Top Floral Arrangement of the Year…

I can only imagine this captured the spirit of the man… (taken at the Crem yesterday as I was walking out – it must have been from a funeral earlier in the day).

These flowers, beauties of God’s creation, and costing huge sums of money will now simply rot. What a waste. All those acres of entries in The News, all those letters spelling G-R-A-N-D-M-A which only serve to proclaim to others how you feel, rather like the rich man in the temple and which serve no good in this world. That money would be better sent to charity.

When I die it will be a hessian sack and a single red rose from our own garden. You can spend the money on the parish, or on mission, on a candle in prayer or on a drink in memory of me, or better still, all four.

All I really want to specify, and you are now all my witnesses to this, and I have bored close friends and family with this ad nauseum is a really lovely full-on Requiem Mass: into Church the night before, the beautiful Vespers for the Dead (Black Vestments), Requiem Mass the following day in White Vestments for the Resurrection and then a westward-facing burial  – in vestments and biretta if they havn’t already been given away – (as is traditional with a priest – laity are buried eastward-facing as that is from whence Christ will return and priests are buried westward facing towards the people in their cure). Spend no more money on funeral directors than is absolutely necessary, share the sacraments and pray for my soul.

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A Short Introduction

When someone dies, those who are left behind feel many emotions – grief, sorrow, relief at release from pain, fond memories of a life well spent, regret at lost possibilities. Yet, in the face of death, the Church proclaims that God has created each person for eternal life.

The Office for the Dead is a part of the daily cycle of prayer for the church, and through this affirms that death is itself a part of life, and that we are continually joined in prayer with those who have gone before us before the Throne of Grace.

The hymn is said together, and the psalmody is said antiphonally, with the officiant beginning the antiphon to be joined by the congregation. The officiant says the odd verses, and the congregation responds with the even verses. The psalmody is said without pauses, and all end with:

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. World without end. Amen.

THE OFFICE FOR THE DEAD VESPERS

HYMN (SAID TOGETHER)

Merciful Saviour, hear our humble prayer,
For all your servants passed beyond life’s care;
Though sin has touched them, yet their weakness spare.

Refrain: O grant them pardon, Jesus Saviour blest,
And give their spirits light and endless rest.

O gentle Saviour, Lamb for sinners slain,
Look on your brothers, cleanse their hearts of stain:
Your cross has won them everlasting gain. (Refrain)

Lord, at your passion love did conquer fear;
Now share that triumph with these souls so dear:
Banish their sorrows, let your light appear. (Refrain)

PSALMODY (SAID ANTIPHONALLY)

Ant. 1: The Lord will guard you from every evil, he will guard your soul.

Psalm 120 (121)
I lift up my eyes to the mountains:*
from where shall come my help?
My help shall come from the Lord*
who made heaven and earth.

May he never allow you to stumble!*
Let him sleep not, your guard.
No, he sleeps not nor slumbers,*
Israel’s guard.

The Lord is your guard and your shade;*
at your right side he stands.
By day the sun shall not smite you*
nor the moon in the night.

The Lord will guard you from evil,*
he will guard your soul.
The Lord will guard your going and coming *
both now and for ever.

Ant. The Lord will guard you from every evil, he will guard your soul.

Ant. 2: If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt, Lord, who would survive?

Psalm 129(130)
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord,*
Lord, hear my voice!
O let your ears be attentive*
to the voice of my pleading.

If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt,*
Lord, who would survive?
But with you is found forgiveness:*
for this we revere you.

My soul is waiting for the Lord,*
I count on his word.
My soul is longing for the Lord*
more than watchman for daybreak.
Let the watchman count on daybreak*
and Israel on the Lord.

Because with the Lord there is mercy*
and fulness of redemption,
Israel indeed he will redeem*
from all its iniquity.

Ant. If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt, Lord, who would survive?

Ant. 3: As the father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son gives life to anyone he chooses.

Canticle: Phil 2:6-11
Though he was in the form of God,*
Jesus did not count equality with god as a thing to be grasped.

He emptied himself,
taking the form of a servant,*
being born in the likeness of men.

And being found in human form,*
he humbled himself and became obedient unto death,*
even death on a cross.

Therefore God has highly exalted him*
and bestowed on him the name which is above every name,

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,*
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,*
to the glory of God the Father.

Ant. As the father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son gives life to anyone he chooses.

SCRIPTURE READING 1 Cor 15:55-57

Death, where is your victory? Death where is your sting? Now the sting of death is sin, and sin gets its power from the Law. So let us thank God for giving us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

SHORT RESPONSORY

R: In you, O Lord, I take refuge. Let me not be lost forever. Repeat R:
V: I will rejoice and be glad because of your merciful love. R:
V: Glory be. R:

INTERCESSIONS

Let us pray to Christ who gives us the hope that our mortal bodies will become like his in glory.
R: Lord, you are our life and our resurrection.

Christ, Son of the living God, you raised your friend Lazarus from the dead; – grant life and glory to the faithful departed, redeemed by your precious blood. R: Lord, you are our life and our resurrection.

Compassionate Saviour, you wiped away all tears when you gave back to the widow of Nain her only son; – comfort those who mourn because the one they love has died. R: Lord, you are our life and our resurrection.

Christ, our Redeemer, destroy the reign of sin in our mortal bodies; – let us not receive the wages of death but the reward of eternal life. R: Lord, you are our life and our resurrection.

Christ, our Saviour, look on those who live without hope and do not know you;- let them believe in the resurrection and the life of the world to come. R: Lord, you are our life and our resurrection.

You restored sight to the man born blind and opened the eyes of his faith; – reveal your face to the dead who have not seen your glory. R: Lord, you are our life and our resurrection.

Lord, be merciful to us when we leave this earthly dwelling; – make for us a home in heaven that will last forever. R: Lord, you are our life and our resurrection.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come; thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Amen.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Grant, Lord, we pray,
that as our faith is built on the Risen Christ,
so too may our hope be steadfast, as we await the resurrection of your servant N. from the dead. We make our prayer through our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ
Amen

The priest and the people depart in silence.
A vigil may be kept by the coffin.

Copyright Information:The Office for the Dead is taken from The Divine Office: the Liturgy of the Hours according to the Roman Rite, published 1974. Used within the Parish of S.Thomas the Apostle in accordance with Canon B5. Jan 2005