Litany For The Deceased

Image credit: Liam, personal photo, from the Old North Burying Ground, Massachusetts.

I know there are older versions of the Litany for the Deceased, but this one is particular to the Vigil for the Roman Rite, and is most often prayed liturgically these days:


  • This litany can be found at #78 in the Order of Christian Funerals. There is no concluding prayer or collect given with it. The presider segues directly into the Lord’s Prayer, if she or he goes “by the book.” That seems quite suitable.
  • The conclusion of each trope with “Lord, have mercy” is important to cue the assembled worshippers. Roman Catholics don’t often have the regular experience of that response in liturgy–not as much as “Lord, hear our prayer.”
  • Given there is no Penitential Act with the funeral Mass, this is an important expression of the petition for mercy by the gathered faithful.
  • If a parish observes November as a month for the deceased in any significant way, it strikes me that the use of the first five of these invocations might be suitable for the weekend celebration of Mass.

About catholicsensibility

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