Epistle for the First Mass
Lectio Epistolae Beati Pauli Apostoli ad Corinthios – Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians
1 Corinthians 15 : 51-57
Fratres : Ecce, mysterium vobis dico : Omnes quidem resurgemus, sed non omnes immutabimur. In momento, in ictu oculi, in novissima tuba : canet enim tuba, et mortui resurgent incorrupti : et nos immutabimur.
Oportet enim corruptibile hoc induere incorruptionem : et mortale hoc induere immortalitatem. Cum autem mortale hoc induerit immortalitatem, tunc fiet sermo, qui scriptus est : Absorpta est mors in victoria. Ubi est, mors, victoria tua? Ubi est, mors, stimulus tuus?
Stimulus autem mortis peccatum est : virtus vero peccati lex. Deo autem gratias, qui dedit nobis victoriam per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum.
Brethren, behold, I tell you a mystery : we shall all indeed rise again, but we shall not all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall rise again incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. And when this mortal had put on immortality, then what is written shall come to pass. Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?
Now the sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the Law. But thanks be to God, who had given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Epistle for the Second Mass
Lectio libri Machabaeorum – Lesson from the Book of Maccabees
2 Maccabees 12 : 43-46
In diebus illis : Vir fortissimus Judas, facta collatione, duodecim milia drachmas argenti misit Jerosolymam, offerri pro peccatis mortuorum sacrificium, bene et religiose de resurrectione cogitans (nisi enim eos, qui ceciderant, resurrecturos speraret, superfluum videretur et vanum orare pro mortuis) : et quia considerabat, quod hi, qui cum pietate dormitionem acceperant, optimam haberent repositam gratiam.
Sancta ergo et salubris est cogitatio pro defunctis exorare, ut a peccatis solvantur.
In those days, the most valiant man Judas, making a gathering, sent twelve thousand drachmas of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection (for if he had not hoped that those who were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead); and because he considered that those who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them.
It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosened from sins.
Epistle for the Third Mass
Lectio libri Apocalypsis Beati Joannis Apostoli – Lesson from the Book of the Apocalypse of Blessed John the Apostle
Apocalypse 14 : 13
In diebus illis : Audivi vocem de caelo, dicentem mihi : Scribe : Beati mortui, qui in Domino moriuntur. Amodo jam dicit Spiritus, ut requiescant a laboribus suis : opera enim illorum sequuntur illos.
In those days I heard a voice from heaven, saying to me, “Write : blessed are the dead, who die in the Lord.” “From henceforth now,” said the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labours, for their works follow them.”