The Cloisters, Moissac Abbey. December 1877. Photographer: Séraphin-Médéric Mieusement (1840-1905). Licence Ouverte. Wikimedia Commons.

2 Nov 2022

Commemoration Of All The Faithful Departed On All Souls’ Day. The Feast Day Is On 2 November. Elisabeth Schwarzkopf Sings “Litanei Auf Das Fest Allerseelen”. “Ruh’ In Frieden”. Franz Schubert.

who reproduce Text and Illustrations from
The Saint Andrew's Daily Missal, 1952 Edition,
with the kind permission of
Artist: René de Cramer.
“Copyright Brunelmar/Ghent/Belgium”.
Used with Permission.

"Réquiem op. 48".
Gabriel Fauré.
Available on YouTube at

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

The Commemoration Of All The Faithful Departed.
   All Souls’ Day.
   Feast Day 2 November.
   [Celebrated on 3 November, if 2 November is a Sunday.]


Black Vestments.

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.

The Litany for All Souls' Day
(starts at 03.48).
Violin and Piano by Schubert.
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.

"Réquiem Aetérnam".
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.

“Réquiem Aetérnam”.
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 Iræ”.
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 Judgement, 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).

First Mass: Réquiem Aetérnam.
Second Mass: Deus, Indulgentiárum.
Third Mass: Réquiem Aetérnam.
Sequence: Dies Iræ.
Preface: Of The Dead.
Absolution: Libera me.

On this day, all Priests may Celebrate three Masses. If a Priest only says one Mass, The Proper of The Mass is that of The First Mass; the same if one of the Masses is sung (Missa Cantata), and the Priest may say the two others before or after The First Mass.

Elisabeth Schwarzkopf.
“Litanei auf das Fest Allerseelen”
(Litany for The Feast of All Souls).
(Joh. Georg Jacobi)
“Ruh’ in Frieden”.
(Rest in Peace).
Komponist: Franz Schubert.
Klavier: Gerald Moore.
Available on YouTube at

The following Text 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 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.


  1. Thank you, Zephyrinus, for as usual a very detailed explaining of the many aspects of All Souls, this most profound day of remembrance of the dead, for its octave, and for the entire month of November.

    It always seems as though All Souls and the month of November, along with Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and Holy Week, stand out as special days to remember our mortality, the passing of our beloved faithful departed, and their need for our prayers and sacrifices to mitigate their sufferings in purgatory, and finally of our eventual calling to a final accounting before Our Lord and Judge.

    There is something both sobering as well as assuring that everyone, whether world dictator, prime minister, president, or pauper, will all be leveled by death and have to give an accounting of our lives before the Divine Judge. “Pie Jesu, Domine, Dona eis requiem.” -Note by Dante P

    1. As usual, a most profound, erudite, and eloquent, Comment, from Dante P. Many thanks, indeed. “Pie Jesu, Domine, Dona eis requiem.” "Let those who have ears, hear. Let those who have eyes, see".

  2. By the way, there is a small traditional Latin Mass Parish in Perth, Australia, Saint Anne’s, which posts their Masses on YouTube: And on November 2, they celebrated a Requiem Mass with their small but quite competent choir singing the Fauré Requiem. Anyone who wishes can hear of the rest of 55 minute Mass video on YouTube. “Very nice job, St Anne’s Perth!” -Note by Dante P

    1. Thank You, Dante P, for drawing our attention to this excellent Church in Perth, Australia. Congratulations to Saint Anne's Church, Perth, for an outstanding performance of Fauré's “Requiem”. We look forward to watching their progress on YouTube with great anticipation.


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