Missa “Requiem aeternam“
On the feast of the Holy Guardian Angels 2017, yesterday, the tragic news of the shooting by a lone gunman during a music concert last Sunday evening in Las Vegas shocked the world. Fifty-nine victims have died and over five hundred were injured in the deadliest mass shooting to have occurred yet in the United States. This Requiem Mass is offered for the souls of those who died and in prayerful support of those affected families of the deceased as well for those injured and their families.
The Requiem Mass is an expression of the Communion of Saints, the Church Militant (on earth) prays for the souls of the departed expressing Christian hope that they, the departed, will become members of the Church Triumphant (in heaven). Essentially the Church pleads Christ that His promise to the “repentant thief” at His crucifixion [Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” 23:42-43] will be granted those who have departed this life marked with the “sign of faith” i.e. the Cross and for any for whom we might pray, trusting in the Divine Charity and mercy of God.
A Mass for the Dead has many features which distinguish it from others. These are in part reminiscences of otherwise obsolete liturgical customs, and are in part suggested by the mournful character of the rite. Thus, incense is not burned at the Introit and at the Gospel; the psalm Judica me Deus… is omitted; the kiss of peace is omitted; the deacon chanting the Gospel is not accompanied by the usual acolytes bearing candles, and no blessing is given.
INTROIT Ps. 119
Eternal rest give to them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them. (Ps. 64. 2-3). A hymn, O God, becometh Thee in Sion; and a vow shall be paid to Thee in Jerusalem: hear my prayer; all flesh shall come to Thee. V. Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them
COLLECT FOR ALL THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED
O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful: grant unto the souls of Thy servants and handmaidens the remission of all their sins: that through devout supplications, they may obtain the pardon which they have ever desired. Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
EPISTLE Apoc. 14. 13
Lesson from the Book of the Apocalypse of Blessed John the Apostle. In those days: I heard a voice from heaven, saying to me, Write, Blessed are the dead, who die in the Lord. From henceforth now, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, for their works follow them.
GRADUAL/TRACT Psalm 127. 3
Eternal rest give to them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them. V.(Ps. 111. 7): The just shall be in everlasting remembrance; he shall not fear the evil hearing. TRACT Absolve, O Lord, the souls of the faithful departed from every bond of sins. V. And by the help of Thy grace may they be enabled to escape the avenging judgment. V. And enjoy the bliss of everlasting light.
SEQUENCE may be omitted
Day of wrath and doom impending,
David’s word with Sibyl’s blending,
Heaven and earth in ashes ending.
O what fear man’s bosom rendeth,
When from heaven the Judge descendeth,
On whose sentence all dependeth.
Wondrous sound the trumpet flingeth,
Through earth’s sepulchres it ringeth,
All before the throne it bringeth.
Death is struck, and nature quaking,
All creation is awaking,
To its Judge an answer making.
Lo, the book exactly worded,
Wherein all hath been recorded,
Thence shall judgment be awarded.
When the Judge His seat attaineth,
And each hidden deed arraigneth,
Nothing unavenged remaineth.
What shall I, frail man, be pleading?
Who for me be interceding
When the just are mercy needing?
King of majesty tremendous,
Who dost free salvation send us,
Fount of pity, then befriend us.
Think, kind Jesus, my salvation
Caused Thy wondrous Incarnation,
Leave me not to reprobation.
Faint and weary Thou hast sought me,
On the Cross of suffering bought me,
Shall such grace be vainly brought me?
Righteous Judge, for sin’s pollution
Grant Thy gift of absolution,
Ere that day of retribution.
Guilty now I pour my moaning,
All my shame with anguish owning.
Spare, O God, Thy suppliant groaning.
Through the sinful woman shriven,
Through the dying thief forgiven,
Thou to me a hope hast given.
Worthless are my prayers and sighings,
Yet, good Lord, in grace complying,
Rescue me from fires undying.
With Thy sheep a place provide me,
From the goats afar divide me,
To Thy right hand do Thou guide me.
When the wicked are confounded,
Doomed to flames of woe unbounded,
Call me with Thy Saints surrounded.
Low I kneel with heart’s submission,
See, like ashes, my contrition,
Help me in my last condition.
Ah! that day of tears and mourning,
From the dust of earth returning,
Man for judgment must prepare him,
Spare, O God, in mercy spare him.
Lord, all-pitying, Jesus blest,
Grant them Thine eternal rest.
GOSPEL John 6. 51-55
Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. John: At that time: Jesus said to the multitude of the Jews, I am the living bread, which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is My Flesh for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this Man give us His Flesh to eat? Then Jesus said to them, Amen, amen, I say to you, Except you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His Blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eateth My Flesh, and drinketh My Blood, hath everlasting life; and I will raise him up in the last day.
O Lord Jesus Christ, King of glory, deliver the souls of all the faithful departed from the pains of hell and from the bottomless pit: deliver them from the lion’s mouth, that hell swallow them not up, that they fall not into darkness, but let the standard-bearer, holy Michael, lead them into that 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 of whom we make memorial this day. Grant them, O Lord, to pass from death to that life which Thou didst promise of old to Abraham and to his seed..
SECRET FOR ALL THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED
Mercifully regard, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the Sacrifice for the souls of Thy servants and handmaidens: that to those to whom Thou didst grant the favor of the Christian Faith Thou wouldst also grant due reward. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity…
PREFACE for the faithful departed
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God, through Christ our Lord. In whom the hope of a blessed resurrection hath shone forth unto us; so that those who are saddened by the certain lot of dying, may be consoled by the promise of a future deathless life. For to Thy faithful people, O Lord, life is changed, not taken away: and when the home of this earthly sojourn is dissolved, an eternal dwelling place is being prepared in the heavens. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying:
May light eternal shine upon them, O Lord, * With Thy Saints for evermore, for Thou art gracious. V.: Eternal rest give to them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them * with Thy Saints . . .
POSTCOMMUNION FOR ALL THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED
May the prayers of Thy suppliant people, we beseech Thee, O Lord, avail for the souls of Thy servants and handmaidens: that Thou mayest both deliver them from all their sins and make them to be sharers in Thy Redemption. Who livest and reignest…