VNO 46: For The Dying

This Mass seems to be separated out from the intention “for the grace of a happy death.” The 1998/2002 Lectionary has no particular readings assigned for this intention. The Roman Missal, Third Edition, does provide four choices for the proper antiphons.

Entrance Antiphon Romans 14:7-8

No one lives for himself, and no one dies for himself.
For if we live, we live for the Lord,
and if we die, we die for the Lord;
so then, whether we live or die,
we are the Lord’s.

These verses are part of a choice for a funeral liturgy. Scripture scholars have pondered if this is Saint Paul quoting a fragment of an ancient Christian hymn. No way to tell for sure, but the couplets do possess a lyrical quality even in translation into a modern language. As for verses to accompany this antiphon, perhaps Romans 8:14-19 or Hebrews 12:22-24, 28-29.

Or: Cf. Isaiah 53:4

Truly the Lord has borne our infirmities, and he has carried our sorrows.

This choice you recognize from Good Friday. The passage has a deep connection with the Passion of Christ, so I’d avoid the lyrical text from verse 52:13-53:12, and opt instead for one of the above New Testament passages. Another option from the other Testament might be select verses from Isaiah 26, a song of trust. That theme leads us to a few of the songs of trust in the Psalter: the 4th, the 91st, the 131st, or the 134th.

Communion Antiphon Colossians 1:24

In my flesh I am completing what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the Church.

A few verses prior (15-20), we have that early christological hymn cited by the author. These would be a good choice, as well as any text not used for the Entrance ritual.

Or: John 6:54

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, says the Lord, and I will raise him on the last day.

Many possibilities in the Lord’s Bread of Life discourse. Enough said, perhaps.

Some years ago, we blogged on Masses And Prayers For Various Needs And Occasions. In the GIRM, sections 368-378 cover the universal regulations on their use. You can check our brief comments here and here and here. The USCCB’s unannotated text on the matter is here.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Liturgy. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to VNO 46: For The Dying

  1. Liam says:

    Given that VNO 47 is For The Grace of a Happy Death, it would seem that VNO 46 is offered for use when death is expected but not yet imminent or in articulo mortis, the phase where offering the prayers of commendation for the dying may seem premature (as opposed to the point of being in articulo mortis).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s