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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.