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Liturgy for a Requiem Mass.

This page provides links to some of the treasures for the Masses of the Dead from the Roman Liturgy, which have given comfort to the bereaved and which have won graces for the souls of the faithful departed.

The Burial of the Dead and Exequial Mass

We present the complete Order of the Mass and the ceremonies for the burial of the Dead.  This is a single printer-friendly document with all of the prayers in Latin and English.  These could be printed out and used as an order for service for the funeral of a deceased Catholic.

Click here for the complete text.  [This text is in parallel columns and does not fit a normal page].

Proper Prayers for the Masses of the Dead

  • Mass on the Day of Death or Day of Burial
  • Mass on the Anniversary of Death or Burial
  • Daily or Common Mass of the Dead

Proper Prayers for Masses on All Soul's Day (2 November)

Pope Benedict XV granted Priests permission to offer three Masses on All Soul's Day.  One of these Masses the Celebrant may say according to his own intention; one must be offered for the faithful departed and the third for the intention of the Holy Father.

The Propers of these Masses can be found here:

  • First Mass for All Soul's Day
  • Second Mass for All Soul's Day
  • Third Mass for All Soul's Day

The Rituals of the Requiem Mass

During Masses of the Dead, the rubrics of the Ordinary of the Mass require certain omissions or modifications of prayers and actions of the normal celebration of Mass as a mark of the sorrowful nature of the liturgy. 

The Rituals of the Requiem Mass

Variations to the Ordinary of the Mass

In Masses of the Dead, the Psalm Judica Me is omitted along with the Gloria Patri and the repetition of the antiphon Introibo ad altare Dei .  The versicle Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini is retained with its response.

The altar is not incensed before the Introit.  At the start of the Introit, the priest does not cross himself, but makes the sign of the cross over the book as if giving a blessing.  At the conclusion of the Introit, Gloria Patri is replaced by Requiem aeternam dona eis , etc.  The Gloria in excelsis is not said.

The Subdeacon does not receive a blessing at the end of the Epistle at High Mass.  If candles are to be distributed, this is done after the Epistle, and they are lighted at the Gospel, at the Elevation of the Sacrament and after Mass if the Absolution is to be given.

There is no Alleluia after the Gradual as this is replaced with the Tract and Sequence.

Before the Gospel the Deacon does not ask for a blessing and the words Jube Domne (Domine) Benedicere are not said, nor the Dominus sit in corde meo .  Candles and incense are not carried during the Gospel procession, but at High Masses two acolytes stand, without candles, on either side of the Subdeacon, who holds the Gospel book.  The Gospel book is not incensed.  At the end of the Gospel the celebrant does not kiss the book or say Per evangelica dicta .  The Credo is omitted.

Before the offertory, the sign of the cross over the cruet is omitted during the prayer Deus, qui humanae .  After the offertory prayers the oblation and altar is incensed as usual, but only the Celebrant is incensed, not others.  When the priest washes his hands the Gloria Patri is omitted at the end of the Lavabo inter innocentes .

The Preface of the Dead is used at all Masses and there are no changes to the Canon of the Mass.

In Solemn Masses, the Subdeacon does not stand behind the Celebrant holding the paten with the humeral veil, but at the elevation of the Sacrament he censes it kneeling at the epistle corner.

The words of the Agnus Dei have a special form at Requiem Masses, with the words miserere nobis being replaced by dona eis requiem and the words dona nobis pacem with dona eis requiem sempiternam .  The Priest does not strike his breast during this prayer, as he would normally do, but keeps his hands joined before him, without resting them on the altar.  The prayer Domine Jesu Christi, qui dixisti Apostolis tuis is not said and the Kiss of Peace is not given at High Mass.

At the end of Mass, the dismissal Ite, missa est or Benedicamus Domino is not said, but is replaced by Requiescant in pace with the response Amen .  The blessing is not given, but after the final kiss to the altar and the prayer Placeat has been said, the celebrant reads the Last Gospel.

In this Mass when the ministers give anything to the Celebrant they kiss neither the hand, nor the object given.  All the rest of the Mass remains the same.

References:

  • Francis, J (1949) "The Laws of Holy Mass", Burns, Oates & Washbourne: London.
  • Hughes, J (undated) "The Celebration Of Low Mass", 6th Edition, James Duffy & Sons: Dublin.
  • O'Connell, JB (1960) "The Rubrics of the Roman Breviary and Missal", Burns & Oates: London.
  • O'Connell, JB (1965) "The Order To Be Observed In The Celebration of Mass", Burns & Oates: London.