PCS 226-231: Prayers for the Dead

The brief liturgical outline is as follows:

Greeting (226)
Prayer (227)
Reading (228)
Litany (229)
Lord’s Prayer (230)
Prayer of Commendation (231)

The ritual greeting may be used “in these or similar words,” and two examples are given, one based on Saint Paul’s greeting in 2 Corinthians 1:3ff. The opening prayer is taken from PCS 221. The readings are suggested to be taken from PCS 297-298, but two are suggested: Luke 23:44-46 (the death of Jesus) and John 11:3-7, 17, 20-27, 33-36, 41-44 (the raising of Lazarus).

The Litany is, of course, of the saints, with the suggestion of a shorter prayer or one in which patron saints of the deceased, the family, or the community are added. The following prayer is added:

God of mercy,
  hear our prayers and be merciful
  to your son/daughter N., whom you have called from this life.
Welcome him/her into the company of your saints,
  in the kingdom of light and peace.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer, addressed to the Father, is followed by the Prayer of Commendation, addressed to Christ:

Lord Jesus our Redeemer,
  you willingly gave yourself up to death
  so that all people might be saved
  and pass from death into a new life.
Listen to our prayers,
  look with love on your people
  who mourn and pray for their brother/sister N.

Lord Jesus, holy and compassionate:
  forgive N. his/her sins.
By dying you opened the gates of life
  for those who believe in you:
  do not let our brother/sister be parted from you,
  but by your glorious power
  give him/her light, joy, and peace in heaven
  where you live for ever and ever.
Amen.

For the solace of those present the minister may conclude these prayers with a simple blessing or with a symbolic gesture, for example, signing the forehead with the sign of the cross. A priest or deacon may sprinkle the body with holy water.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in Pastoral Care of the Sick, post-conciliar liturgy documents, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

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