Wednesday, February 24, 2016



                                                   Order of the Requiem Mass

Introductory Rite
As the priest and ministers process from the Sanctuary (altar area) to the entrance of the church to greet the family and deceased the cantor chants the Introit.

(Chanted in English or Latin, stand as the bell is rung)
Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord: and let light perpetual shine upon them.
(Ps) Thou, O God, art praised in Sion, and unto thee shall the vow be performed in Jerusalem: thou that hearest the prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.
Rest eternal…

(Please face the entrance of the church, then all make the Sign of the Cross, and the Priest says or chants)
Priest: The Lord be with you.
All: And with your spirit.

Then the remains in the casket or ossuary are sprinkled with Holy Water. The coffin is covered with a pall. This is done in silence.

Processional Hymn:
The Processional Chant is announced and all sing from the hymnal.


Collect (Opening Prayer)

The Liturgy of the Word (sit)

The First Scripture Reading is read taken either from the Old Testament or New Testament

Reader:  The word of the Lord. 
All:  Thanks be to God

The Responsorial Psalm is chanted and all are invited to sing the refrain repeating it after the cantor and between each verse of the Psalm.

In place of the Responsorial Psalm, the Gradual may be chanted by the cantor in Latin or English:

Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord: and let light perpetual shine upon them.
V. The righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance: he will not be afraid of any evil tidings.


Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death: I will fear no evil, for thou, O Lord, art with me.
V. Thy rod and they staff: they have been my comfort. 

If the Gradual is used, the Tract is next chanted:

Absolve, O Lord, the souls of all the faithful departed: from every bond of sin.
V. And by the succor of thy grace: may they be found worthy to escape the avenging judgment.
V. And enjoy the bliss: of everlasting light.

The optional Sequence, Dies irae, may be chanted in English or Latin after the Responsorial Psalm or Tract.

The Gospel Acclamation (stand)

The Gospel
Priest or Deacon: The Lord be with you.
All: And with your spirit.
Priest or Deacon: A reading from the holy Gospel according to…
All: Glory to you O Lord.
Priest or Deacon: (after the Gospel) The Gospel of the Lord. 
All: Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ.

The Homily (sit):
The homily is not a eulogy focused on the deceased but rather taken from the Scriptures and focuses on Jesus Christ especially the Paschal Mystery, His passion, death and resurrection.

The General Intercessions (stand)
Response:  “Lord hear our prayer.”

The Liturgy of the Eucharist (sit)

The Offertory
The Offerings of bread and wine may be presented by family members or friends or may already be at the altar beforehand.

The Offertory Chant in English or Latin
(After the prescribed Offertory Chant, another anthem or hymn may be chanted.)

O Lord Jesus Christ, King of glory, deliver the souls of all the faithful departed from the hand of hell, and from the pit of destruction: deliver them from the lion’s mouth; that the grave devour them not; that they go not down to the realms of darkness. But let Michael, the holy standard-bearer, make speed to restore them to the brightness of glory: which thou didst promise in ages past to Abraham and his seed.
V. Sacrifice and prayer do we offer unto thee, O Lord: do thou accept them for the souls departed, in whose memory we make this oblation: and grant them, O Lord, to pass from death unto life: which thou didst promise in ages past to Abraham and his seed.

(Incense is used to honor the offerings of bread and wine which will become the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Crucified and Risen Lord Jesus at the consecration of the Mass. As well  the altar and congregation are incensed. Incense and Holy Water are also used at the Final Commendation to honor the mortal remains of the Faithful Departed whose body was a temple of the Holy Spirit through Baptism. Incense symbolizes our prayer rising to the Majesty of God as a pleasing fragrance.)

The Prayer Over the Offerings (stand)
The Preface Dialogue p. 35, hymnal
(Other versions of the following may be chanted)
The Sanctus: #201, hymnal (kneel after Sanctus)
The Eucharistic Prayer
The Mystery of Faith: #202, hymnal
The Great Amen: #205, hymnal

The Rite of Holy Communion (stand)

The Lord’s Prayer in English or Latin, pages 87-89 in hymnal
The Sign of Peace
The Lamb of God, #206, hymnal (kneel afterward)
The Holy Communion Procession
Communion Chant in English or Latin:
To them in whose memory the Body and Blood of Christ is received: grant, O Lord, rest everlasting.
V. And let light perpetual shine upon them. To them in whose memory the Blood of Christ is received: grant, O Lord, rest everlasting.
Let light eternal shine, O Lord, upon them: for endless ages with thy blessed ones, for thou art gracious.
V. Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord: and let light perpetual shine upon them. For endless ages with thy blessed ones: for thou art gracious.

Another Anthem or hymn may be sung after the prescribed Communion Chant.

The Catholic Faith teaches that the Most Holy Eucharist is actually the Body and Blood of our Crucified and Risen Lord and the reception of Holy Communion is a sign of the Roman Catholic’s full communion with Jesus Christ through His Catholic Church.. We can only invite practicing Roman Catholics who are are forgiven of mortal sin through the Sacrament of Confession and have no other impediments to receive Holy Communion. A one hour fast from food and drink (except water) is required.  All others who wish to come forward at Communion time to receive a blessing may do so. Simply cross your arms over your chest as a sign of your desire to be blessed or simply make a spiritual communion at your place in the pew.

The Prayer after Holy Communion (stand)

Concluding Rite

Final Commendation
(Please join in chanting the Song of Farewell that is announced after the priest introduces it. The remains are incensed and blessed with Holy Water.)

Prayer of Commendation

Priest or Deacon: Let us take our brother/sister to his/her place of rest.

If the Rite of Committal is to take place at a later time:

The Solemn Blessing
Priest or Deacon: Go in Peace.
All: Thanks be to God.

In Paradisum (May the Angels lead you into Paradise) is chanted in Latin or English.


Macon, Georgia


Fr Martin Fox said...

Very nice Father! Thank you for this.

One friendly yet probing question: what is your basis for including the Kyrie?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

This is what I've noticed at papal Masses at the Vatican and it began under Pope Benedict and has continued with Pope Francis and I am sure at the prompting of Msgr. Guido Marini. The Kyrie is no longer omitted when the Rite of Blessing and Sprinkling Holy Water takes place. After its "absolution" the choir sings the free standing Kyrie and Gloria. The same was true of the Presentation of the Lord, after the blessing of candles and procession to the altar with the prescribed Introit, the choir went directly to the Kyrie and then Gloria. As well, the same is true of the Blessing of Palms on Palm Sunday. The Kyrie is not omitted by the Vatican Choir.

I think the Kyrie in its free standing form is omitted because it is now too closely aligned with the Penitential Act, especially with the Kyrie when use as "Lord Jesus, you came to heal the contrite of heart. Lord have mercy..." followed by the Absolution. This form mixes up the order of the Kyrie as the Kyrie should not be before the absolution.

In the EF Mass the Kyrie is in no way associated with the PATFOTA and is never, ever omitted in any Mass.

So the principle of chanting the free standing Kyrie in a funeral rite would be closely associcated with what is happening at the Vatican--it follows any rite that replaces the Penitential Act, such as the Rite of Blessing Water and sprinkling it, the Blessing of Candles on Candlemas, the Blessing of Palms on Palm Sunday and the Blessing of the Deceased at a funeral Mass.

TJM said...

Fr. McDonald, although a Yankee, I'd give anything to have a funeral Mass like that in my Northern Parish! You are a bright light in the liturgical darkness.

Fr Martin Fox said...


That's a very clear and persuasive explanation, thank you!

I will be sharing your program with my music director, and applying your wisdom.

John Nolan said...

The custom over here is for the body to be received into the church on the evening before the funeral Mass and to lie in the church overnight. This was not changed after V2, although the black pall and six flanking tall unbleached candles is now only seen in more traditional parishes.

The chant for the Kyrie is unique to the Requiem Mass; the other Ordinary chants are the same as for ferias in Advent and Lent (Mass XVIII, GR pp 767-8). The only difference in the NO is that the Kyrie is now separated from the Introit by the Greeting and Penitential Act. There is no reason for leaving it out.

The Offertory chant (Domine Jesu Christe) with its verse shows that it is in the form of a Responsory. At one time all Offertories were like this, but in the later Middle Ages the verses were discarded. They were revived in the 20th century and should be heard more often.