Thursday, 2 November 2017 : All Souls Day (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Black or Purple

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the All Souls’ Day, the day when we remember and pray for the souls of all the faithful departed, especially for those who are suffering in the fires of Purgatory, the place where the souls of the faithful go, when they are not yet fully worthy of God, meriting heaven directly as the saints had received. Today we pray for these holy souls, suffering because they are waiting to be fully reconciled and reunited with God.

Just as yesterday we rejoice together with all the saints of God, holy men and women deemed officially by the Church to be immediately merit and worthy of the glory and grace of heaven, in All Saints’s Day, today we remember all the other souls of the faithful departed, whom we hope to be welcomed by God in His eternal dwelling in heaven. We remember them because even though they are no longer physically with us, but they are still there, be it in heaven or in Purgatory, and hopefully not in hell.

The Church as I mentioned yesterday, is composed not only just of the Church that is physically in this world now, and neither it is made of just the buildings, structures, or hierarchies of people we often thought and mistook to be what the Church is. It consists firstly of all of us the faithful living in this world, part of the Church Militant, constantly struggling and persevering in this world, and that is why we are called the Church Militant.

However, the Church is also composed of all the saints of God, all those holy men and women who by their exemplary and inspiring lifestyle, have been deemed to be worthy of the Lord and His kingdom of heaven, as the Church Triumphant. And then, the Church also comprises of the souls of the faithful departed who are suffering in the flames of holy Purgatory, where they are spending time to be purified from their sins, as the Church Suffering.

Therefore, today, the primary focus of our intentions is the prayer for these souls in Purgatory, who cannot pray for themselves, to be forgiven from their sins that temporarily separates them from the fullness of the love of God. We pray for them because in our faith, we believe that the Lord will listen to our prayers, made for their sake, and He will be moved to help these souls that they may be completely absolved from their faults, and enter into the eternal glory of heaven.

I am sure that many of us are willing to pray for the souls of our loved ones who have gone before us. That is because we are not sure whether they have ended in heaven, or Purgatory, or even hell. But that is the reality, brothers and sisters in Christ. Not all souls will be saved, because in the end, if the person continues to reject the Lord’s offer of salvation and mercy, and doubles down the path of sin and darkness, in the end, it is only hell that awaits that person’s soul.

God does not abandon His people or cast them into hell. Rather, it is our own conscious choice to reject the Lord and to continue in our rebellion against Him, and being unrepentant about it which leads us to the damnation in hell. And hell is a reality that we must be aware of, for the suffering in hell is not just the fires that we often had in mind when we think of hell. In fact, the true suffering of the souls condemned to eternity in hell is due to the total lack of hope, and total separation from God’s love.

Mankind cannot live without God’s love, and to endure for eternity without any trace of God’s love is indeed how painful the suffering of the souls cast down to hell is like. And to a lesser extent, that is the suffering of the souls in Purgatory. For them, they are suffering because even though they have the hope of receiving eternal life and glory, and are in the threshold of Heaven, but they cannot yet enter it because of the sins that still once corrupted them in life.

For God is all good and perfect, that no sinner unforgiven and unrepentant can be in His presence, and thus, that is why our Church in its sacred tradition and teachings stated that the holy souls departed from this life, but had not yet merited Heaven immediately, will end up in Purgatory, where the cleansing flame of God’s love will purify their souls, and through prayers and intercessions from the saints and from each one of us still living in this world, they can be brought into Heaven in God’s good time.

Therefore, on this day, All Souls’ Day, all of us Christians should first of all, pray for the sake of our deceased brethren, those who have gone before us to the afterlife, as through our prayers, delivered to God, God may have mercy and compassion on these souls in Purgatory, and by His will and decision, He may absolve them of their remaining sins and impurities, and bring them right into the glory of Heaven.

But at the same time, what each and every one of us cannot forget is that, what happens on this day and what we commemorate is not just focusing on the souls of the dead. All of them have received their just rewards, be it eternal glory in Heaven right away, or be it temporary suffering in Purgatory while awaiting the glory of Heaven to come, or indeed, the eternal damnation and suffering in hell. But there are still many things that all of us, members of God’s Church Militant, still living in this world, can do.

As we pray for the sake of our departed brothers and sisters in the Lord, for our loved ones and for the salvation and peace for their souls, let us also remember in our own deeds and actions in life, in how we lead a life that should be Christian in nature, and devoted to God. If we have wandered off somehow because of the many temptations and pressures in life, from the world, from all those who are around us, and due to other reasons, perhaps it is time for us to reevaluate our lives, our focus and our approach in life.

Let us remember that this life we have now, we receive it from the Lord, our God. And our very breath, which we take in and exhale every now and then, regularly, comes from the Lord and is a gift of God. God has given each and every one of us the opportunities in our respective lives, to lead a good, Christian and dedicated life. We should not be complacent or be ignorant in our lives, but instead, strive to do our best to be devout and committed Christians.

And in that way, we will be able to build up for ourselves, as the Lord Jesus Himself said, a great treasure in heaven. Let us wait no longer and delay no longer, for many Christians like to delay and to postpone things, and think that they have a lot of time, or that God is forever merciful and loving, that no matter what sin we commit in life, God will forgive us everything we have done, and Heaven is guaranteed for us. No, this is a wrong way of thinking, and we should keep this in mind before it is too late for us.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, therefore, as we today together with all the saints pray for the sake of all the holy souls departed, and those suffering in Purgatory, let us also renew our commitment to live our lives faithfully in accordance with God’s will, in all the things we say and do, in all the things we perform, all the days of our lives. May the Lord have mercy on all the holy souls of the faithful departed, and grant them eternal rest. Welcome them all into Your kingdom, Lord. Amen.

Thursday, 2 November 2017 : All Souls Day (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Black or Purple

Matthew 11 : 25-30

At that time, Jesus said, “Father, Lord of heaven and earth, I praise You; because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to simple people. Yes, Father, this was Your gracious will.”

“Everything has been entrusted to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father; and no one knows the Father except the Son, and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.”

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart; and you will find rest. For My yoke is easy; and My burden is light.”

Thursday, 2 November 2017 : All Souls Day (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Black or Purple

Romans 5 : 5-11

And hope does not disappoint us, because the Holy Spirit has been given to us, pouring into our hearts the love of God. Consider, moreover, the time that Christ died for us : when we were still helpless and unable to do anything. Few would accept to die for an upright person; although, for a very good person, perhaps someone would dare to die.

But see how God manifested His love for us : while we were still sinners, Christ died for us; and we have become just, through His Blood. With much more reason now He will save us from any condemnation. Once enemies, we have been reconciled with God through the death of His Son; with much more reason, now we may be saved, through His life.

Not only that, but we even boast in God because of Christ Jesus, our Lord, through Whom we have been reconciled.

Thursday, 2 November 2017 : All Souls Day (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Black or Purple

Psalm 26 : 1, 4, 7-9, 13-14

YHVH is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? YHVH is the rampart of my life; I will not be afraid.

One thing I ask of YHVH, one thing I seek – that I may dwell in His house all the days of my life, to gaze at His jewel and to visit His Sanctuary.

Hear my voice when I call, o YHVH, have mercy on me and answer. My heart says to You, “I seek Your face, o YHVH.” Do not hide Your face from me nor turn away Your servant in anger. You are my protector, do not reject me; abandon me not, o God my Saviour!

I hope, I am sure, that I will see the goodness of YHVH in the land of the living. Trust in YHVH, be strong and courageous, yes, put your hope in YHVH!

Thursday, 2 November 2017 : All Souls Day (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Black or Purple

Isaiah 25 : 6-9

On this mountain YHVH Sabaoth will prepare for all peoples a feast of rich food and choice wines, meat full of marrow, fine wine strained. On this mountain He will destroy the pall cast over all peoples, this very shroud spread over all nations, and death will be no more.

The Lord YHVH will wipe away the tears from all cheeks and eyes; He will take away the humiliation of His people all over the world : for YHVH has spoken. On that day you will say : This is our God. We have waited for Him to save us, let us be glad and rejoice in His salvation.

(Usus Antiquior) Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, All Souls’ Day (Feria I Classis) – Thursday, 2 November 2017 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Preface of the Dead, Agnus Dei, Communion, Post-Communion Prayer and Dismissal

Liturgical Colour : Black

Offertory

Tradition of the Faith

Domine Jesu Christe, Rex gloriae, libera animas omnium fidelium defunctorum de poenis inferni et de profundo lacu : libera eas de ore leonis, ne absorbeat eas tartarus, ne cadant in obscurum : sed signifer sanctus Michael repraesentet eas in lucem sanctam : Quam olim Abrahae promisisti et semine ejus.

Priest : Hostias et preces Tibi, Domine, laudis offerimus : Tu suscipe pro animabus illis, quarum hodie memoriam facimus : fac eas, Domine, de morte transire ad vitam. Quam olim Abrahae promisisti et semini ejus.

 

English translation

O Lord Jesus Christ, King of glory, deliver the souls of all the faithful departed from the pains of hell and from the deep pit; deliver them from the lion’s mouth, that hell does not engulf them, nor will they fall into darkness, but let Michael, the holy standard bearer, bring them into the holy light which You once had promised to Abraham and his seed.

Priest : We offer You, o Lord, sacrifices and prayers of praise, may You accept them for those souls whom we on this day commemorate, grant them, o Lord, to pass from death to the life which You once had promised to Abraham and his seed.

 

Secret Prayer of the Priest


Secret for the First Mass

Hostias, quaesumus, Domine, quas Tibi pro animabus famulorum famularumque Tuarum offerimus, propitiatus intende : ut, quibus fidei christianae meritum contulisti, dones et praemium. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

Mercifully look down, we beseech You, o Lord, upon the sacrifice which we offer You for the souls of Your servants and handmaids, that, to those on whom You had conferred the merit of Christian faith, You may also grant its reward. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

 

Secret for the Second Mass

Propitiare, Domine, supplicationibus nostris, pro animabus famulorum famularumque Tuarum, pro quibus Tibi offerimus sacrificium laudis; ut eas Sanctorum Tuorum consortio sociare digneris. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

Be propitiated, o Lord, by our supplications for the souls of Your servants and handmaids, whose anniversary is kept today, for whom we offer You the sacrifice of praise, that You vouchsafe to join them to the company of Your saints. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

 

Secret for the Third Mass

Deus, cujus misericordiae non est numerus, suscipe propitius preces humilitatis nostrae : et animabus fratrum, propinquorum et benefactorum nostrorum, quibus Tui Nominis dedisti confessionem, per haec sacramenta salutis nostrae, cunctorum remissione tribue peccatorum. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

O God, Whose mercy is boundless, mercifully receive the prayers of our lowliness, and grant, through these sacraments of our salvation, to the souls of our brethren, kindred and benefactors, to whom You had granted the confession of Your Name, the remission of all sins. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

 

Preface of the Dead

Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos Tibi semper et ubique gratias agere : Domine, Sancte Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus : per Christum, Dominum nostrum. In quo nobis spes beatae resurrectionis effulsit, ut, quos contristat certa moriendi condicio, eosdem consoletur futurae immortalitatis promissio. Tuis enim fidelibus, Domine, vita mutatur, non tollitur : et, dissoluta terrestris hujus incolatus domo, aeterna in caelis habitatio comparatur.

Et ideo cum Angelis et Archangelis, cum Thronis et Dominationibus cumque omni militia caelestis exercitus hymnum gloriae Tuae canimus, sine fine dicentes :

 

English translation

It is truly meet and just, right and profitable for us, at all times, and in all places, to give thanks to You, o holy Lord, Father Almighty, Eternal God, through Christ, our Lord, in Whom the hope of a happy resurrection has shone on us, so that those whom the certain fate of dying renders sad, may be consoled by the promise of future immortality. For with regard to Your faithful, o Lord, life is changed, not taken away, and the house of their earthly dwelling being destroyed, an eternal dwelling in heaven is obtained.

So with the Angels and Archangels, with the Dominions and Powers, with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing of Your glory without end, saying :

 

Agnus Dei

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona eis requiem.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona eis requiem.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona eis requiem sempiternam.

 

English translation

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, give unto them rest.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, give unto them rest.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, give unto them rest forevermore.

 

Communion

4 Esdras 2 : 35, 34

Lux aeterna luceat eis, Domine : Cum Sanctis Tuis in aeternum : quia pius es.

Priest : Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine : et lux perpetua luceat eis. Cum Sanctis Tuis in aeternum : quia pius es.

 

English translation

May eternal light shine upon them, o Lord, with Your saints forever, for You are kind.

Priest : Grant them eternal rest, o Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them, with Your saints forever, for You are kind.

 

Post-Communion Prayer

Post-Communion Prayer for the First Mass

Animabus, quaesumus, Domine, famulorum famularumque Tuarum oratio proficiat supplicantium : ut eas et a peccatis omnibus exuas, et Tuae redemptionis facias esse participes : Qui vivis et regnas in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

May the prayer of Your suppliants profit the souls of Your servants and handmaids, we beseech You, o Lord, that You may free them from all sins and make them sharers in Your redemption. Who lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

 

Post-Communion Prayer for the Second Mass

Praesta, quaesumus, Domine : ut animae famulorum famularumque Tuarum, his purgatae sacrificiis, indulgentiam pariter et requiem capiant sempiternam. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

Grant, we beseech You, o Lord, that the souls of Your servants and handmaids, the anniversary of whose burial we commemorate, may be purged by this sacrifice and obtain alike forgiveness and everlasting rest. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

 

Post-Communion Prayer for the Third Mass

Praesta, quaesumus, omnipotens et misericors Deus : ut animae fratrum, propinquorum et benefactorum nostrorum, pro quibus hoc sacrificium laudis Tuae obtulimus majestati; per hujus virtutem sacramenti a peccatis omnibus expiatae, lucis perpetuae, Te miserante, recipiant beatitudinem. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

Grant, we beseech You, o Almighty and merciful God, that the souls of our brethren, kindred and benefactors, for Whom we have offered this sacrifice of praise to Your majesty, being purified of all sins by the virtue of this sacrament, may, by Your mercy receive the beatitude of perpetual light. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

 

Dismissal of the Mass

Priest : Requiescant in pace.

Response : Amen.

 

English translation

Priest : May they rest in peace.

Response : Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, All Souls’ Day (Feria I Classis) – Thursday, 2 November 2017 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : Black

Gospel for the First Mass

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. John

John 5 : 25-29

In illo tempore : Dixit Jesus turbis Judaeorum : Amen, Amen, dico vobis, quia venit hora, et nunc est, quando mortui audient vocem Filii Dei : et qui audierint, vivent. Sicut enim Pater habet vitam in semetipso, sic dedit et Filio habere vitam in semetipso : et potestatem dedit ei judicium facere, quia Filius Hominis est.

Nolite mirari hoc, quia venit hora, in qua omnes, qui in monumentis sunt, audient vocem Filii Dei : et procedent, qui bona fecerunt, in resurrectionem vitae : qui vero mala egerunt, in resurrectionem judicii.

 

English translation

At that time, Jesus said to the multitude of the Jews, “Amen, Amen, I say unto you, that the hour comes, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear shall live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has given to the Son also to have life in Himself, and He has given Him power to do judgment, because He is the Son of Man.”

“Wonder not at this, for the hour comes wherein all those who are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who have done good things shall come forth unto the resurrection of life, but those who have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment.”

 

Gospel for the Second Mass

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. John

John 6 : 37-40

In illo tempore : Dixit Jesus turbis Judaeorum : Omne, quod dat mihi Pater, ad me veniet : et eum, qui venit ad me, non ejiciam foras : quia descendi de caelo, non ut faciam voluntatem meam, sed voluntatem ejus, qui misit me.

Haec est autem voluntas ejus, qui misit me, Patris : ut omne, quod dedit mihi, non perdam ex eo, sed resuscitem illud in novissimo die. Haec est autem voluntas Patris mei, qui misit me : ut omnis, qui videt Filium et credit in eum, habeat vitam aeternam, et ego resuscitabo eum in novissimo die.

 

English translation

At that time, Jesus said to the multitudes of the Jews, “All that the Father gave Me shall come to Me, and he who comes to Me I will not cast out, because I came down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him Who sent Me.”

“Now this is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all those whom He had given Me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again in the last day, and this is the will of My Father Who sent Me, that every one who sees the Son, and believes in Him, may have life everlasting, and I will raise him up in the last day.”

 

Gospel for the Third Mass

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. John

John 6 : 51-55

In illo tempore : Dixit Jesus turbis Judaeorum : Ego sum panis vivus, qui de caelo descendi. Si quis manducaverit ex hoc pane, vivet in aeternum : et panis, quem ego dabo, caro mea est pro mundi vita.

Litigabant ergo Judaei ad invicem, dicentes : Quomodo potest hic nobis carnem suam dare ad manducandum? Dixit ergo eis Jesus : Amen, Amen, dico vobis : nisi manducaveritis carnem Filii Hominis et biberitis Ejus Sanguinem, non habebitis vitam in vobis.

Qui manducat Meam carnem et bibit Meum sanguinem, habet vitam aeternam : et ego resuscitabo eum in novissimo die.

 

English translation

At that time, Jesus said to the multitudes of the Jews, “I am the Living Bread which came down from heaven. If any man eats of this bread he shall live forever, and the bread that I will give is My flesh for the life of the world.”

The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?” Then Jesus said to them, “Amen, Amen, I say unto you, except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you.”

“He who eats My flesh, and drinks My blood, you shall not have life in you. He who eats My flesh, and drinks My blood, has everlasting life. And I will raise him up in the last day.”