A Requiem Mass

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Ellen M. Donovan, the sister of Sister Mary Xavier of the Monastery of the Glorious Cross, died on September 7th. Today I offered Holy Mass for the repose of her soul. Every time I sing the sublime First Preface of the Dead, I thrill to the words: Tuis enim fidelibus, Domine, vita mutatur, non tollitur. There is in the Church's Requiem Mass a gentle realism in the face of death and a consolation found nowhere else.

The life of those who are faithful to you, Lord,
is but changed, not ended;
and when their earthly dwelling-place decays,
an eternal home is made ready in heaven.

ENTRANCE ANTIPHON

GR and GS
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let the radiance of your light shine forever upon them (cf. 2 Es 2:35).
V. To you our praise is due in Zion, O God.
To you we pay our vows, you who hear our prayer;
to you all flesh will come (Ps 64:2-3).

ACT OF PENITENCE

Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins,
that we may be ready to celebrate the sacred mysteries.

You consoled Martha and Mary in their grief.
Kyrie, eleison.

You wept at the grave of Lazarus, your friend.
Christe, eleison.

You promised paradise to the repentant thief.
Kyrie, eleison.

May Almighty God have mercy on us,
and lead us, with our sins forgiven,
into eternal life.

COLLECT

O God to whom it belongs to show mercy and forbearance,
we humbly entreat you for your servant, Ellen,
who, at your bidding, has gone forth to be with you
that, having put her hope and trust in you,
she may be led to her true homeland,
there to enjoy happiness without end.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.

GENERAL INTERCESSIONS

That in the face of death,
the Church may be the witness of a sure hope
and, in the midst of things we cannot understand,
a place of peace and consolation,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

For Ellen,
and for all the faithful departed;
that having received the light of Christ in holy Baptism,
they may pass through the gates of death
into the fullness of his radiance,
and fix their gaze forever upon the splendour of his face,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That the leaders of nations and of factions
may spurn the tactics of terrorism and violence
and be guided instead by the wisdom of God
into the way of dialogue and of peace,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That those who lost loved ones
in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001
may be comforted in their sorrow,
and sustained in carrying their burden,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

For Sister Mary Xavier, for her family
and for all those who mourn the death of loved ones;
that they may lift their eyes to the face of the crucified and risen Christ
and in him find a hope that cannot disappoint,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

For all of us assembled here
to celebrate the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus Christ;
that, following the teaching of Saint Benedict,
we may yearn for eternal life with all possible spiritual desire,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

COLLECT AT THE GENERAL INTERCESSIONS

Almighty and ever-living God,
who prepare for us
a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens (2 Cor 5:1),
gladden our hearts, we beseech you,
with an unshakable faith in the resurrection of your Son,
so that whether we are at home or away,
we may make it our aim to please Him (2 Cor 5:9),
reckoning the sufferings of this present time
not worthy to be compared
with the glory that shall be revealed in us (Rom 8:18).
Through Christ our Lord.

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON

GR
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord,
Lord, hear my prayer:
out of the depths, I cry to you, O Lord (Ps 129:1–2).

PRAYER OVER THE OFFERINGS

Almighty and merciful God,
by this sacrifice, cleanse in the Blood of Christ, we beseech you,
your servant, Ellen, from all her sins;
having washed her in the water of baptism,
purify her unceasingly with the pardon of your lovingkindness.
Through Christ our Lord.

PREFACE

It is truly right and just,
our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Christ our Lord.

In him there has dawned for us
the hope of a blessed resurrection,
so that those who are saddened by the certainty of dying,
may be consoled by the promise of the immortality to come.

The life of those who are faithful to you, Lord,
is but changed, not ended;
and when their earthly dwelling-place decays,
an eternal home is made ready in heaven.

Therefore with Angels and Archangels,
with Thrones and Dominations,
and with all the hosts of heaven,
we sing a hymn to your glory
as we ceaselessly proclaim:

COMMUNION ANTIPHON
MR
May light eternal shine upon them, O Lord,
with your saints forever, for you are merciful (cf. 2 Es 2:35).

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

Having partaken of the sacrament of your Only-begotten Son
who for us was sacrificed and rose in glory,
we humbly implore you, Lord, for your servant, Ellen,
that purified by the paschal mysteries,
she may rejoice in the gift of the resurrection to come.
Through Christ our Lord.

SOLEMN BLESSING

May the peace of God,
which is beyond all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds
in the knowledge and love of God
and of his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
R. Amen.

And may the blessing of Almighty God,
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
descend upon you and remain with you forever.
R. Amen.

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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