The Daily Mass for the Dead


   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.



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


COLLECT FOR DECEASED BISHOPS AND PRIESTS.--O God, who wast pleased to raise Thy servants (or N., Thy servant), to the dignity of the episcopate (or priesthood): vouchsafe to number them (or him) with Thy bishops and priests for evermore. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth . . .


COLLECT FOR DECEASED BRETHREN, RELATIONS AND BENEFACTORS.--O God, the Giver of pardon, and the Lover of the salvation of mankind, we beseech Thy mercy, that through the intercession of blessed Mary ever Virgin and of all the Saints, Thou wouldst grant to the souls of Thy servants and handmaidens, who have passed our of this life, the fellowship of everlasting bliss. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth . . .


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 . . .


EPISTLE Apoc. 14. 13
Lesson from the Book of the Apocalypse of Blessed John the Apostle.

[Blessed are they who die in the Lord.]

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 Ps. 127. 3

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



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



Dies irae, dies illa,
Solvet saeclum in favilla:
Teste David cum Sybilla.
Quantus tremor est futurus,
Quando Judex est venturus,
Cuncta stricte discussurus!
Tuba, mirum spargens sonum,
Per sepulcra 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 tune dicturus?
Quem patronem rogaturus,
Cum vix justus sit securus?
Rex tremendae majestatis,
Qui salvandos salvas gratis,
Salva me, fons pietatis,
Recordare, Jesu pie.
Quod sum causa tuae viae:
Ne me perdas illa die.
Quaerens 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 dignae;
Sed tu bonus fac benigne,
ne perenni cremer igne.
Inter oves locum praesta,
Et ab haedis me sequestra.
Statuens in parte dextra.
Confutatis maledictis,
Flammis acribus addictis,
Voca me cum benedictis.
Oro supplex et acclinis.
Cor contitum 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.
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.

[Christ discourses of the bread of life, the pledge of resurrection.]

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.



Domine Jesu Christe, Rex gloriae, libera animas omnium fidelium defunctorum de poenis inferni et de profundi lacu: libera eas de ore leonis, ne absorbeat eas tartarus, ne cadant in obscurum: 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 Abrahae promisisti et semini ejus. 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 DECEASED BISHOPS AND PRIESTS.--Receive, we beseech Thee, O Lord, for the souls of Thy servants Bishops (or priests or the soul of N. Thy servant Bishop or Priest) the sacrifice we offer: in this world Thou didst raise them (or him) to pontifical (or sacerdotal) rank, bid them (or him) now to enter into the company of Thy Saints. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth . . .


SECRET FOR DECEASED BRETHREN, RELATIONS AND BENEFACTORS.--O God, whose mercies are without number, graciously receive our humble prayers, and through these Sacraments of our salvation, grant to the souls of all the faithful departed, to whom Thou givest to confess Thy Name, the remission of all their sins. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth . . .


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 Dead

Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos tibi semper, et ubique gratias agere: Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus: per Christum Dominum nostrum. In quo nobis spes beatae resurrectionis effulsit, ut quos contristat certa moriendi conditio, eosdem consoletur futurae immortalitatis promissio. Tuis enim fidelibus, Domine, vita mutatur, non tollitur, et dissoluta terrestris hujus incolatus domo, aeterna in coelis habitatio comparatur. Et ideo, cum Angelis et Archangelis, cum Thronis et Dominationibus, cumque omni militia coelestis exercitus, hymnum gloriae tuae canimus, sine fine dicentes: 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:



Lux aeterna luceat eis, Domine: * Cum Sanctis tuis in aeternum: quia pius es. V.: Requiem aeternal dona eis: * Cum Sancis tuis in aeternum: quia pius es. 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 DECEASED BISHOPS AND PRIESTS.--O Lord, may Thy mercies which we implore, avail Thy servants Bishops (or Priests or N., Thy servant Bishop or Priest) departed. In Thee they (or he) hoped, in Thee they (or he) believed: may they (or he), in Thy mercy, be united to Thee for evermore. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost . . .


POSTCOMMUNION FOR DECEASED BRETHREN, RELATIONS AND BENEFACTORS.--Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty and merciful God: that the souls of Thy servants and handmaidens, for whom we have offered to Thy Majesty this Sacrifice of praise, being freed by the power of this Sacrament from all their sins, may, of Thy mercy, receive the bliss of eternal light. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth . . .


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 . . .


1 Indulgence of 3 years, each time. -- Plenary, under the usual conditions, when recing daily this hymn during a month. -- P.P.O. n. 541.