Sancta Missa - Rituale Romanum (Roman Ritual) - Rite for burial of adults



CHAPTER II: RITE FOR BURIAL OF ADULTS

1. At the time designated for taking the remains to church, the clergy are called together, as well as others who should take part in the obsequies. All assemble in the parish church or in another church, as local custom determines. As soon as the bells sound the signal in the usual manner of the locality, the pastor, vested in surplice and black stole or, as the case may be, wearing also a cope of the same color, and preceded by a cleric carrying the cross and another the holy water, goes in company of the others to the home of the deceased. Here candles are distributed and the torches are lighted.

Meanwhile all is arranged for the procession. The lay confraternities (if such are present) go first, followed by the regular and secular clergy according to their rank. Led by the cross they walk two by two, chanting in devout manner the psalms given below. The pastor walks before the hearse with its burning torches. Behind the hearse come the rest of the mourners, devoutly praying in silence for the departed.

2. Previous to removing the body, the pastor sprinkles it with holy water, then at once begins (without chant) the following:

Antiphon: If you, Lord, mark iniquities, * Lord, who can stand?

Psalm 129

P: Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; * Lord, hear my voice!

All: Let your ears be attentive * to my voice in supplication:

P: If you, Lord, mark iniquities, * Lord, who can stand?

All: But with you is forgiveness, ' that you may be revered.

P: I trust in the Lord; my soul trusts in His word.

All: My soul waits for the Lord * more than sentinels wait for the dawn.

P: More than sentinels wait for the dawn, * let Israel wait for the Lord.

All: For with the Lord is kindness * and with Him is plenteous redemption;

P: And He will redeem Israel * from all their iniquities.

All: Lord, grant him (her) eternal rest.

P: And let perpetual light shine upon him (her).

Antiphon: If you, Lord, mark iniquities, * Lord, who can stand?

The rite given above, if it has not been carried out in the home or mortuary, takes place in the vestibule of the church.

Procession to the Church

As the body is being carried out of the home, the pastor, walking ahead, intones in a clear voice the following antiphon:

Antiphon: The bones you have crushed shall rejoice.

The chanters begin psalm 50, which is carried on alternately by the clergy. This psalm is given elsewhere; but the ending "Glory be to the Father," etc., is changed to "Lord, grant him (her) eternal rest," etc.

3. On entering the church the antiphon is repeated:

Antiphon: The bones you have crushed shall rejoice.

As the body is being carried into the church the following responsory is sung, the chanters intoning it and the clergy alternating with them as indicated (see the music for this in the music supplement):

Responsory During the Procession

Come in haste to assist him (her), * you saints of God; Come in haste to meet him (her), you angels of the Lord. * Enfold in your arms this soul, * and take your burden heavenwards to the sight of the Most High.

V. May Christ receive you, for it was He who called you; And may angels carry you unto Abraham's bosom.

R: Enfold in your arms this soul, * and take your burden heavenwards to the sight of the Most High.

V. Lord, grant him (her) eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon him (her).

All: Take your burden heavenwards to the sight of the Most High.

4. The coffin is placed in the middle of the aisle, arranged so that the feet (unless the deceased is a priest) of the corpse are toward the main altar; in the case of a priest the head is placed toward the altar. Lighted candles are put around the body. If nothing hinders it the Office for the Dead follows immediately, with invitatory, three nocturns, and Lauds; and the antiphons are said in full before and after the respective psalm.

But if the Office for the Dead and the Mass of Requiem are not to take place immediately on bringing the remains into church, but are to follow later in the day or on the next day, then as soon as the responsory has been sung these prayers are added: "Lord, have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Our Father," etc., with versicles and the oration as given below in no. 5, using the short conclusion "through Christ our Lord. R. Amen," and concluding with "Lord, grant him (her) eternal rest. R. And let perpetual light shine upon him (her). V. May he (she) rest in peace. R. Amen."

5. At the end of the Office for the Dead, having repeated the antiphon of the Canticle of Zachary (or if Lauds is omitted after the nocturn or nocturns of Matins), all kneel while the following prayers are chanted:

Our Father (the rest inaudibly until:)

P: And lead us not into temptation.

All: But deliver us from evil.

P: From the gates of hell.

All: Deliver his (her) soul, O Lord.

P: May he (she) rest in peace.

All: Amen.

P: Lord, heed my prayer.

All: And let my cry be heard by you.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

We beg you, O Lord, to absolve the soul of your servant, N., from every bond of his (her) sins, so that in the glorious resurrection he (she) may be awakened to new life in the company of your saints and your elect. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.

All: Amen.

If the deceased is a priest one adds the word priest after his name Or another appropriate oration may be selected from those given under Rite for Burial of Adults. If this oration does not immediately precede the burial service or the Mass or the absolution, then one adds the versicles "Lord, grant," etc., udner Prayers at a Wake.

All orations during the exequies and Office for the Dead are chanted in the ferial tone, i.e., without inflections, or in another ferial tone ad libitum. The longer conclusion for the orations is used only in Mass and in the Office; at all other times the shorter one.

6. During the chanting of Lauds the priest and the ministrants repair to the sacristy at the proper time to vest for the solemn celebration of Mass, which will be the one for the day of burial as found in the Missal.

Absolution at the End of Mass

7. At the end of Mass the celebrant lays aside the chasuble and maniple at the epistle side of the altar, and puts on a black cope. The deacon and subdeacon retain their vestments, with the exception of the maniple. The subdeacon takes the cross and goes to the bier preceded by two acolytes, one carrying the thurible and incense boat, the other the holy water with aspersory. He takes his place at the head of the corpse, standing between two acolytes or candle bearers who are holding candlesticks with lighted candles. The rest of the clergy follow him in the order of their rank, all holding lighted candles, and arrange themselves in a circle around the bier. The celebrant comes last, accompanied by the deacon on his left. After making the reverence to the altar he takes his place at the foot of the corpse, facing the cross. Behind him to the left are the two acolytes, the one with thurible and incense boat, the other with holy water and aspersory. As the deacon holds the book for him the celebrant (with hands folded) says the following prayer without any introductory word. No change of forms is made even though the prayer is being said for several deceased or for a woman:

Lord, do not call your servant to account; for no one can stand guiltless in your presence unless you grant him forgiveness of all his sins. Therefore, we pray, that in passing judgment you will not let your sentence fall heavily on one who is commended to you by the sincere prayer of Christian faith. But with the help of your grace may this servant, who during life was sealed with the sign of the Blessed Trinity, be found worthy of escaping the doom of your vengeance. We ask this of you who live and reign forever and ever.

All: Amen.
Responsory

Deliver me, O Lord, * from everlasting death on that dread day, When the heavens and the earth are to be stirred;

R. When you shall come to judge the world by fire.

V. I am overcome by fear and foreboding when I ponder the scrutiny and the wrath which is to come. * When the heavens and the earth are to be stirred.

V. That day, the day of wrath, of mortal ruin and fearful wailing, the day of dread and exceeding vengeance.

R. When you shall come to judge the world by fire.

V. Lord, grant them eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon them.

All: Deliver me, O Lord, from everlasting death on that dread day, When the heavens and the earth are to be stirred; When you shall come to judge the world by fire.

9. While the first part of the responsory is being repeated, the celebrant assisted by the deacon takes incense from the boat and puts it into the thurible, blessing it in the usual way. At the end of the responsory the first choir sings:

Lord, have mercy.

The second choir responds: Christ, have mercy.

And all together sing: Lord, have mercy.

10. The priest then intones in a clear voice "Our Father."

All continue to say it inaudibly. Meanwhile the priest receives the aspersory from the deacon, and goes around the coffin sprinkling it with holy water, three times on the left and the same on the right, assisted by the deacon who walks to his right, holding the front hem of the cope. In passing before the altar and the cross which is opposite him the priest makes a profound bow, while the deacon genuflects; but if the Blessed Sacrament is present he genuflects in passing the altar. Returning to his original position he receives the thurible with the aid of the deacon, and in the same manner as before goes around the coffin incensing the body. Then returning the thurible he stands at his place, and with hands folded chants the following (the deacon holds the book open for him):

P: And lead us not into temptation.

All: But deliver us from evil.

P: From the gates of hell

All: Deliver his (her) soul, O Lord.

P: May he (she) rest in peace.

All: Amen.

P: Lord, heed my prayer.

All: And let my cry be heard by you.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

God, whose nature is ever merciful and forgiving, we humbly entreat you for the soul of your servant, N., who at your bidding has today departed this world; do not deliver him (her) into the enemy's hands, or put him (her) out of mind forever, but bid your holy angels to welcome him (her) and lead him (her) home to Paradise. Let him (her) not undergo the pains of hell, for he (she) put his (her) hope and trust in you, but let him (her) have the joy that knows no ending; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

If the deceased is a priest, the following is said in the above prayer:"...the soul of your servant, N., your priest.

11. If interment is to take place at this time the body is taken to the grave. As the procession is leaving the church the clergy sing the antiphon which follows; or if removal of the body is delayed the antiphon is sung now at any rate. (For the music see the music supplement.)

Antiphon

May the angels lead you into Paradise; May the martyrs receive you at your coming, And take you to Jerusalem, the holy city. May the choir of angels be there to welcome you. And may you, with the once poor Lazarus, have everlasting rest.

At the Grave

12. On reaching the grave the priest blesses it, if it is not yet blessed, saying:

Let us pray.

God, by whose mercy the souls of the faithful have rest, may it please you to bless + this grave and to appoint your holy angel to watch over it. Release from all bondage of sin the soul of him (her) who is buried here, so that along with your saints he (she) may ever find lasting joy in you; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

13. He sprinkles the corpse and the grave with holy water and incenses them. If the grave is already blessed, this blessing is omitted, as well as the sprinkling and incensation of the corpse and grave.

14. Even though the remains are not taken to the grave at this time (see no. 11 above), nevertheless, the priest carries out the following part, and it must never be omitted. He intones the antiphon and the rest is taken up by the choir (see the music for this in the music supplement):

Antiphon: I am the resurrection * and the life; he who believes in me will live even if he dies; and no one that lives and believes in me shall be dead forever.

Canticle of Zachary

Luke 1.68-79

P: "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel! * He has visited His people and brought about its redemption.

All: He has raised for us a stronghold of salvation * in the house of David His servant,

P: And redeemed the promise He had made * through the mouth of His holy prophets of old--

All: To grant salvation from our foes * and from the hand of all that hate us;

P: To deal in mercy with our fathers * and be mindful of His holy covenant,

All: Of the oath He had sworn to our father Abraham, that He would enable us--

P: Rescued from the clutches of our foes-- * to worship Him without fear,

All: In holiness and observance of the Law, * in His presence, all our days.

P: And you, my little one, will be hailed 'Prophet of the Most High'; * for the Lord's precursor you will be to prepare His ways;

All:. You are to impart to His people knowledge of salvation * through forgiveness of their sins.

P: Thanks be to the merciful heart of our God! * A dawning Light from on high will visit us

All: To shine upon those who sit in darkness and in the shadowland of death, * and guide our feet into the path of peace."

P: Lord, grant him (her) eternal rest.

All: And let perpetual light shine upon him (her).

All: Ant. I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me will live even if he dies; and no one that lives and believes in me shall be dead forever.

After this the priest sings: Lord, have mercy.

The choir continues: Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

The priest, sprinkling the coffin with holy water, says Our Father inaudibly until:

P: And lead us not into temptation.

All: But deliver us from evil.

P: From the gates of hell.

All: Deliver his (her) soul, O Lord.

P: May he (she) rest in peace.

All: Amen.

P: Lord, heed my prayer.

All: And let my cry be heard by you.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Lord, we beg you to grant this mercy to your departed servant, that he (she) who aspired to do your will may not be punished for his (her) misdeeds. For as here on earth the true faith joined him (her) in fellowship with the faithful, so in the life beyond let your mercy unite him (her) with the choirs of angels; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

As he makes the sign of the cross over the coffin the priest says:

P: Lord, grant him (her) eternal rest.

All: And let perpetual light shine upon him (her).

P: May he (she) rest in peace.

All: Amen.

P: May his (her) soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.

All: Amen.

If he so desires the priest may add one or more of the following prayers for the deceased or for all the faithful departed or also for the mourners:

For a Layman
Let us pray.

In your mercy, Lord, listen to our humble prayer, and grant that the soul of your servant, N., who at your summons has departed this world, may find rest in the realm of light and peace, and may be joined to the company of your saints; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen
For a Priest
Let us pray.

God, who in conferring the priestly dignity on your servant, N., made him share in the priesthood of the apostles; admit him now, we pray, to everlasting fellowship with them; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

For a Priest's Father

Let us pray.

God, who has commanded us to honor our fathers, show your tender mercy to the soul of my (our) father, forgive his sins, and permit me (us) to see him in the joy of everlasting splendor; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

For a Priest's Mother

Let us pray.

God, who has commanded us to honor our mothers, show your tender mercy to the soul of my (our) mother, forgive her sins, and permit me (us) to see her in the joy of everlasting splendor; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

For Those at Rest in the Cemetery

Let us pray.

God, in whose mercy the souls of the faithful find rest, kindly forgive the sins of your servants and of all who here and elsewhere sleep in Christ; absolve them from all guilt, and let them share in your presence the happiness that has no end; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

For All the Faithful

Let us pray.

God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant to the souls of your departed servants remission of all sins; and by our fervent prayers may they obtain the pardon they have always desired. We ask this of you who live and reign forever and ever. All: Amen.

For the Mourners

Let us pray.

Lord, while in our sorrow we lament the departure of our brother (sister), your servant, we beg you to help us keep in mind that we shall most certainly follow him (her); give us the grace to prepare for that last hour by a devout and holy life; protect us from a sudden and unprovided death; teach us to watch and pray, so that when your summons comes we may go forth to meet the divine bridegroom and enter with Him the halls of heaven; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

15. On leaving the grave to return to the church the cross-bearer leads the way. The celebrant begins (without chant) the antiphon "If you, Lord, mark iniquities," and then recites alternately with the clergy the psalm "Out of the depths," as given above, Psalm 129.

In concluding the psalm he says in the plural form:

P: Lord, grant them eternal rest.

All: And let perpetual light shine upon them.

And the antiphon is repeated by all.

In the sacristy, before removing his vestments, the priest says the following prayers:

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Our Father (the rest inaudibly until:)

P: And lead us not into temptation.

All: But deliver us from evil.

P: From the gates of hell.

All: Deliver their souls, O Lord.

P: May they rest in peace.

All: Amen.

P: Lord, heed my prayer.

All: And let my cry be heard by you.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant to the souls of your departed servants remission of all sins; and by our fervent prayers may they obtain the pardon they have always desired. We ask this of you who live and reign forever and ever. All: Amen.

16. If for a valid reason (e.g., lack of time, or if other funerals are to follow immediately) the Office for the Dead with its three nocturns and Lauds cannot be said, then as soon as the body has been brought into church at least the first nocturn and Lauds (or even omitting Lauds) ought to be said, beginning with the invitatory. After the Office and Mass all that usually concludes the burial service should be said, as prescribed above.

17. If there is a good reason for not saying even one nocturn, nevertheless, the rest of the prayers and suffrages should never be omitted.

18. The proper Mass for this occasion, provided the hour allows it, is the one listed in the Missal for the day of death or burial--to be celebrated with the body present. It must never be omitted, unless a high feast forbids it or some other necessity dictates otherwise. After Mass everything takes place as above.

19. The rite as given above is prescribed for every funeral of an adult, for the clergy or the laity, and is to be observed also when a deacon presides at the obsequies. A deacon may act in this capacity with the permission of the Ordinary or the pastor, which permission can be granted for a serious reason. In a case of necessity this may lawfully be presumed.

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