All Souls Day (older use) question: absolution of the dead

A question put to me, which I pass along to you WDTPRSers of the traditional use stripe. 

Fr. Z,

Do you know if it was customary after an Ancient Use sung Requiem Mass on All Souls Day to perform the Absolution of the Dead morally present provided that a catafalque, black pall, and candles are available?

P.S.  Is there anything which forbids it on all souls day?


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. fr.franklyn mcafee says:

    There is nothing that forbids it.In the 62 missal it is optional.You can use a catafalque (or a fabricated one) or place a black pall on the floor.You should have 6 candles but it is no longer required unless,I believe ,for an actual funeral.

  2. fxavier says:

    It is allowed. There is a small blurb in Fortescue for All Souls Day. There are small differences in the rubrics.

    If you cannot get a catafalque or create a simple mock up, you can lay the pall on the floor and put the requiem candles around it. Requiem candles are usually black and silver in color.

    In addition to the items mentioned by Fr. McAfee, you will need a black cope. Purple will do if without. And if you cannot find them, I suppose you can use a black or purple stole.

    If you need the rubrics, please leave a comment, and I will dig them up and transcribe them.

  3. Peggy Halpin says:

    WE will be singing Missa Pro Defunctis with Msgr. Ralph Bulluomini at st. Francis in Bakersfield, Ca. on All Saints Day. He has scheduled this for several years how and we are grateful. There will be a catafalque and Absolution. We will sing the Libera me Domine at the end as well. How many I know many who were denied this Mass, yes, even priests who had requested it for their funerals. I am so grateful that Benedict XVI has returned it to all who desire it.

  4. Peggy Halpin says:

    Of course I meant All Souls Day. Not the first time I made a mistake.

  5. Jon says:

    Tomorrow in Harrisburg, our FSSP chaplain is offering All Soul’s Mass exactly like this. There will be the Absolution, catafalque, black vestments, etc…

    If I’m present, I’ll be back tomorrow evening with a description.

  6. Fr. Stephen says:

    Any information you have about the rubrics for the absolution on All Souls would be greatly appreciated.

  7. fxavier says:

    Fortescue does not have the rubrics for All Souls Day. The following are the rubrics for Absolution with a Catafalque. I have added some parts that I recall from a solemn requiem I put together last year.

    Please let me know if there are inconsistencies or corrections.

    The People:
    Celebrant (C )
    Deacon (D), but the server or MC may substitute
    Subdeacon (S) carrying the crucifix, but the crucifer may substitute
    Acolytes (A1 and A2), but with no candles
    Server with aspersorium (W)
    Server with ritual book (B)
    Thurifer (B)

    1. There is no Last Gospel.

    2. After Mass, C changes to black cope.

    3. All genuflect before the altar in the following order:

    Foot of the Altar
    MC   C   D
    A1   S   A2
    T     B   W
    Clergy in Choir

    4. The clergy in choir, holding lighted candles, proceed to the catafalque, and stand *facing the catafalque* on its left and right. They *stand far enough* from the catafalque that C and his ministers can go around the catafalque.

    5. C and his ministers stand in the following order, *facing the catafalque* (with the exception of B, who faces C):

                   W T

          MC C D
       |      | <– Foot of Catafalque
       |      |
       |      |
       |      | <– Head of Catafalque
                <–Make sure there is space here.
      A1 S A2

    6. Fortescue indicates that the Non intres is omitted if there is no body.

    7. The cantors sing the Libera me. During the repetition of Libera me, D assists C in putting incense in the thurible, as MC hold the cope open.

    Líbera me, Dómine, de morte ætérna, in die illa treménda: Quando cæli movéndi sunt et terra: Dum véneris judicáre s?culum per ignem.
    Tremens factus sum ego, et tímeo, dum discússio vénerit, atque ventúra ira: Quando cæli movéndi sunt et terra.
    Dies illa, dies iræ, calamitátis et misériæ, dies magna et amára valde: Dum véneris judicáre s?culum per ignem.
    Réquiem ætérnam dona eis, Dómine: et lux perpétua lúceat eis.
    Líbera me, Dómine, de morte ætérna, in die illa treménda: Quando cæli movéndi sunt et terra: Dum véneris judicáre s?culum per ignem.

    D says: “Benedicite, Pater reverende”, and C blesses the incense in the usual form.

    8. The clergy on the Gospel side (or cantor) sing “Kyrie, eleison”, the clergy on the Epistle side (or cantor) answer, “Christe, eleison”, and all sing “Kyrie, eleison”.

    9. C intones “Pater noster”, and everyone continue in silence.

    D takes the aspergillium and hands it to C. MC, C, and D reverence the altar. MC and D hold the cope open, with D on the right of C.

    They proceed in the counterclockwise direction, with C sprinkling the foot, then the middle, then the head of the catafalque.

    C *bows low* before the crucifix, MC and D *genuflect*.

    C continues sprinkling, first the head, then the middle, then the foot.

    When they have returned to their original position, D takes the aspergillium and gives C the thurible. MC, C, and D continue as before.

    D takes the book and holds it before C.

    C continues, and everyone respond:

    V/. Et ne nos indúcas in tentatiónem.
    R/. Sed líbera nos a malo.
    V/. A porta ínferi.
    R/. Erue, Dómine, ánimas eórum.
    V/. Requiéscant in pace.
    R/. Amen.
    V/. Dómine, exáudi oratiónem meam.
    R/. Et clamor meus ad te véniat.
    V/. Dóminus vobíscum.
    R/. Et cum spíritu tuo.

    10. Fortescue indicates that when the body is not present, the Collect of the Mass is to be used, with the short conclusion.

    FIDÉLIUM, Deus, ómnium Cónditor et Redémptor : animábus famulórum, famularúmque tuárum remissiónem cunctórum tríbue peccatórum; ut indulgéntiam quam semper optavérunt, piis supplicatiónibus consequántur. Qui vivis et regnas, in s?cula saeculórum.
    R/. Amen.

    V/. Réquiem ætérnam dona eis, Dómine. <–C makes the Sign of the Cross over the catafalque here.
    R/. Et lux perpétua lúceat eis.
    V/. Requiéscant in pace.
    R/. Amen.

    11. Fortescue says that the celebrant chants the following recto tono. I don’t think this applies to All Soul’s day, as it begins “May his soul…”.

    V/. Anima eius, et ánimæ ómnium fidélium defunctórum, per misericórdiam Dei requiéscant in pace.
    R/. Amen.

    12. “In paradisum” (the standard burial chant) is chanted as the clergy, ministers, and C process out.

  8. fxavier says:

    Addendum: The tone to be used is the ferial tone, even for the Pater Noster.

    However, use what you are comfortable with.

    The chants for the cantors are in the Liber Usualis. They can be done using a Psalm setting or recto tono if the cantors aren’t up to speed with the Liber or don’t have one.

    I think the Kyrie is the one found in the Requiem Mass setting.

  9. Elise says:

    This beautiful Mass was celebrated last week by Reverend Father Kenneth Myers at St. Boniface, Pittsburgh, PA. The Latin Mass Community is a gem that is hidden by the Diocese. Use the “search site” button and type in “Tridentine Mass” (nomenclature used by the Diocese)or “Latin Mass” or “Traditional Latin Mass” or “Latin Mass Community”. One must know to find it under “Communities” on the Parishes button.

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