July 27, 2014

Liturgical Guide: Office of the Dead / Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls)

The hymns selected for use in the Office of the Dead and the Feast of All Souls express the Church's hope in Christ’s victory over death and in each Christian’s share in that victory. Paragraph 958 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains Communion with the Dead in this way: "In full consciousness of this communion of the whole Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, the Church in its pilgrim members, from the very earliest days of the Christian religion, has honored with great respect the memory of the dead; and because it is a holy and a wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins she offers her suffrages for them. Our prayer for them is capable not only of helping them, but also of making their intercession for us effective." The Office for the Dead is believed to have come into practice no early than the 7th or 8th century, but scholars are divided on it's exact origins. It is the proper Office for All Soul's Day (Nov. 2). It can also be used as a Votive Office, an optional devotion outside of the regular Liturgical calendar that can be prayed (except on Solemnities, Sundays in Advent, Lent, and Easter, Ash Wednesday, Holy Week, the Octave of Easter, and All Soul's Day) for a deceased loved one, religious, or member of community etc. at appropriate times, such as the day of death, funeral, or anniversary of death.

Reflection by the Apostleship of Prayer. See: Lumen Gentium (VII:49)

98. Keep in Mind
106. This I Ask (John 15)
120. Christ the Lord is Risen Today (Wesley)
139. Come to Me
172. For All the Saints
175. The King of Love My Shepherd Is
184. O Radiant Light, O Sun Divine
185. May Flights of Angels Lead You On Your Way

61. Remember Those, O Lord
62. Merciful Saviour, Hear Our Humble Prayer

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