Office for the Dead: Evening Prayer Responsory

A reminder that the Catholics funeral rites were discussed here years ago. This supplement focuses on particular aspects of the choice to pray the Liturgy of the Hours as a Vigil or other worship service prior to a funeral.

After the psalms, canticle, reading, and possible homily, there is a brief responsory. In other words, something of a brief litany as a “response” to the Scriptures. It is taken from the Bible, or at least inspired from it. OCF 390 reads:

One of the following responsories is then said.

Two texts are given. The “(c)antor or reader” is given here in plain text. The response is in bold print:

A

In you, Lord, is our hope. We shall never hope in vain.
In you, Lord, is our hope. We shall never hope in vain.

We shall be glad and rejoice in your mercy.
We shall never hope in vain.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
In you, Lord, is our hope. We shall never hope in vain.

B

Lord, in your steadfast love, give them eternal rest.
Lord, in your steadfast love, give them eternal rest.

You will come to judge the living and the dead
Give them eternal rest.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Lord, in your steadfast love, give them eternal rest.

Lovely texts. But I wonder if the responsory is a necessary piece for the Hours. Certainly, the Trinitarian aspect is important, but we get that at the end of every psalm. It strikes me as one more bit of wordiness that creates distance between the liturgy and those unfamiliar with it. If one of these texts is used, I would still frame it with silence before and afterward.

Comments?

 

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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