Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Monday, 2 November 2015

The Commemoration Of All The Faithful Departed. All Souls. Feast Day 2 November. Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. Litanei Auf Das Fest Allerseelen. "Ruh' In Frieden". Franz Schubert.

Text and Illustrations from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless otherwise stated.

The Commemoration of All The Faithful Departed.
All Souls.
Feast Day 2 November.


Black Vestments.

who reproduce Text and Illustrations from Saint Andrew's Daily Missal, 1952 Edition,
with the kind permission of SAINT BONAVENTURE PUBLICATIONS

Artist: Rene de Cramer.
“Copyright Brunelmar/Ghent/Belgium”.
Used with Permission.

Gabriel Faure 
Requiem op. 48.
Available on YouTube at

The Feast of All Saints is intimately connected with the remembrance of The Holy Souls, who, detained in Purgatory to expiate their Venial Sins, or to pay the Temporal pains due to sin, are nonetheless confirmed in Grace and will, one day, enter Heaven.

Litany for All Souls' Day (starts at 03.48).
Violin and Piano by
Available on YouTube at

Therefore, after having joyfully Celebrated the Glory of The Saints, who are The Church Triumphant in Heaven, The Church on Earth extends her maternal solicitude to the place of unspeakable torments, the abode of Souls who equally belong to her.

Requiem Aeternam.
The Gradual from The Mass for The Dead.
Gregorian Chant notation from 
The Liber Usualis (1961), pp. 1808-1809. 
Latin lyrics sung by The Alfred Deller Consort.
Available on YouTube at

"On this day," says The Roman Martyrology, "Commemoration of All The Faithful Departed, in which our common and pious Mother The Church, immediately after having endeavoured to Celebrate, by worthy praise, all her children who already rejoice in Heaven, strives to aid, by her powerful intercession with Christ her Lord and Spouse, all those who still groan in Purgatory, so that they may join, as soon as possible, the inhabitants of The Heavenly City."

Nowhere in The Liturgy is more vividly affirmed the mysterious unity which exists between The Church Triumphant, The Church Militant, and The Church Suffering, and never is better fulfilled the double duty of Charity and Justice, incumbent on every Christian by virtue of his membership of The Mystical Body of Christ.

It is through the very consoling Dogma, of The Communion of Saints, that the merits and suffrages of The Saints may benefit others. Whereby, without infringing the indefeasible rights of Divine Justice, which are exercised in their full vigour after this life, The Church can join her Prayers, here on Earth, to those of The Church in Heaven, and supply what is wanting in The Souls in Purgatory, by offering to God for them, by The Holy Mass, by Indulgences, by the Alms and sacrifices of her children, the superabundant Merits of Christ's Passion and of His Mystical Members.

Requiem Aeternum.
The Introit from The Mass for The Dead.
Gregorian Chant notation from 
The Liber Usualis (1961), p. 1807. 
Latin lyrics sung by the Schola of The Vienna Hofburgkapelle.
Available on YouTube at

Wherefore, The Liturgy, the centre of which is The Sacrifice of Calvary continued on the Altar, has always used this pre-eminent means of exercising, in favour of The Departed, the great Law of Charity; for it is a precept of Charity to relieve our neighbour's wants, as if they were our own, in virtue of the supernatural bond, which unites in Jesus, those in Heaven, in Purgatory, and on the Earth.

The Liturgy of The Dead is, perhaps, the most beautiful and consoling of all. Every day, at the end of each Hour of The Divine Office, we recommend to The Divine Mercy the Souls of The Faithful Departed. In The Mass, at the Suscipe, the Priest offers the Sacrifice for the living and the dead and, in a special Memento, he implores The Lord to remember His servants, who have fallen asleep in Christ and to grant them to dwell in Consolation, Light and Peace.

Masses for The Dead are already recorded in the 5th-Century A.D. But, to Saint Odilo, the fourth Abbot of the famous Benedictine Monastery of Cluny, is due The Commemoration of All The Departed. He instituted it in 998 A.D., and prescribed that it should be Celebrated the day following All Saints' Day.

Domine Jesu Christe.
The Offertory from The Mass for The Dead.
Gregorian Chant notation from
The Liber Usualis (1961), pp. 1813-1814.
Latin lyrics sung by The Alfred Deller Consort.
Available on YouTube at

Through the influence of this illustrious French Congregation (Cluny Abbey), the custom was soon adopted by the whole Christian World and it even sometimes became a Day of Obligation. In Spain, Portugal and the formerly-Spanish parts of South America, Priests, in virtue of a Privilege granted by Pope Benedict XIV, Celebrated three Masses on 2 November.

A Decree of Pope Benedict XV, dated 10 August 1915, authorises the Priests of the whole World to do the same. [By this same institution, The Holy See granted a Plenary Indulgence toties quoties, on the same conditions as on 2 August, applicable to The Souls of The Departed on All Souls' Day, to all those who visited a Church between Noon, on All Saints' Day, and Midnight on the following day and Prayed for the Intention of The Sovereign Pontiff.]

Dies Irae.
The Sequence from The Mass for The Dead.
Gregorian Chant notation from
The Liber Usualis (1961), p. 1810.
Latin lyrics sung by The Alfred Deller Consort.
Available on YouTube at

The Church reminds us in an Epistle, taken from Saint Paul, that the dead will rise again, and tells us to hope, for, on that day, we shall all see one another in The Lord. The Sequence strikingly describes The Last Judgment, when the good will be for ever separated from the wicked.

The Offertory reminds us that it is Saint Michael who introduces Souls into Heaven, for, as the Prayers for the recommendation of the Soul say, it is he who is "the Chief of The Heavenly Host" in whose ranks men are called to fill the places of The Fallen Angels.

Libera Me.
A Responsory from The Mass for The Dead.
Gregorian Chant notation from
The Liber Usualis (1961), p. 1767.
Latin lyrics sung by The
Schola of The Hofburgkapelle, Vienna.
Available on YouTube at

"The Souls in Purgatory," declares The Council of Trent, "are helped by the suffrages of The Faithful, especially by The Sacrifice of The Altar." The reason is that, in Holy Mass, the Priest offers officially to God The Ransom for Souls, that is, The Blood of The Saviour. And Jesus, Himself, under the elements of Bread and Wine, which recall to The Father the Sacrifice of Golgotha, Prays God to apply to these Souls its atoning virtue.

Let us, on this day, be present at The Holy Sacrifice of The Mass, when The Church implores God to grant to The Faithful Departed, who can now do nothing for themselves, the remission of all their sins (Collect) and Eternal Rest (Introit, Gradual, Communion), and let us visit the Cemeteries where their bodies repose [the word "Cemetery" comes from a Greek word meaning "a place where one rests in peace".] until the day when, in the twinkling of an eye, at the sound of The Last Trumpet, they will rise again to be clothed in immortality and to gain, through Jesus Christ, the Victory over Death (Epistle).

Elisabeth Schwarzkopf.
Litanei auf das Fest Allerseelen
(Joh. Georg Jacobi)
"Ruh' in Frieden".
Komponist: Franz Schubert.
Klavier: Gerald Moore.
Available on YouTube at

The following is taken from "The Liturgical Year", by Abbot Gueranger, O.S.B.,
for All Souls' Day, 2 November.

"We will not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them that are asleep, that you be not sorrowful, even as others who have no hope." [Saint Paul, I Thess. iv. 13.] 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.

Absolve, Domine.
The Tract from The Mass for The Dead.
Gregorian Chant notation from
The Liber Usualis (1961), p. 1809.
Latin lyrics sung by The Alfred Deller Consort.
Available on YouTube at

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; 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, prevents 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.

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