Sancta Missa - Rituale Romanum (Roman Ritual) - Exequies when the body is not present

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Rituale Romanum (Roman Ritual)

Rituale Romanum

Exequies when the body is not present

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(On the third, seventh, or thirtieth day after death, on the anniversary, or on any other day)

1. If the exequies take place when the body is not present, the Office for the Dead is held in church at the proper time, with one or three nocturns and Lauds, or even without Lauds. Then the solemn Requiem Mass is celebrated, provided the rubrics permit it. The absolution follows with the ceremonial used on the day of burial, however, with these noteworthy differences. A catafalque stands in place where the casket and body would ordinarily be. The prayer "Lord, do not call your servant to account" is omitted, and the responsory "Deliver me, O Lord," is sung at once.

2. While the priest says the "Our Father" inaudibly he sprinkles and incenses the catafalque; after this he adds the following:

P: And lead us not into temptation.

All: But deliver us from evil.

P: From the gates of hell.

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

P: May he (she) (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.

We beg you, O Lord, to absolve the soul(s) of your servant(s), N., (or N. and N.), from every bond of his (her) (their) sins, so that in the glorious resurrection he (she) (they) may be awakened to new life in the company of your saints and your elect; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

If the deceased is a priest or a bishop the title of his office is expressed in the oration. In place of the preceding oration the celebrant may use the one said in Mass or another suitable one as given in the Missal, but using the short form in the conclusion.

The celebrant then makes the sign of the cross over the catafalque, saying:

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

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

P: May he (she) (they) rest in peace.

All: Amen.

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

All: Amen.

3. As the ministers return to the sacristy, led by the cross-bearer the celebrant begins the antiphon (without chant) of the "De profundis" and then recites this psalm itself alternately with the clergy (see above). After the psalm the antiphon is repeated, and the prayers which go with it are finished in the sacristy.

If the absolution has been said for all the faithful departed, in that case the versicle "May their souls" and the antiphon, psalm, and other prayers are omitted.

4. The ceremony described above is used for deceased adults, whether clergy or laity, whenever the exequies are held without the presence of the body, be it on the third, seventh, or thirtieth day after death or the anniversary, or on another day.

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