My Life In Prayer
Complete Prayer Book
MASS FOR THE DEAD
MASS FOR THE DEAD
The prayers given in this Method are compiled from the Missal, the Breviary, the Ritual and the works of St. Alphonsus Liguori.
At the Beginning of Mass.
Deliver me, O Lord, from eternal death on that tremendous day when the heavens and the earth shall be shaken, when Thou shait come to judge the world with fire. Seized am I with trembling, and I fear for approaching trial, and the wrath to come. Oh, that day, that day of wrath, of calamity, and misery; that great and bitter day, indeed, when Thou shalt come to judge the world with fire!
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them, may they rest in peace. Amen.
I confess to Almighty God, to Blessed Mary ever Virgin, to Blessed Michael, the Archangel, to Blessed John The Baptist, to the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, to all the saints, and to you, Father, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, and deed, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault; therefore I beseech the Blessed Mary ever Virgin, the Blessed Michael, the Archangel, the Blessed John the Baptist, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and all the saints, and you, Father, to pray to the Lord, our God, for me.
Then pray for pardon, thus:
May God have mercy on me, forgive my sins, and lead me to eternal life! May the almighty and merciful God grant me the pardon, absolution, and remission of all my sins!
When the Priest mounts the steps of the altar, imagine you hear the souls in purgatory repeating the following verses, as if to implore your prayers:
Have pity on me, have pity on me, at least, you my friends, because the hand of the Lord hath touched me. My flesh is consumed, my bones hath cleaved to my skin, and nothing but lips are left about my teeth. Have pity on me, have pity on me, at least you, my friends. (Job xix.21.)
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them; may they rest in peace. Amen.
Lord, have mercy on them! Christ, have mercy on them! Lord, have mercy on them!
(Repeat each three times.)
O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, give to the souls of Thy servants departed the remission of all their sins, that through the help of pious supplications, they may obtain the pardon which they have always desired. Who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.
In those days, the most valiant Judas, having made a gathering, sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem, for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection. (For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead.)
And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness had great grace laid up for them. It is, therefore, a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins. (2 Much. xii. 46.)
Grant to them eternal rest, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. The just shall be in everlasting remembrance; he shall not fear the evil hearing. (Ps. cxi.)
Release, O Lord, the souls of all the faithful departed, from the bonds of their sins: and by the assistance of Thy grace, may they escape the sentence of condemnation, and enjoy the bliss of eternal light.
Here, sometimes, is said the following hymn. When you perceive it is not said at the altar, you may pass it over also, and go on to the Gospel
Nigher still, and still more nigh,
Draws the day of prophecy.
Doom'd to melt the earth and sky.
Oh, what trembling there shall be
When the world its Judge shall see,
Coming in dread majesty!
Hark! The trumpet's thrilling tone
From sepulchral regions lone,
Summons all before the throne.
Time and death it doth appall,
To see the buried ages all
Rise to answer at the call.
Now the books are open spread;
Now the writing must be read.
Which condemns the quick and dead:
Now before the Judge severe,
Hidden things must all appear;
Naught can pass unpunished here.
What, shall guilty I then plead?
Who for me will intercede,
When the saints shall comfort need?
King of dreadful Majesty!
Who dost freely save and free;
Fount of Pity, save Thou me!
Recollect, O love divine!
'Twas for this lost sheep of Thine,
Thou Thy glory didst resign.
Satest wearied seeking me,
Sufferedst upon the Tree;
Let not vain Thy labor be.
Judge of justice, hear my prayer,
Spare me, Lord in mercy spare,
Ere the reckoning-day appear.
Lo, Thy gracious face I seek;
Shame and grief are on my cheek,
Sighs and tears my sorrows speak
Thou didst Mary's guilt forgive,
Didst the dying thief receive,
Hence doth hope within me live.
Worthless are my prayers, I know,
Yet, oh, cause me not to go
Into everlasting woe.
Severed from the guilty band,
Make me with Thy sheep to stand,
Placing me on Thy right hand.
When the cursed in anguish flee
Into flames of misery;
With the blest then call Thou me.
Suppliant in the dust I lie!
My heart a cinder, crushed and dry.
Help me, Lord, when death is nigh!
Full of tears, and full of dread,
Is the day that wakes the dead;
Calling all with solemn blast.
From the ashes of the past,
Lord of Mercy, Jesus blest,
Grant the faithful light and rest.
At that time, Jesus said to the multitude 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 hath He 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 shall come forth unto the resurrection of life; but they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment. (St. John v. 25-29.)
O Lord Jesus Christ, King of Glory! Deliver the souls of all the faithful departed from the flames of hell, and from the deep pit. Deliver them from the lion's mouth, lest hell swallow them, lest they fall into darkness; and let Thy standard-bearer, St. Michael, bring them into the holy light, which Thou hast promised of old to Abraham and his posterity. We offer Thee, O Lord, a sacrifice of praise and of prayer: accept it on behalf of the souls we commemorate this day, and let them pass from death to life.
Here make an offering also of you own death and sufferings in union with the Holy Sacrifice, thus:
O my God, I offer Thee also the hour of my death, and all the pains I am destined to suffer from this moment until my last breath. Give me strength to bear them with perfect conformity to Thy will. I cheerfully offer Thee, moreover, all the pains which Thou shalt prepare for me in Purgatory.
It is just that the fire should punish in me all the insults I have offered to Thee. O holy prison, when shall I find myself shut up in thee, secure of never again being able to lose my God? O holy fire, when wilt thou purify me from so many stains, and render me worthy to enter the Land of bliss? I offer all these pains to Thy glory, uniting them with the bitter pains of Jesus' passion. Eternal Father! I sacrifice to Thee my life and my whole being. I entreat Thee to accept this my sacrifice, in union with and through the merits of this great sacrifice of Jesus Christ, Thy Son. Amen.
Almighty God, Who art the guardian of souls, the safeguard of salvation, and the confidence of all believers, look mercifully down upon us, and through the merits of Thy dear Son, Whose sacred Body we offer in this sacrifice, bless the graves of our departed friends, that those mortal bodies which there repose, after the course of this life is ended, may with their happy souls, at the great judgment day, be found worthy to participate in the rewards of eternal life.
Enter not, O Lord, into judgment with these Thy servants, for with Thee shall no man be justified except through Thee the remission of all his sins be granted unto him. We beseech Thee, therefore, let not the sentence of Thy justice lie heavy upon those whom the earnest prayer of Christian faith recommends to Thee; but rather, by the succor of Thy grace, may they be found worthy to escape the avenging judgment who were signed with the seal of the Holy Trinity while they lived.
Graciously regard, O Lord, these gifts which we offer Thee for the souls of the faithful departed, that by celestial remedies made pure, they may repose in Thy compassionate mercy. Through Jesus Christ Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
When the Priest, turning towards the people, says: "Orate Fratres,—Pray, my Brethren," answer:
May the Lord receive this sacrifice from thy hands, to the praise and glory of His holy name, for the salvation of our souls, and for the repose of the faithful departed.
Look favorably down, O Lord, we beseech Thee, upon this sacrifice which we offer for the souls of Thy departed servants, that as Thou wast pleased to bestow on them the merit of Christian faith, Thou mayest also grant them its reward. Through Jesus Christ Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
It is truly meet and right, just and salutary, that we should always and everywhere give thanks to Thee, O holy Lord, Almighty Father, everlasting God, through Christ our Lord: Who by dying hath destroyed death for us, and rising again hath renewed our life; and Who hath left us this tremendous sacrifice as a propitiation for our sins, and for the sins of the faithful departed. Mercifully grant, therefore, that they for whom it is offered this day may speedily be released from all their sufferings, and find eternal rest and perpetual light with Thee in paradise; that there we, with them, may praise and celebrate Thy Majesty, in company with all the Angels and Archangels, the celestial Powers, the blessed Seraphs, and the whole host of Heaven, who chant Thy glory, evermore repeating: Holy! Holy! Holy! Is the Lord God of hosts! The heavens and the earth are full of Thy glory! Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is He Who cometh in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!
We therefore suppliantly beseech Thee, O Father of mercies, through Jesus Christ Thy Son, our Lord, graciously to accept and bless this holy Sacrifice, which we offer Thee: for the peace and prosperity of the Holy Catholic
Church, for Thy servant, our Father, Pope N_____ ,
for our Bishop and Clergy, and for all Thy faithful Catholic people; for the living, that they may prepare for death, and for the dead that they may obtain eternal rest.
Memento of the Living.
Be mindful, O Lord, of Thy servants
N____ and N____, (here pause and recommend to God any living friend for whom you feel urged to pray during the Mass), and of all those friends who are very near and very dear to me, and of all those who have asked for, or desire my prayers, or for whom I ought especially to pray; and so direct and strengthen them by Thy holy grace, during life, that at the hour of their death the enemy may not prevail against them.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
O Almighty and merciful God! Who hast bestowed on the human race both the means of salvation and the gift of eternal life, look graciously upon us, Thy servants, and cherish these souls which Thou hast created, that in the hour of our departure, being free from stain of sin, we may merit to be borne aloft by the hands of the holy Angels to Thee, our Creator.
Accept, O Lord, we beseech Thee, this sacrifice which we offer Thee for the souls of the faithful departed, and grant to us also, who still remain, the grace of a happy death, that by it being purged of all our faults, we, who in this life are afflicted by the scourges of Thy dispensation, may receive our eternal rest in the life to come.
When the first sound of the bell announces that the Priest is about to begin the consecration, say:
O God, may this offering be blessed, and in every way acceptable and agreeable to Thee; and for our salvation's sake, and for the comfort of departed souls, be changed into the Body and Blood of Thy dear Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
At the elevation of the Sacred Host, reverently look up at it and say:
My Lord and my God!
Hail! True Body of Jesus Christ, my Saviour!
Oh, bless and sanctify my soul!
Give them eternal rest, O Lord.
At the elevation of the Chalice, Say:
Hail! True Blood of Jesus, my Redeemer! Oh, wash me pure from all my sins!
Give them eternal rest, O Lord. May they rest in peace.
After the Consecration.
Commemorating, therefore, O Lord, the blessed Passion of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, His resurrection from the dead, and His glorious ascension into Heaven, we offer before the throne of Thy most excellent Majesty, in behalf of these departed souls, whom Thy justice still detains in the pains of temporal punishment, this most holy, pure, and unspotted victim, the holy bread of eternal life, and the chalice of everlasting salvation.
A Special Memento of the Dead.
Be mindful, especially, O Lord, of Thy
servants, N____ and N____ , who are gone before us with the sign of Faith, and rest in the sleep of peace. (Here make mention of those departed friends whom you wish in particular to recommend to the divine mercy.) To these and to all who sleep in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light, and peace. Through the same Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Grant, O Lord, to Thy servants departed that they may not receive a return of punishment for their deeds, who in desire were observers of Thy will; and that, as here true faith has joined them to the company of Thy faithful, so there Thy mercy may associate them to the choir of angels. O God, Whose attribute it is always to show mercy and to spare, we humbly beseech Thee for the souls of Thy faithful servants, whom Thou hast called out of this world, that Thou wouldst not deliver them into the hands of the enemy, nor forget them until the end, but command them to be received by the holy Angels, and so be led to Paradise, their true country; that as they have believed and hoped in Thee, they may not suffer the pains of hell, but possess everlasting joys.
O God, the light of faithful souls, be present to our supplications, and grant to all Thy servants and handmaids whose bodies rest in Christ, a seat of refreshment, a blissful rest, and the light of glory.
We humbly pour out our prayers to Thee, O Lord, for these Thy servants beseeching Thee, that whatever guilt they may have contracted through human frailty, Thou wilt mercifully pardon, and place them in the seat of those happy souls whom Thou hast redeemed. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
To us also, sinners though we are, yet Thy servants, and trusting in the multitude of Thy mercies, deign to grant some part and fellowship with all Thy saints. Into their company we beseech Thee, graciously to admit us, not weighing our merits, but Thy mercy. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Repeat with the Priest: "Our Father Who art in Heaven." etc.; and then offer the following petition:
Deliver, O Lord, I beseech Thee, the souls of Thy servants from all sorrow and suffering, and bring them to the participation of Thy heavenly joys, and through the intercession of the blessed and glorious Mary, ever Virgin, Mother of God, of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul and Andrew, and of the saints, mercifully grant to me also the pardon of my sins, grace to the remnant of my days, and peace in the hour of my death, that so through the help of Thy mercy, in the awful hour of judgment I may stand before the face of my accusing enemy without alarm. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
At the "Agnus Dei," pray thus:
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world! Grant them rest.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world! Grant them rest.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world! Grant them eternal rest.
O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, Who according to Thy Father's will, and by the cooperation of the Holy Ghost, hast given life to the world through Thine own death, deliver me by this, Thy most sacred Body and Blood, from all my sins, and from every evil; make me always cling to Thy commandments, and never let me be separated from Thee.
O Almighty and merciful God! I beseech Thee, may all these Sacraments in which it is our privilege to participate, be the means of our purification; and grant that this Thy Sacrifice may not be to us a ground of accusation for our punishment, but a salutary intercession for our pardon; may it serve for the washing away of our guilt, for the strengthening of our frailty, and for a support against all the dangers of the world, and to all Thy faithful people, whether living or dead, for the remission of all their sins. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
At the signal given with the little bell, when the Priest, before receiving he Sacred Host, strikes his breast three times, do the same, and say each time:
Lord! I am not worthy that Thou shouldst enter under my roof, but only speak the word, and my soul shall be healed. (No. 129.)
Here go to Holy Communion or at least make a spiritual Communion, uniting yourself in desire with the Communion of the Priest. After which, recite the following prayer:
To Almighty God, O dear departed Brethren, we now commend you. May the bright company of the Angels come to seek you; may the senate of the Apostles come to greet you; may the triumphant army of glorious Martyrs come to meet you; the glittering throng of Confessors encompass you with their lilies in their hands; the choir of Virgins receive you with songs of joy; and a happy rest embrace you on the bosoms of the Patriarchs.
The Last Gospel
For the last Gospel, read what follows:
I know that my Redeemer liveth, and in the last day I shall rise out of the earth; and I shall be clothed again with my skin, and in my flesh I shall see my God: Whom I, myself, shall see, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. This my hope is laid up for me in my bosom. (Job six. 25.) I am the Resurrection and the Life; he that believeth in Me, although he be dead, shall live; and every one that liveth and believeth in Me, shall not die forever. (St. John xi. 25.) And I heard a voice saying unto 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. (Apoc. xiv. 13.)
R. Thanks be to God.