healing all diseases, and obtaining every grace. It is not only from the narrow province of Judaea, but from the coasts of the entire world, that multitudes now flock to hear the saints in the silent eloquence of their tombs, and to experience the virtue that goes out from them.

St. Paulinus of Nola thus speaks in his poems: God, in his goodness, has willed that the Saints should be distributed among the nations, so that their aid might never be wanting to us weak mortals. If he has given the principal cities to the greatest Saints for their residence, the grace with which they are endowed for our sake is not confined to the places where their entire bodies rest; where there are but small portions, there is the same power, and God thus gives testimony to their credit in heaven. From the holy deposit the sacred ashes are scattered abroad, and become the seeds of life; let but the least drop be taken from the spring, and it is itself a souroe producing rivers of grace and of love.”[12]

Let us, then, honour our Lord in his Saints; for it is from him, as the Offertory tells us, that all their power originates.


Mirabilis Deus in sanctis suis: Deus Israel ipse dabit virtutem et fortitudinem plebi suae, benedictus Deus. Alleluia.

God is wonderful in his Saints: the God of Israel is he who will give power and strength to his people: blessed be God. Alleluia.

“Whoever adored the Martyrs, or mistook a man for God?” asked St. Jerome, in his defence of the homage paid to sacred relics.[13] And the Church shows, in her Secret, that the cultus of these venerable ashes is rendered to the Saints themselves; while the Saints' own power is but a power of intercession before the Father of the divine Victim who wrought our salvation.


Imploramus, Domine, clementiam tuam: ut Sanctorum tuorum, quorum Reliquias veneramur, suffragantibus meritis, hostia quam offerimus nostrorum sit expatio delictorum. Per Dominum.

We implore thy mercy, O Lord, that by the suffrage of the merits of thy Saints, whose relics we venerate, the sacrifice which we offer may be the expiation of our sins. Through our Lord.

Then follow the Commemorations as above.

He that eateth my Flesh and drinketh my Blood, said the Man-God, I will raise him up in the last day.[14] Holy Communion, which places in our bodies the germ of a glorious immortality, justifies the object of this feast, and explains its joy.


Gaudete justi in Domino: rectos decet collaudatio.

Rejoice in the Lord yet just: praise becometh the upright.

How could we better conclude our prayers of to-day, than by expressing our desire of living eternally with the blessed, who have been gladdening us with the presence of their holy relics! This the Church does in the Postcommunion.


Multiplica super nos, quaesummus Domine, per haec Sancta guae sumpsimus, misericordiam tuam: ut sicut in tuorum solemnitate Sanctorum, quorum Reliquias colimus, pia devotione laetamur, ita eorum perpetua societate, te largiente, fruamur. Per Dominum.

Multiply thy mercy upon us, we beseech thee O Lord, by these holy mysteries which we have received, that as we rejoice with pious devotion in the solemnity of thy Saints, whose relics we venerate, so, by thy bounty, we may enjoy their eternal fellowship. Through our Lord.

Then the Commemorations as before; and at the end of the Mass, the Gospel of the Sunday is read, instead of that of St. John.




The Vespers are those of the Common for many Martyrs, with the Collect of today’s Mass for the Prayer.

1. Ant. Isti sunt Sancti, qui pro testamento Dei sua corpora testamento Dei sua corpora tradiderunt, et in sanguine Agni laverunt stolas suas.

1. Ant. These are the Saints who yielded their bodies for God's covenant, and washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb.

Ps. Dixit Dominus, page 36.

2. Ant. Sancti per fidem vicerunt regna, operati sunt justitiam, adepti sunt repromissiones.

2. Ant. The Saints by faith conquered kingdoms, wrought justice, and gained the promises.

Ps. Confitebor tibi Domine, page 37.


3. Ant. Sanctorum velut aquilae juventus renovabitur: florebunt sicut lilium in civitate Domini.

3. Ant. The youth of the Saints shall be renewed like that of the eagle: they shall flourish as the lily in the city of the Lord.

Ps. Beatus vir, page 38.


4. Ant. Absterget Deus omnem lacrymam ab oculis Sanctorum: et jam non erit amplius neque luctus, neque clamor, sed nec ullus dolor: quoniam prioria transierunt.

4. Ant. God shall wipe away all tears from the eyes of the Saints : and now there shall be no more mourning, nor crying, nor any sorrow: for the former things are passed away

Ps. Laudate pueri, page 39.


5. Ant. In coelestibus regnis Sanctorum habitatio est, et in aeternum requies eorum.

5. Ant. The dwelling of the Saints is the kingdom of heaven, and their rest shall be eternal.

Ps. Credidi, page 83.

(Wisdom, iii.)

Justorum animae in manu Dei sunt, et non tanget illos tormentum mortis. Visi sunt oculis insipientium mori: illi autem sunt in pace.

The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the torment of death shall not touch them. In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: but they are in peace.


Sanctorum meritis inclyta gaudia
Pangamus socii, gestaque fortia.
Gliscens fert animus promere cantibus
Victorum genus optimum.

Hi sunt, quos fatue mundus abhorruit;
Hunc fructu vacuum, floribus aridum
Contempsere tui nominis asseclae
Jesu Rex bone coelitum.

Hi pro te furias, atque minas truces
Calcarunt hominum, saevaque verbera:
His cessit lacerans fortiter ungula,
Nec carpsit penetralia.

Caeduntur gladiis more bidentium:
Non murmur resonat, non quaerimonia;
Sed corde impavido mens bene conscia
Conservat patietiam.

Quae vox, quae poterit linqua retexere,
Quae tu Martyribus munera praeparas?
Rubri nam fluido sanguine fulgidis
Cingunt tempora laureis.

Te summa o Deitas, unaque poscimus,
Ut culpas abigas, noxia subtrahas,
Des pacem famulis, ut tibi gloriam
Annorum in seriem canant.


Let us together celebrate the glorious delights
merited by the Saints, and their heroic deeds:
for the mind exults to proclaim in song
these the noblest of conquerors.

These are they whom the world in its folly abhorred;
while they, the faithful followers of thy name,
O Jesus merciful King of the heavenly citizens,
despised the world as barren and devoid of fruits and flowers.

For thy sake they scorned the rage of men,
their savage threats and cruel stripes:
the fiercely rending hook, van­quished by their courage,
left the brave heart untouched.

Like sheep, they are slaughtered by the sword:
not a murmur, not a complaint es­capes them;
but with unquailing heart, the soul,
conscious of right, preserves its patience.

What voice, what tongue could relate
the rewards thou preparest for the Martyrs?
For, adorned with the purple of their own blood,
they bind their brows with victory's glittering laurels.

We beseech thee, O supreme and only God,
that thou wouldst cleanse away our sins, remove all evils,
and grant peace to thy servants,
that they may sing glory to thee for all ages to come.


V. Exsultabunt Sancti in gloria.
℟. Laetabuntur in cubilibus suis.
V. The Saints shall rejoice in glory;
℟. They shall be joyful in their beds.

Antiphon of the Magnificat

Gaudent in coelis animae Sanctorum, qui Christi vestigia sunt secuti: et quia pro ejus amore sanguinem suum fuderunt, ideo cum Christo exsultant sine fine.

The souls of the Saints, who have followed the footsteps of Christ, rejoice in heaven: and because for his sake they shed their blood, therefore they exult with Christ forever.

The Canticle Magnificat page 44.

The Prayer is the Collect of the Mass, page 166.

Then follow the Commemorations of the Sunday and of the Octave.

In some churches, the hymn for this Feast is the following composed by Claud Santeul, who must not be confounded with John Baptist Santeul of St. Victor. The compositions of the former are superior to those of his brother in unction and simplicity, as well as by their orthodoxy.


O vos unamines Christidum chori,
Sanctorum tumulos et cineres Patrum,
Charas exuvias, pignora coelitum
Laetis dicite cantibus.

Coelo quando piis aequa laboribus
Felices animae gaudia possident,
Poenarum sociis debita redditur
Hic laus et decus ossibus.

Passim sparsa Deus, policiti memor
Custos, ne pereant, pignora colligit:
Electosque suis providus aggerit
Aptados lapides locis.

Quin et relliquias, et tumulos sibi
Aras ipse Deus consecrat hostia:
Conjungensque suis se caput artubus,
Hos secum simul immolat.

Vos, quorum cineres supplicibus pia,
Tutum praesidium, plebs colit osculis,
Si vos nostra movent, subsidium boni
Vestris ferte clientibus.

Ut cum nostra novis splendida dotibus
Surget juncta choris spirituum caro,
Indivisa Trias sit Deus omnia
Nobis semper in omnibus.


O choirs of Christians, one in heart,
celebrate in songs of joy the tombs
of the Saints and the ashes of our Fathers;
dear relics, pledges left us by the heavenly citizens.

While their happy souls possess in heaven
joys proportioned to their loving toils on earth,
here below meet praise and honour are rendered to their bodies,
sharers anon in their sufferings.

Mindful of his promise, God, their kind protector,
gathers these scattered pledges, lest they perish;
and lovingly collects his chosen stones
to fit them for their places.

Yea, God who is himself our Victim,
consecrates these relics and tombs into altars for himself;
the divine Head unites with these his members,
and immolates them together with himself.

O ye, whose ashes the pious people looks upon as its secure defence,
and honours with suppliant kisses;
if our troubles touch your hearts,
bring aid, in your goodness, to your clients.

So that when our flesh, resplendent with new gifts,
shall rise again and be united with the choirs of spirits,
God, the indivisible Trinity,
may be to us forever all in all.


We next give the beautiful formula from the Roman Pontifical for the blessing of shrines and reliquaries.


Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos tibi semper, et ubique gratias agere, Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus inaestimabilis, Deus ineffabilis, Deis misericordiarum, et totius consolationis. Qui Moysi famulo tuo praecepisti, ut juxta exemplar quod ei in monte demonstrasti, arcam de lignis imputribilibus construeret, et eam auro mundissimo circumdare, in qua urna aurea manna coelesti plena, cum tabulis testamenti digito majesestatis tuae conscriptis, in testimonium futuris genertionibus servari deberet. Quiqui nostris saeculis eadem sacratius intelligenda manifestasti, dum corpus unici Filii tui, opere Spiritus sancti de incorrupta Virgine conceptum, et anima rationali vivificatum, omni plenitudine divinitatis replesti:

Te suppliciter imporamus, omnipotens Deus, Pater Domini nostri Jesu Christi, ex quo omnis paternitas in coelo et in terra nominatur; ut haec vascula Sanctorum tuorum pignoribus praeparata, eisdem Sanctis tuis intercedentibus, coelesti benedictione perfundere digneris; quatenus qui horum patrocinia requirunt, ipsis intercedentibus, cuncta sibi adversantia, te adjuvante, superare, et omnia commode profutura, abundantia largitatis tuae mereantur invenire. Et sicut illi, te Domine inspirante, spiritualium nequitiarum versutias cavere, et humanitus exquisita tormenta non solum contemnere, sed etiam penitus evincere, Christo Domino confortante, potuerunt; ita ipsorum merita venerantibus, et Reliquias humiliter amplectentibus, contra diabolum, et angelos ejus, contra fulmina et tempestates, contra grandines, et varias pestes, contra corruptum serem, et mortes hominum, vel animalium, contra fures et latrones, sive gentium incursiones, contra malas bestias, et serpentium, ac reptantium diversissimas formas, contra malorum hominum adinventiones pessimas, eorumdem Sanctorum tuorum precibus complacatus, dexteram invictae potentiae tuae ad depulsionem nocivorum et largitatem proficuorum semper et ubique propitius extende.

Per eumdem Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate ejusdem Spiritus sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.


It is truly meet and just, right and salutary, that we should always and in all places give thanks to thee, O holy Lord, Father Almighty, eternal, inestimable God, ineffable God, God of mercies and of all consolation. Who didst com­mand thy servant Moses to construct, according to the pattern thou didst show him in the mount, an ark of incorruptible wood, and to cover it all over with purest gold, that therein might be preserved, as a testimony to future generations, the golden urn full of heavenly manna, with the tables of the Covenant written by the finger of thy Majesty. In our ages thou didst make known how these same things are to be more mystically understood, when thou didst fill with all the plenitude of the Divinity the Body of thine only Son, con­ceived of the most pure Virgin by the operation of the Holy Ghost, and quickened with a rational soul.

We suppliantly beseech thee, O Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom all paternity in heaven and on earth is named; that thou wouldst deign to imbue with thy heavenly blessing, through the intercession of thy Saints, these vessels prepared to receive their sacred remains; so that those, who have recourse to their patronage, may, through their in­tercession and by thine assistance, merit to overcome all adversities, and to obtain all that is useful and profitable from the abundance of thy bounty. And as these thy Saints, O Lord, by the inspiration of thy grace, were able to avoid the snares of the spirits of wickedness, and in the strength of Christ our Lord not only to despise but entirely to triumph over the most cruel tortures from the hands of men: even so, that those who venerate their merits and humbly embrace their relics may be protected against the devil and his angels, against lightnings and tempests, against hail and all sorts of plagues, against unhealthy atmosphere and mortalities among men and cattle, against thieves and assassins, against invasions of nations, against wild beasts and serpents and the innumerable kinds of reptiles, and against the most wicked designs of evil men, — do thou, being appeased by the prayers of the same thy Saints, mercifully stretch forth, always and everywhere, the right hand of thine invincible power, to drive away all that is evil, and to shed abroad all benefits.

Through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Holy Ghost, God, world without end.


Lastly, not to forget our dear dead on any of the days of this Octave, let us end with this ancient and tender supplication, used by the churches of Séez, le Mans, Angers, and Rennes, for the Commemoration of the departed.


De profundis clamantes gemimus
Et gemendo preces effundimus: exaudi nos, Domine.

Miserere misertus miseris,
Qui Salvator et Salus diceris, competente munere. 

Sicut serves ad fontes properat
Sicut anima ad Te desiderat, fons misericordiae.

Fontis hujus aquis nos abluas,
Nec secundum culpas retribuas, Deus indulgentiae.

Nec mensuram observes scelerum,
Nec culparum numeres numerum, sed da locum veniae.

Non est opus reis judicio,
Sed affictis detur remissio, dono Tuae gratiae.

Tu dixisti: Vos qui laboribus
Pressi estis, atque oneribus, ego vos reficiam.

Ecce ad Te pressi confugimus,
A Te solo refici petimus, per tuam clementiam.

Nec facturam Tuam despicias,
Sed clamantem pius respicias, dans reis remedia.

Qui venturus es Judex omnium,
Animabus cunctis fidelium des aeterna gaudia.


From the depths crying out we groan,
and groaning we pour forth our prayer : hear us O Lord.

Pitifully have pity on the pitiable,
O thou who art called the Saviour and Salvation, and thy function corresponds to thy name.

As the hart speeds to the fountains,
so does the soul yearn after thee, O fount of mercy;

wash us with the waters of this fountain,
and deal not with us according to our sins, O God of pardon.

Mark not the measure of our crimes,
and count not the number of our sins, but make way for indulgence.

Guilty as we are, it is not judgment we need;
but we are afflicted, grant us forgiveness by the free gift of thy grace.

Thou hast said : All ye that are heavily laden
with labours and with burdens, I will refresh you.

Behold how oppressed we flee to thee;
from thee alone we seek refreshment, through thine own clemency.

Oh! Despise not the work of thy hands;
but look tenderly upon the suppliant, and give healing remedies to the guilty.

Thou, who art to come as Judge of all,
grant to all the souls of the faithful everlasting joys.


[1] Aug. Sermo cccxviii, de Stephano Mart. V.
[2] Ps. cxv. 15.
[3] Aug. Sermo cclxxv, de Vincentio Mart. II
[4] Greg. Nyss. De Theodoro Mart.
[5] Chyrs. In Epist. II. ad Cor. Hom. xxvi.
[6] Chyrs. In Epist. ad Rom. Hom. xxxii.
[7] Conc. Nic. II. cap. vii.
[8] Conc. Trid. Sess. xxv. De invocatione, veneratione et reliquiis Sanctorum.
[9] Aug. Sermo cccxix, de Stephano Mart. vi.
[10] Cardinal Pie, Discourse pronounced at the translation of the relics of St. Latuin.
[11] St. John xiv. 12.
[12] Paulin. Poem. xix, xxvii.
[13] Hieron. Contra Vigilantium.
[14] St. John. vi. 55.

From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

ROME, wishing to admit as few interruptions as possible into the present great Octave, gives but a brief notice of St. Hubert in the Martyrology. It is fitting that we should imitate her reserve. Were we, however to omit all mention of him, Christian hunters, so faithful in proclaiming their glorious Patron, would not forgive us. It is right also to satisfy popular piety, and the gratitude of numberless clients saved from hydrophobia, and led to the feet of the Saint by a tradition of a thousand years' standing. A few words suffice to recount his life.

After the mysterious stag had revealed Christ to him, he became, from a hunter of wild animals, a hunter of souls; and merited to be called the Apostle of Ardenne, whose forests had often echoed to the baying of his hounds. He became the disciple and successor of St. Lambert; and transferring from Maestricht both the relics of the holy Martyr-Bishop and the Episcopal See, he raised Liege from an obscure village to a great town. His blessed death took place on May 30th 727; and on November 3rd 743, his precious remains were taken up for the first time, which led to the celebration of his feast on this day. In the following century, the Abbey of Andain was put in possession of the sacred deposit; and took from him the name of St. Hubert, as did likewise the town which sprang up around and soon became a centre for pilgrimages. Two orders of knighthood were established in honour of St. Hubert; the first perished with the fall of the Bourbons its last chiefs; the other still exists, and the kings of Bavaria are its Grand-Masters.


Ave, decus Confessorum, ave, consors Angelorum: nobis praesens tripudium da, sit perenne gaudium; prece tua Deo grata sanos salva, aegros sana.
V. Justum deduxit Dominus per vias rectas.
℟. Et ostendit illi regnum Dei.
Hail, glory of Confessors ; hail, companion of Angels: give us present joy, which may become eternal bliss: by thy prayer, well-pleasing to God, save the healthy, heal the sick.
V. The Lord hath led the just man through righteous ways.
℟. And shewn him the kingdom of God.


Propitiare, quaesumus Domine, nobis famulis tuis per sancti Huberti Confessoris tui atque Pontificis merita gloriosa, t ejus pia intercessione ab omnibus semper protegamur adversis. Per Dominum.
Be propitious, we beseech thee O Lord, to us thy ser­vants, through the glorious merits of St. Hubert thy Confessor and Bishop, that by his loving intercession we may ever be protected from all adversities. Through our Lord.

[1] Proper Office of the Abbey of St. Scholastica of Juvigny-les-Dames, where a tooth of St. Hubert was kept.


From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

HUMILITAS. This word already stood, crowned with gold, upon his family escutcheon,[1] when Charles was born at the castle of Arona. It had been said of the Borromeos that they knew nothing of humility, except to bear it on their coat of arms: but the time had now come, when the mysterious device was to be justified by the most illustrious scion of that noble family; and when, at the zenith of his greatness, a Borromeo would learn to void his heart of self, in order that God might fill it. Far, however, from abjuring the high-mindedness of his race, the humble Saint was the most intrepid of them all, while his enterprises were to eclipse the noble exploits of a long line of ancestors. One more proof that humility never debases.

Charles was scarcely twenty-two years of age, when Pius IV, his maternal uncle, called him to the difficult post of Secretary of State, shortly afterwards created him Cardinal and Archbishop of Milan, and seemed to take pleasure in heaping honours and responsibilities on his young shoulders. The late Pontiff, Paul IV., had been ill requited for placing asimilar confidence in his nephews the Caraffas, who ended their days upon the scaffold. His successor, on the contrary, as the event testified, was actuated by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, not by the dictates of flesh and blood.

Sixty years of that fatal century had already elapsed, while the evils consequent on Luther's revolt were ever increasing, and the Church was daily threatened with some new danger. The Protestants had just imposed upon the Catholics of Germany the treaty of Passau, which completed the triumph of the fanatics, and secured to them equality and liberty. The abdication of Charles V. in despair, left the empire to his brother Ferdinand; while Spain, with its immense dominions in both hemispheres, fell to his son Philip II. Ferdinand I. inaugurated the custom of dispensing with Rome, by crowning himself with the diadem which St. Leo III. had placed upon the brow of Charlemagne; and Philip, enclosing Italy by taking Naples in the South and Milan in the North, seemed to many to be threatening the independence of Rome herself. Eng­land, reconciled for a brief period under Mary Tudor, was replunged by Elizabeth into the schism which con­tinues to the present day. Boy kings succeeded one another on the throne of St. Louis, and the regency of Catharine de Medici involved France in the wars of religion.

Such was the political situation which the minister of Pius IV. had to cope with, and to utilize to the best of his power for the interests of the Holy See and of the Church. Charles did not hesitate. With faith to supply for his want of experience, he understood that to the torrent of errors, which threatened to deluge the world, Rome must first of all oppose, as an embankment, that undivided truth of which she is the guardian.

He saw how, in contest with a heresy, which claimed the name of Reformation while it let loose every passion, the Church might take occasion from the struggle to strengthen her discipline, elevate the morals of her children, and manifest to the eyes of all her indefectible sanctity. This thought had already, under Paul III. and Julius III., led to the convocation of the Council of Trent, and inspired its dogmatic definitions and reformatory decrees. But the Council, twice interrupted, had not completed its work, which was still under dispute. It had now been suspended for eight years, and the difficulties in the way of its resumption continued to increase, on account of the quarrelsome pretensions of princes. The Cardinal-nephew bent all his efforts to surmount the obstacles. He devoted day and night to the work, imbuing with his views the Sovereign Pontiff himself, inspiring with his zeal the nuncios at the various courts, vying in skill and firmness with diplomatic ministers in order to overcome the prejudices or the ill-will of monarchs. And when, after two years of these difficult negotiations, the Fathers of Trent gathered together once more, Charles was the providence and the tutelary angel of this august assembly. To him it owed its material organization, its political security, the complete independence of its deliberations and their thenceforward uninterrupted continuity. Himself detained at Rome, he was the intermediary between the Pope and the Council. The presiding legates soon gave him their full confidence, as is proved from the pontifical archives; to him, as to the ablest counsellor and most reliable support, they daily had recourse in their solicitudes and anxieties.

For her (wisdom's) sake, says the Wise Man, I shall have glory among the multitude, and honour with the ancients, though I be young; ... and the faces of princes shall wonder at me. They shall wait for me when I hold my peace, and they shall look upon me when I speak, and if I talk much they shall lay their hands on their mouths.[2] Such was truly the case with St. Charles, at this critical moment of the world's history. No wonder that divine Wisdom, to whom he listened with such docility, and who inspired him so copiously, rendered his name immortal in the memory of a grateful posterity.

In his Defence of the too famous Declaration, Bossuet, speaking of the Council of Trent which owed its completion to St. Charles, says that it brought the Church back to the purity of her origin, as far as the iniquity of the times would permit.[3] And when the cecumenical sessions at the Vatican were opened, the Bishop of Poitiers, the future Cardinal Pie, spoke of that Council of Trent, which “deserved, more truly even than that of Nicaea, to be called the great Council; that Council, concerning which we may confidently assert, that since the creation of the world no assembly of men has succeeded in introducing among mankind such great perfection; that Council whereof it has been said that, as a tree of life, it has for ever restored to the Church the vigour of her youth. More than three centuries have elapsed since its labours were completed, and its healing and strengthening virtue is still felt.”[4]

“The Council of Trent is perpetuated in the Church by means of the Roman Congregations charged with its continual application, and with ensuring obedience to the pontifical constitutions which have followed and completed it.”[5] Charles suggested the measures adopted for this end by Pius IV., and approved and developed by succeeding Pontiffs. He caused the Liturgical Books to be revised, and the Roman Catechism to be compiled. But first, and in all things, he was himself the living model of the renewed discipline, and thus acquired the right to exercise his zeal for or against others. Rome, initiated by him in the salutary reform, of which it was fitting she should set the first example, was in a few months completely transformed. The three churches now dedicated to St. Charles within her walls,[6] and the numerous altars which bear his name in other sanctuaries of the holy City, are the testimony of her enduring gratitude.

His administration, however, and his sojourn in Rome lasted only during the six years of Pius IV's pontificate. On the death of that Pope, in spite of the entreaties of Pius V., whose election was due chiefly to his exertions, Charles set out for Milan, which called for the presence of its Archbishop. For nigh a century, the great Lombard city had scarcely known its pastors save by name; and this abandonment had delivered it, like so many others at that period, to the wolf that catcheth and scattereth the sheep. Our Saint understood far otherwise the responsibility of the cure of souls. He gave himself entirely to this duty, without care for himself, without a thought for the judgments of men, without fear of the powerful. His maxim was: to treat of the interests of Jesus Christ in the spirit of Jesus Christ;[7] his programme, the ordinances of Trent. Charles's episcopate was the carrying out of the great Council; its living form; the model of its practical application in the whole Church; and the proof of its efficiency, demonstrating that it sufficed for every reform, and could, of itself alone, sanctify both pastor and flock.

We would gladly have given more than a passing notice of these Acts of the church of Milan, which have been lovingly collected by faithful hands, and which show our Saint in so grand a light. Herein, after the six provincial councils and eleven diocesan synods over which he presided, follows the inexhaustible series of general or special mandates dictated by his zeal; pastoral letters, the most remarkable of which is the sublime Memorial written after the plague in Milan; instructions upon the holy Liturgy, upon the tenure of churches, upon preaching, upon the administration of the Sacraments, and notably the celebrated instruction to Confessors; ordinances concerning the archiepiscopal court, the chancellorship, canonical visitations; regulations for the archbishop's domestic family, and his vicars and officials of all ranks, for the parish priests and their meetings in conference (a custom introduced by him), for the Oblates he had founded, the seminaries, schools, and confraternities ; edicts and decrees; and lastly various tables, and complete forms of administrative acts, so drawn up that nothing remains but to insert names and dates. It is a true pastoral encyclopedia, which, in its magnificent amplitude, would appear to be the work of a long life; yet St. Charles died at the early age of forty-six; and moreover all this was written in the midst of trials and combats sufficient to have been his sole pre-occupation.

But it is time to listen to the Church’s account of him.

Carolus, Mediolani nobili Borroaeorum familia natus, quanta futurus esset sanctitate conspicuus, divina lux super parientis matris cubiculum noctu coruscans praesignavit. A pueritia clericali militiae adscriptus, abbatia postmodum insignitus, patrem admonuit, ne reditus in rem familiarem converterentur: quorum ipse nactus administrationem, quidquid supererat, expendebat in paupweres. Adolescens liberalibus disciplinis Papiae operam dedit. Castitatem adeo coluit, ut impudicas etiam mulieres ad labefactandam ejus pudicitiam pluries immissas invicta constantia fugaverit. Vigesimum tertium aetatis annum agens, a Pio Quarto ejus avunculo in sacrum Cardinalium collegium cooptatus, insigni pietatis ac virtutum omnium speldore praeluxit. Mox ab eodem Mediolanensis archiepiscopus creatus, in eo plurimam operam adhibuit, ut juxta sacrosanctum Tridentinum concilium, quod ejus potissimum sollicitudine jam tum fuerat absolutum, ecclesiam sibi commissam componeret: atque ut depravatos plebis suae mores reformaret, praeter iteratam saepius synodorum celebrationem, seipsum eximiae sanctitatis praebuit exemplar. In profigandis haereticis e partibus Rhaetorum et Helvetiorum, quorum plurimos ad christianam plurimos ad christianam fidem convertit, maxime laboravit.

Hujus viri caritas praecipue enituit, cum Uritano principatu vendito, pretium universum ad quadraginta aureorum millia, una die in pauperes erogavit. Nec minore pietate viginti millia, quae sibi fuerant legata, distribuit. Ecclesiasticos proventus, quibus ab avunculo copiose fuerat cumulatus, dimisit, nonnullis retentis, quibus ad proprios usus et egenorum necessitates utebatur. Quo tempore pestis Mediolani grassbatur, domesticam supellectilem, ne relicto sibi lectulo, in eosdem alendos contulit, super nuda in posterum tabula discumbens; eoque morbo laborantes sedulo invisens, paterno reficiebat affectu, et Ecclesiae sacramenta propriis ipse manibus administrans, mirum in modum solabatur: humullimis interim precibus reconciliator accedens, publica supplicatione indicta, fune sibi ad collum alligato, nudis pedibus, etiam offendiculo cruentatis, crucem bajulans, semetipsum pro peccatis populi hostiam offerens, divinam indignationem avertere satagebat. Ecclesiasticae libertatis fuit acerrimus propugnator. Disciplinae vero restituendae sollicitus, a seditiosis, dum orationi insisteret, tormenti bellici laxata rota, igneo globulo percussus, divina virtute servatur illaesus.

Abstinentia fuit admirabili: jejunabat saepissime, pane tantum et aqua, sois quandoque lupinis contentus. Nocturnis vigiliis, asperrimo cilicio, assiduis flagellis corpus domabat. Humilitatis ac mansuetudinis studiosissimus fuit. Orationem ac verbi Dei praedicationem, gravissimis licet curis occupatus, numquam intermisit. Multas ecclesias, monasteria, collegia aedificavit. Plura scripsit, ad episcoporum praesertim in structionem utilissima: cujus etiam opera parochurm catechismus prodiit. Demum in solitudinem Varalli montis, ubi sculptis imaginibus Dominicae passionis mysteria ad vivum repraesentantur, secessit: ibique, diebus aliquot voluntaria castigatione asperam, sed Christi dolorum meditationibus suavem vitam ducens, in febrim incidit. Mediolanum reversis, ingravescente morbo, cinere ac cilicio coopertus, et oculis in crucifixi imaginem defixis, migravit in coelum, aetatis anno quadragesimo septimo, Domini vero millesimo quingentesimo octogesimo quarto terio nonas Novembris. Quem miraculis clarum Paulus Quintus Pontifex Maximus in Sanctorum numerum retulit.
Charles was born at Milan, of the noble family of Borromeo. His future pre-eminent sanctity was foreshown by a heavenly light shining at night over the room where he was born. He was enrolled in his boyhood in the ranks of the clergy, and soon provided with an Abbey; but he warned his father not to turn its revenues to private use; and as soon as its administration was entrusted to him, he spent all the surplus income on the poor. As a youth he pursued his liberal studies at Pavia. He had the greatest love for holy chastity; and several times put to flight, with the greatest firmness, some shameless women sent to tempt him. In the twenty-third year of his age, his uncle Pius IV. created him Cardinal; and he adorned that dignity by his great piety and remarkable virtues. Being soon afterwards made Archbishop of Milan, he laboured strenuously to carry out, in his whole diocese, the decrees of the Council of Trent, which had just been concluded mainly through his exertions. To reform the evil customs of his people he held many synods, and moreover was ever himself a perfect model of virtue. He also laboured much to expel the he­retics from Switzerland and the country of the Grisons, and converted many of them to the true faith.

The charity of this holy man was strikingly exhibited, when he sold the principality of Oria, and in one day distributed the price, amounting to about forty thousand gold pieces, among the poor. With no less generosity he, on another occasion, distributed twenty thousand gold pieces left him as a legacy. He resigned the many ecclesiastical benefices which his uncle had bestowed upon him, except a few which he retained for his own necessities and for relieving the poor. When the plague was raging in Milan, he gave up the furniture of his house, even his bed, for the support of the poor, and thenceforward always slept on a bare board. He visited the plague-stricken with unwearied zeal, assisted them with fatherly affection, and, administering to them with his own hands the Sacraments of the Church, singularly consoled them. Meanwhile he approached to God in humble prayer as a mediator for his people; he ordered public supplications to be made, and himself walked in the processions, with a rope round his neck, his feet bare and bleeding from the stones, and carrying a cross; and thus offering himself as a victim for the sins of the people, he endeavoured to turn away the anger of God. He strenuously defended the liberty of the Church, and was most zealous in restoring discipline. For this reason some seditious persons fired upon him while he was engaged in prayer, but by the divine power he was preserved unharmed.

His abstinence was wonderful: he very often fasted on bread and water, and sometimes took only a little pulse. He subdued his body by night-watchings, a rough hairshirt and frequent disciplines. He was a great lover of humility and meekness. Even when occupied by weighty business, he never omitted his prayer or preaching. He built many churches, monasteries and colleges. He wrote many works of great value especially for the instruction of bishops; and it was through his care that the catechism for parish-priests was drawn up. At length he retired to a solitary place on Mount Varallo, where the mysteries of our Lord's Passion are sculptured in a life-like manner, and there after spending some days in severe bodily mortifications sweetened by meditation on Christ's sufferings, he was seized by a fever. He returned to Milan; but the illness growing much worse, he was covered with sackcloth and ashes, and with his eyes fixed on the crucifix he passed to heaven, in the forty-seventh year of his age, on the third of the Nones of November, in the year of our Lord 1584. He was illustrated by miracles, and was enrolled among the Saints by Pope Paul V.

Successor of Ambrose, thou didst inherit his zeal for the house of God; thy action also was powerful in the Church; and though separated in time by a thousand years, your names are now united in one common glory. May your prayers also mingle before the throne of God for us in these times of decadence; and may your power in heaven obtain for us pastors worthy to continue, or if need be to renew, your work on earth. How obviously applicable to both of you were those words of Holy Writ: What manner of man the ruler of the city is, such also are they that dwell therein.[8] And again: I will fill the soul of the priests with fatness; and my people shall be filled with my good things, saith the Lord.[9]

Rightly didst thou say, O Charles : "Never did Israel hear a more awful threat than this: Lex peribit a sacerdote.[10] Priests are divine instruments, upon whom depends the welfare of the world; their abundance is the riches of all, their default is the ruin of nations.”[11]

And when, from the midst of thy priests convoked in synod, thou didst pass to the venerable assembly of seventeen bishops thy suffragans, thy language became, if possible, still more vehement: “Let us fear lest the angered Judge say to us: If you were the enlighteners of my Church, why have you closed your eyes? If you pretended to be shepherds of the flock, why have you suffered it to stray? Salt of the earth, you have lost your savour. Light of the world, they that sat in darkness and the shadow of death have never seen you shine. You were Apostles; who, then, put your apostolic firmness to the test, since you have done nothing but seek to please men? You were the mouth of the Lord, and you have made that mouth dumb. If you allege in excuse that the burden was beyond your strength, why did you make it the object of your ambitious intrigues?”[12]

But, by the grace of God blessing thy zeal for the amendment of both sheep and lambs, thou couldst add, O Charles: “Province of Milan, take heart again. Behold, thy fathers have come to thee, and are assembled once more for the purpose of remedying thy ills. They have no other care, than to see thee bring forth the fruits of salvation; and for this end they multiply their united efforts.”[13]

My little children, of whom I am in labour again, until Christ be formed in you.[14] Such is the aspiration of the Bride, which will cease only in heaven: and synods, visitations, reformation, decrees concerning preaching and government and ministry, were, in thy eyes, but the manifestation of this one desire of the Church, the expression of the mother's cry as she brings forth her children.[15]

Deign, O blessed Pontiff, to restore in all places the love of holy discipline, wherein the pastoral solicitude that rendered thee so glorious[16] found the secret of its marvellous fecundity. It may be sufficient for. the simple faithful merely to know that among the treasures of the Church there exists, side by side with her doctrine and Sacraments, an incomparable code, the work of ages, an object of legitimate pride to all her sons, whose divine privileges it protects. But the priest, entirely devoted to the Church, cannot serve her usefully without that profound and persevering study, which will give him the understanding of her laws in detail. But clergy and laity alike must beseech God, that the miseries of the times may not impede the meeting of our venerated superiors in the councils and synods prescribed at Trent,[17] and so grandly carried out by thee, O Charles, who didst prove by experience their value for the salvation of the world. May heaven, for thy sake, hear our prayer; and then we shall be able to say with thee[18] to the Church: “O tender mother, let thy voice cease from weeping, ... for there is a reward for thy work, saith the Lord; and thy sons shall return out of the land of the enemy. And I will fill the soul of the priests with fatness : and my people shall be filled with my good things.”[19]




Let us offer our homage to two Martyrs, whose memory was celebrated on this day even before that of St. Charles. Vitalis the slave and Agricola his master, combating together in the glorious arena proved that social inequality counts for nothing with regard to heaven's nobility. St. Ambrose, when sojourning at Bologna where they had suffered, discovered their bodies and celebrated their triumph.[20] The Church, following his example, has ever associated them in one common homage.


Praesta, quaesumus omnipotens Deus, ut, qui sanctorum Martyrum tuorum Vitalis et Agricolae solemnia colimus, eorum apud te intercessionibus adjuvemur. Per Dominum.
Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that celebrating the festival of thy holy martyrs, Vitalis and Agricola, we may be assisted by their intercession with thee. Through our Lord.

Returning to the octave of all Saints, let us say the following Sequence composed by Notker, and formerly sung in Germany on the day of the feast.


Omnes sancti Seraphim, Cherubim,
Throni quoque Dominationesque,
Principatus, Potestates, Virtutes,
Archangeli, Angeli, vos decet laus et honores.
Ordines novem spirituum beatorum,
Quos in Dei laudibus firmavit caritas,
Nos fragiles homines firmate precibus:
Ut spirtales pravitates vestro juvamine vincentes fortiter,
Nuno et in aevum vestris simus digni sollemniis interesse sacris.
Vos quos Dei gratia vincere terrea,
Et angelis socios fecit esse polo:
Vos patriarchae, prophetae, apostoli, confessores, martyres, monachi, virgines,
Et viduarum sanctarum omniumque placentium populus supremo Domino,
Nos adjutorium nunc et perenniter foveat, protegat, ut vestrum
In die poscimus gaudiorum vestorum.

All ye holy Seraphim, Cherubim,
Thrones also and Dominations,
Principalities, Powers, Virtues,
Archangels, Angels, to you beseemeth praise and honour.
Ye nine choirs of blessed spirits,
Whom charity has stablished in God's praises,
Make us frail mortalsas stable, by your prayers:
So that by your assistance, resolutely overcoming the spirits of wickedness,
We may be worthy to take part, both now and forever, in your sacred solemnities.
Ye whom the grace of God enabled to conquer the things of earth,
And associated with the Angels in heaven;
Ye patriarchs, prophets, apostles, confessors, martyrs, monks, virgins,
Assembly of holy widows, and of all who have been pleasing to the sovereign Lord,
May your assistance, now and ever, cherish and protect us,
As we pray on this day of your joys.


We gather from the Euchology or Ritual of the Greeks a few samples of their prayers for the dead.

In Officio Exsequiarum

Venite, extremum vale, Deo gratias agentes, defuncto dicamus. Illi Dominus requiem conferat, precemur.

Qualis vita nostra est? flosculus, vapor, matutuinus ros vere. Adeste igitur et sepulcra circumlustremus. Ubi corporis venustas? Ubi juventus? Ubi illa lumina? Ubi carnis species? Cuncta velut foenum apparuertun, dissipata sunt cuncta. Venite et Christo cum lacrymis procedamus.

Salva sperantes in te, Mater solic occasum nescientis; Dei genitrix, optimum tuum natum precibus tuis interpella, precamur, ut ei qui hinc migravit, det requem, ubi justorum animae quiescent: divornum bonorum in aulis justorum haeredem illum constitue, in memoria aeterna, o immaculata.

Christus verus Deus noster qui a mortuis surrexit, intercessionibus illibatae suae Matris et omnium Sanctorum, servi sui vita functi animam in justorum tabernaculis collocet, in Abraham sinibus reclinet, justis annumeret; nostrique misereatur ut bonus et clements. Amen.

Eterna tibi sit memoria, semper beande et jugi animo recolende Frater noster.

Gloria Deo cui its complacuit.
Come, let us bid a last fare­well to the deceased, giving thanks to God. Let us pray that the Lord may give him rest.

What is our life? A little flower, a vapour, truly a morning dew. Come, then, and let us go round about the graves. Where is the beauty of the body? Where is youth ? Where now are those eyes? Where that comeliness of form? All appeared as grass, all are now withered. Come, and let us with tears prostrate before Christ.

O Mother of the sun that knows no setting, save them that trust in thee. Mother of God, we beseech thee, entreat thy most loving Son to giveunto him, who has left us, rest where the souls of the just repose. Establish him, O immaculate one, heir of divine possessions, and let him be in everlasting remembrance.

May Christ who rose from the dead, our true God, moved by the intercession of his spot­less Mother and of all the Saints, place the soul of his departed servant in the tabernacles of the just; may he lay him to rest in the bosom. of Abraham, numbering him among the just; and may he, who is both good and kind, have mercy upon us. Amen.

May thy memory be eternal, O our brother; thou shalt be forever blessed, and shalt ever be cherished in our hearts.

Glory be to God, who bath so willed!

[1] On a chief argent the word HUMILITAS sable, crowned or.
[2] Wisd. viii. 10-12.
[3] Gallia orthodoxa, Pars III., Lib. xi. cap. 13.; vii. cap. 40.
[4] Discourse pronounced at Rome, in the church of St. Andrew della Valle, Jan. 14th, 1870.
[5] Pastoral instructin on occasion of the approaching Council of Bordeaux, June 26th, 1850.
[6] St. Charles at the Catinari, one of the most beautiful in Rome; St. Charles on the Corso, which posesses his heart; St. Charles at the four fountains.
[7] Acta Eccl. Mediolanensis, Oratio habita in Concil. prov. Vi.
[8] Eccli. x. 2.
[9] Jerem. xxxi. 14.
[10] The law shall perish, shall fail, shall be silent, in the heart of the priestand on his lips. Ezech. vii. 26. Acta Eccl. Mediolan. Constitutiones et regulae societatis scholarum doctrinae christianae, Cap. III.
[11] Concio I ad Clerum, in Synod. diceces. xi.
[12] Oratio habita in concil. prov. ii.
[13] In concil. prov. vi.
[14] Gal. iv. 19.
[15] Concio I ad Clerum, in Synod. diceces. xi.
[16] Collect of the feast.
[17] Sessio xxiv, de Reformatione cap. II.
[18] Concio I ad Clerum, in Synod xi.
[19] Jerem. xxxi, 16, 14.
[20] Ambr. Lib. de Exhort. Virginitat. I.



From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

And the Spirit and the Bride say: Come And he that heareth, let him say: Come! — Surely I come quickly: Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.[1]

While we honour the Church triumphant with our chants, and succour the Church suffering with our prayers, let us also turn our thoughts to the Church militant, during these days when the closing cycle presents her to us as about to complete her work on earth. Now the Church is our model; but especially at the close of our pilgrimage ought we to make her attitude our own. The above-cited dialogue, which will terminate the world's history, shows clearly the sentiments wherewith the Holy Spirit inspires her in preparation for the final hour.

As the sufferings of the dying man break the last ties that bound him to the life of the senses; so the last social convulsions, however violently they may shake the Church, will eventually disengage her from the trammels of a world, which she will no longer be able to save from ruin. Free, therefore, to give herself up to her desires, which had been pent up for ages and kept under control by so many labours, she will have but one word to utter: Come! And in the universal destruction, when the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall hide her light, and the powers of heaven shall be moved, she will rejoice, knowing that in the midst of that awful night the cry will be heard: Behold the Bridegroom cometh!

Let him that heareth, let everyone of us say also: Come! If we love our Lord, if we would be recog­nized as members of his dear Church, let us be wor­thy of that beautiful title; let us see all things with the Church's eyes; let us appreciate all things, and especially death, according to her heart; let us look upon the last passage, both for our dear ones and for ourselves, as the entrance into the eternal nuptial feast. We know well that if anyone sincerely desires our Lord, our Lord will not be wanting to hint. Even if, after this life, we have yet some debts to pay, if some adornment be wanting to our wedding garment ere we can take our place at the heavenly banquet; the blessed passage, nevertheless, places all the just, at once and entirely, in a state of impeccability, and in the secure possession of eternal love. Such, as we shall have occasion to see, were the sentiments of our forefathers.

Many churches in France, Switzerland, and England, used formerly to sing the following Sequence in honour of the Saints.


Christo inclyto candida
Nostra canunt melodiam agmina,
Laudes omnibus dantia
Sanctis per haec sacrata festalis.

Mariam primum vox sonet nostra,
Per quam nobis vitae sunt data praemis.
Regina, quae es mater et casta,
Solve nostra per Filium tuum peccata.

Angelorum concio tota
Et Archangelorum turba inclyta
Nostra diluant jam peccata,
Parando supera coeli gaudia.

Tu propheta, praeco, lucerns,
Atque plus quam propheta,
In lucida nos pone via,
Mundans nostra corpora.

Apostolorum princepe atque cuncta
Juncta caterva, jam corrobora
Vera in doctrina
Plebis pectors.

Stephane gloriose, rutilans in corona,
Sancorumque Martyrum turma valida,
Fortia date corda, corpora aeque firma,
Sacra ut hostem vincant rite spicula.

Martine inclyte
Et praesulum omnis caterva,
Suscipe nunc pia modo
nostra clemens precata.

Regina Virginum permaxima, 
tu Mater es incorrupta,
Virgo et gravida; sacrata Domino est castitas:
Nostras serva animas mundaque corpora.

Monachorum veneranda suffragia 
Omniumque Sanctorum contubernia per precata assidus
Nostra gubernent tempora, nosque ducant ad superna
Polorum vera gaudis.

Subjungant pium agmina
Amen redempta.
To Christ the all-glorious
our white-robed choirs sing melody,
giving praise to all the Saints
on this their sacred festival.

First let our voice name Mary,
through whom was given to us the gift of life
O Queen, who art both Mother and Virgin,
through thy Son cancel our sins.

May the whole assembly of Angels,
and the glorious multitude of Archangels,
cleanse away our sins,
and prepare us for the supernal delights of heaven.

O thou, who wast prophet,
and herald, and lamp,
yea and more than a prophet,
make us all pure and set us in the path of light.

Prince of Apostles,
together with all thy colleagues,
strengthen the hearts of thy people
in true doctrine.

Glorious Stephen, glittering in thy crown;
mighty army of holy martyrs;
give us brave hearts and strong bodies,
that the darts of our holy faith may duly vanquish the enemy.

Illustrious Martin,
and all the band of holy Pontiffs,
kindly receive this day
our filial prayers.

O peerless Queen of virgins,
thou art a Mother and yet spotless,
a Maiden and yet fruitful; chastity is sacred to our Lord;
preserve our souls and bodies pure.

May the venerable suffrages of the Monks,
and may the assembly of all the Saints by their prayers,
rule our times, and lead us
to the true and supernatural joys of heaven.

Let the ranks of the re­deemed
add a fervent Amen.

The hymn for the Vespers of the Dead in the Mozarabic Office is taken from the tenth song in the Cathemerinon of Prudentius.


Deus ignee fons animarum,
Duo qui socias elementa:
Vivum simul, ac moribundum,
Hominem, Pater effigiasti.

Tua sunt, tua Rector utraque:
Tibi copula jungitur horum;
Tibi, dum vegetata cohaerent
Spiritus simul et caro servit.

Rescissa sed ista seorsum,
Solvunt hominem, perimuntque;
Humus excipit arida corpus,
Animae rapit aura liquorem.

Quia cuncta creata necesse est
Labefacta senescere tandem,
Compactque dissociari,
Et dissona texta retexi.

Hine maxima cura sepulchris
Impenditur: hinc resolutos
Honor ultimus accipit artus,
Et funeris ambitus ornat.

Hoc provida Christicolarum
Pietas studet utpote credens
Fore protinus omnia viva,
Quae nunc gelidus sopor urget.

Ui jacta cadavera passim
Miserans tegit aggere terrae:
Opus exhibet ille benignum
Christo pius omnipotenti.

Quia lex eadem monet omnes
Gemitum dare sorte sub una,
Cognataque funera nobis
Aliena in morte dolere.

Sequimur tua dicta, Redemptor,
Quibus atra e morte triumphans,
Tua per vestigia mandas
Socium crucis ire latronem.

Patet ecce fidelibus ampli
Via lucida jam paradise;
Licet et nemus illud adire
Homini, quod ademerat anguis.

Illic precor, Optime Ductor,
Famulam tibi praecipe mentem
Genitali in sede sacrari,
Quam liquerst exsul, et errans.

Animas, non immemor ob hoc,
Quarum memores sumus ipsi,
Dues, sorde rogamus, piatas,
Erebi rogis fac alienas.

Sit honor tibi, fons pietatis:
Laus, gloria, summa potestas
Patri, Genito, sive Domino
Orbis Regi; qui Deus unus.

O God, thou fiery source of living beings,
who, uniting two elements in one,
the mortal and the immortal,
didst fashion man, O our Father.

Both are thine, and thou art their Ruler;
their union is linked to thee;
and while they live and cleave together,
both spirit and flesh serve thee.

But when they are rent asunder,
dissolution and death come upon man;
the dry earth receives his body,
while the swift spirit flees to heaven.

‘Tis the lot of all created things
to fail and grow old at last,
for compound beings to be dissolved,
for the union of dissimilar elements to be unknit.

Therefore is so great care bestowed upon the sepulchres;
therefore are the last honours
paid to these lifeless limbs,
and the funeral pomp does them homage.

Such is the provident piety
exercised by Christ's disciples,
believing that all which now lies wrapt in icy slumber,
shall suddenly spring to life again.

Whoever, then, in loving pity,
shall cover with earth the corpses that lie unburied,
does in his piety a kindly deed
to Christ himself the Omnipotent.

Since the common law ad­monishes us
that all groan under the same fate,
it behoves us to mourn, in a stranger's death,
the loss of one of our kin.

We follow therefore thy words,
O Redeemer, when, triumphing over dismal death,
thou didst bid the thief, thy fellow-crucified,
to tread in thy footprints.

Lo! Now the shining path,
that leads to the broad land of Eden, lies open to thy faithful;
and man may again enter that beautiful garden,
of which the serpent had despoiled him.

There, O best of guides! We pray thee,
bid the soul thy handmaid
be made holy in the place of her creation,
which she had quitted as an exile and a wanderer.

Wherefore be mindful, O God, of the souls,
whose memory we cherish;
let them, we beseech thee, be cleansed from all stain,
and escape the fires of hell.

Honour to thee, O fount of mercy!
Praise, glory, sovereign power,
to the Father, to the Son, to the Lord
who rules the world, one only God.


The following Preface, which is well inspired and has a ring of the ancient formulae, is still used in some places in Masses for the Dead.


Vere dignum et justum est, sequum et salutare, nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere: Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus; per Christum Dominum nostrum. In quo nobis spem beatae resurrectionis concessisti; ut dum naturam contristat certa moriendi conditio, fidem consoletur futurae immortalitatis promissio. Tuis enim fidelibus, Domine, vita mutatur, non tollitur; et dissoluta terrestris hujus habitationis doo, aeterna in ccoelis habitatio comparatur. Et ideo cum Angelis et Archangelis, cum Thronis et Dominationibus, cumque omni militia coelestis exercitus, humnum gloriae tuae canimus, sine fine dicentes: Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus.
It is truly meet and just, right and salutary, that we should always and in all places give thanks to thee, O holy Lord, Father Almighty, eternal God, through Christ our Lord. In whom thou halt bestowed on us the hope of a blessed resurrection: so that, although the inevitable sentence of death fills our human nature with sorrow, the promise of a future resurrection consoles our faith. For the life of thy faithful, O Lord, is altered, not taken away ; and when this house of our earthly habitation is destroyed, an eternal dwelling is prepared for us in heaven. And therefore with the Angels and Archangels, with the Thrones and Dominations, and with all the host of the heavenly army, we sing a hymn to thy glory, saying without ceasing: Holy, Holy, Holy.

[1] Apox. xxii. 17, 20.


From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

Thou art my portion, O Lord, Alleluia, in the land of the living, Alleluia, Alleluia. — Bring forth my soul out of prison, to confess to thy Name; in the land of the living, Alleluia, Alleluia. — Glory and honour be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, world without end, Amen: in the land of the living, Alleluia, Alleluia.[1]

Such is the opening chant for the departed, in the Mozarabic Missal. With the Greeks, in like manner, no word is of more frequent recurrence in the Office of the Dead, than the Alleluia.[2] Moreover, both Greece and Spain are but observing what was once a general practice throughout the Church.

St. Jerome tells us how, at the death of Fabiola, all the Roman people assembled, the chant of psalms echoed on all sides, and the sublime Alleluia filled the temples till it shook their gilded roofs.[3] Two centuries later, the story of St. Radegonde's funeral, written by her daughter Baudonivia, proves that, if submissive tears were not forbidden to the survivors and might at times even flow abundantly, the custom in Gaul was, nevertheless, the same as that of Rome.[4]

And again with regard to a later period, the Manuscript of Rheims quoted by Dom Hugh Menard in his notes on the Gregorian Sacramentary,[5] prescribes as a prelude to the burial prayers, the chanting of the Psalm In exitu Israel de Egypto, with Alleluia as Antiphon.

When St. Anthony buried in the desert the body of St. Paul the first hermit, the biographer of the latter relates that, in accordance with Christian tradition, Anthony sang hymns as well as psalms.[6] Such was actually the universal Christian tradition, identical in all lands.

St. John Chrysostom remarks the same fact, and explains it thus : “Tell me, are they not conquerors, the dead whom we carry in procession with shining torches and the singing of hymns? Yes; we praise God and give him thanks; for he crowns the departed one; he has put an end to his labour; and he keeps him near himself, free from all fear. Seek no other explanation for these hymns and psalms they are an expression of joy.”[7]

St. Dionysius speaks in the same strain, in his book on the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy. A fter alluding to the joy of the dying Christian, as he sees ap­proaching the end of his struggle and an eternal security, he adds: “The relatives of the deceased, his friends in God and in holiness, proclaim him blessed for having conquered at last ; and they address their songs of thanksgiving to the heavenly Author of the victory. Praying that themselves may obtain a similar lot, they bear him to the hierarch the distributor of the holy crowns, to whom it belongs to perform the sacred rites prescribed with regard to those who have slept in the Lord.”[8]

Tomorrow we will give some examples of these last honours paid by the Church to her children.

Certain Churches borrow the following stanzas from the tenth Song of the Cathemerinon, which gave us yesterday the Mozarabic Hymn for the Dead.


Jam mœsta quiesce querela,
Lacrymas suspendite matres,
Nullus sua pignora plangst:
Mors haec reparatio vitae est.

Quidnam sibi saxa cavata,
Quid pulchra volunt monumenta,
Res quod nisi creditur illis
Non mortus, sed data somno?

Nam quod requiescere corpus
Vacuum sine mente videmus,
Spatium breve restat ut alti
Repetat collegia sensus.

Venient cito secula cum jam
Socius ccalor ossa revisat,
Animataque sanguine vivo
Habitacula pristina gestet.

Quae pigra cadavera pridum
Tumulis putrefacta jacebant,
Voucres rapientur in auras
Animas comitata priores.

Six semina sica virescunt
Jam mortua, jamque sepulta:
Quae reddita cespite ab imo
Veteres meditantur aristas.

Nunc suscipe terra fovendum,
Gremioque hunc concipe molli:
Hominus tibi membra sequestro,
Generosa et fragmina credo.

Animae fuit haec domus olim,
Factoria ab ore creatae;
Fervens habitavit in istis
Sapientia principe Christo.

Tu depositum tage corpus:
Non immemor ille requiret
Sua munera fictor et suctor
Propriique aenigmata vultus.

Veniant modo tempora justa
Cum spem Deus impleat omnem,
Reddas patefacta necesse est
Qual tibi trado figuram.

Cease now each sad complaint;
ye mothers check your tears;
let no man mourn the pledges he has given:
for this death is the restoration of life.

What mean these sculptured marbles,
and these fair monuments,
save that what is committed to them is not dead,
but laid to sleep?

For this body which we see lying lifeless,
yet a little while and it will seek once more
the companionship of the spirit
that has fled on high.

Quickly shall the time come,
when friendly life shall make these cold embers glow;
and animating them with circling blood,
shall take back her for­mer dwelling.

The motionless corpses,
that have lain corrupting in their graves,
shall be caught up in­to the swift air,
united to the same souls as before.

Even thus do the dry seeds,
dead and buried, become green blades;
and, springing up from the sward,
recall the former ears.

Receive now, O earth, this deposit into thy care,
and cherish it in thy tender bosom:
'tis the form of a man I place in thee,
noble remains I entrust to thee.

This was once the home of a spirit
breathed from the mouth of its Creator;
Christ ruled these members,
and his holy wisdom dwelt therein.

Then shelter the body con­fided to thee:
he who made it will not forget it,
but will ask back the gifts he had given,
and the likeness of his own countenance.

Soon the promised time will come,
when God shall fulfil all hope;
then thou must needs open thy bosom,
and restore this form such as I give it thee.


The following Responsory is the last of the third Nooturn in the short Office of the Dead per annum. After it we give an ancient prayer, found in the Ambrosian rite, and appropriated to deceased benefactors and relatives.[9]


℟. Libera me, Domine, de viis inferi qui portas aereas confregisti: et visitasti infernum, et dedisti eis lumen, ut viderent te, * Qui erant in poenis tenebrarum.
V. Clamantes et dicentes: Advenisti, Redemptor noster. * Qui erant.
V. Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine: et lux perpetua luceat eis. * Qui erant.
℟. Deliver me, O Lord, from the ways of hell, who hest broken the brazen gates, and halt visited hell, and halt given light to them, that they might behold thee * who were in the pains of darkness.
V. Crying, and saying: Thou art come, O our Redeemer. * Who were.
V. Grant them eternal rest, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine on them. * Who were.


Deus vita viventium, spes morientium, salus omnium in te sperantium, praesta propitius, ut animae famulorum famularumque tuarum a famularumque tuarum a nostrae mortalitatis tenebris absolutae in perpetua cum sanctis tuis luce laetentur. Per Dominum.
O God, the life of the living, the hope of the dying, the salvation of all that trust in thee, mercifully grant that the souls of thy servants and handmaids, delivered from the darkness of our mortality, may rejoice with thy Saints in perpetual light. Through our Lord.

The following Prose by Adam of St. Victor, though often assigned to other feasts, was sung in several places to celebrate all the Saints.


Supernae matris gaudia
Repraesentet Ecclesia:
Dum festa coli annus,
Suspiret ad perpetus.

In hac valle miseriae
Mater succurrat filiae:
Hic coelestes excubiae
Nobiscum stetn in acie.

Mundus, caro, daemonia
Diversa movent praelia:
Incursu tot phantasmatum
Turbatur cordis sabbatum.

Dies festos cognatio
Simul haec habt odio,
Certatque pari foedere
Pacem de terra tollere.

Confusa sunt hic omnia,
Spes, metus, moeror, gaudium:
Vix hora vel dimidia
Fit in coelo silentium.

Quam felix illa civitas
In qua jugis solemnitas!
Et quam jocunda curia,
Quae curae prorsus nescia!

Nec languor hic, nec senium,
Nec fraus, nec terror hostium,
Sed una vox laetantium
Et unus ardor cordium.

Illic cives angelici
Sub hierarchia triplici,
Trinae gaudent et simplici
Se Monarchiae subjici.

Mirantur, nec deficiunt,
In illum quem prospiciunt:
Fruuntur, nec fastidunt,
Quo frui magis sitiunt.

Illic patres dispositi
Pro dignitate meriti,
Semota jam caligine
Lumen vident in lumine.

Hi sancti quorum hodis
Celebrantur soemnia
Jam revelata facie
Regem cernunt in gloria.

Illic Regina virginum,
Transcendens culmen ordinum,
Excuset apud Dominum
Nostrorum lapsus criminum.

Nos ad sanctorum gloriam,
Per ipsorum suffragia,
Post praesentem miseriam
Christi perducat gratia.

Let the Church on earth commemorate
the joys of her mother the Church in heaven:
and while she celebrates annual feasts,
let her sigh for those which are eternal.

May the mother assist her daughter
in this valley of sor­rows:
and may our heavenly guardians
be at our side in the battle.

The world, the flesh, and the devils
wage their several warfares;
at the onslaught of so many terrors,
the heart's tranquility is disturbed.

All this brood
detests our feast-days,
and with united force,
endeavours to drive peace from the earth.

Here all is confusion;
hope, fear, sadness,
joy are com­mingled:
in heaven, scarce half an hour is silence kept.

Oh! How happy is that city,
where there is unceasing festivity!
and how joyful is that assembly
where care is utterly unknown!

No sickness there, nor old age;
no deceit, nor terror of foes;
but all one voice of joyful souls,
and all one burning love of hearts.

There the angelic citizens in
their triple hierarchy rejoice
to be subject to a Monarch
who is both One and Three.

They admire, and faint not in contemplating,
the God upon whom they gaze;
they enjoy him, and are not satiated,
for the enjoyment brings new thirst.

There are our fathers,
rank­ed according to their merit;
all darkness is now dispelled,
and in God's light they see light.

These Saints, whose solemnity
is celebrated today,
behold with unveiled face
the king in his glory.

There is the Queen of virgins,
far above the highest choirs;
may she, before the Lord,
excuse our guilty falls.

And after this present misery,
may the grace of Christ,
through the intercession of the Saints,
lead us to the same glory!


[1] In Missa defunctorum Officium (seu Introitus). Tu es portio mes, Domine, alleluia, in terra viventium, aleluia, alleluis. V. Educ de carcere animam meam ad confitendum nomini tuo: in terra viventium, alleluia, alleluia. Gloria et honor Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto, in saecula saeculorum, amen: in terra viventiu, alleluia, alleluia.
[2] Goar Nota 6a ad Officium Exsequiarum in Euchologio.
[3] Hieron. ad Oceanum, de morte Fabiolae.
[4] Baudonivia, Vita Radegundis, 28.
[5] Nota 680.
[6] Hieron. Vita S. Pauli, primi eremitae, 16.
[7] Chrys. In epist. ad Hebr. Hamil. Iv.
[8] Dionys. De eccles. hierarch. Cap. VII. 1 § 1, 2, 3.
[9] Oratio super sindonem, in Missa quotidiana pro defunctis Fratribus, Sororibus, Propinquis et Benefactoribus.