Today is the Feast of All Souls. With M at a conference and my mom visiting, I went to an Extraordinary Form Missa Canta at St. Agnes this morning by myself. The music was Cristobal de Morales’ Missa Pro Defunctis (Mass for the Dead). It was beautiful and haunting in a way, but not as haunting as the Dies Irae chant:
The day of wrath, that day
Will dissolve the world in ashes
As foretold by David and the Sibyl!
How much tremor there will be,
when the Judge will come,
investigating everything strictly!
The trumpet, scattering a wondrous sound
through the sepulchres of the regions,
will summon all before the Throne.
Death and nature will marvel,
when the creature arises,
to respond to the Judge.
The written book will be brought forth,
in which all is contained,
from which the world shall be judged.
When therefore the Judge will sit,
whatever hides will appear:
nothing will remain unpunished.
What am I, miserable, then to say?
Which patron to ask,
when [even] the just may [only] hardly be sure?
King of tremendous majesty,
who freely savest those that have to be saved,
save me, Source of mercy.
Remember, merciful Jesus,
That I am the cause of Thy way:
Lest Thou lose me in that day.
Seeking me, Thou sat tired:
Thou redeemed [me] having suffered the Cross:
let not so much hardship be lost.
Just Judge of revenge,
give the gift of remission
before the day of reckoning.
I sigh, like the guilty one:
my face reddens in guilt:
Spare the supplicating one, God.
Thou who absolved Mary,
and heardest the Robber,
gavest hope to me, too.
My prayers are not worthy:
however, Thou, Good [Lord], do good,
lest I am burned up by eternal fire.
Grant me a place among the sheep,
and take me out from among the goats,
setting me on the right side.
Once the cursed have been rebuked,
sentenced to acrid flames:
Call Thou me with the blessed.
I meekly and humbly pray,
[my] heart is as crushed as the ashes:
perform the healing of mine end.
Tearful will be that day,
on which from the ash arises
the guilty man who is to be judged.
Spare him therefore, God.
Merciful Lord Jesus,
grant them rest. Amen.
Our pastor, Fr. Moriarty, gave a very beautiful homily. He talked about how death is a mystery, and how we cannot really know where the dead are, whether they have been judged for eternal life or damnation. In fact, the Church does not ever say that specific people have been damned, but unless a person is a canonized Saint, then we should hope and pray for their soul. I always pray for the repose of the souls (when they leave purgatory and enter Heaven) my friends and relatives who have passed away, but especially on the Feast of All Souls. It also gives me hope for myself, when I pray stanzas that say: “Thou who absolved Mary, and heardest the Robber, gavest hope to me, too.”
Eternal Rest give unto them, Oh Lord;
And let perpetual light shine upon them.
And may the souls of all the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.