Solemn Requiem… Pontifical

When did you last see this?










About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I can’t even begin to comment on how awesome that is.

  2. NBW says:

    The church is beautiful!
    Father, do you know the name of the artist and painting in the photo? It is beautiful!

  3. EoinOBolguidhir says:

    Every year on this date for the last ten years at the Parish of St. John Cantius in Chicago. Usually His Excellency Joseph Perry will celebrate a solemn, pontifical requiem for the deceased members of the Polish Catholic Union. For many years it was Mozart’s requiem, this year it is one of de Victoria’s miss pro defunctis. I’m not sure who the celebrant will be tonight, but I expect the Mass will be an awe inspiring glimpse of the eternal. I hope all can come to see it.

  4. pberginjr says:

    @ NBW I think it’s at SS. Trinità dei Pellegrini, so that should give you a little help.
    From Wikipedia.IT:

    L’enorme pala d’altare rappresenta la Trinità ed è opera di Guido Reni. Il dipinto risale all’estate del 1625, commissionato dal cardinale Ludovico Ludovisi, nipote di papa Gregorio XV, e fu realizzato in soli 27 giorni.

    I don’t know Italian, so some of this will likely be wrong:
    The large altarpiece representing the Trinity is a work by Guido Reni [maybe just attributed, accd. to another site]. The painting dates to the summer of 1625, commisioned by the cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi, nephew of Pope Gregory XV, and was realized in just 27 days.

  5. I’ve never seen it, but I’ve seen pictures of course.

    Am I correct in supposing that usually the catafalque is usually much lower to the ground?

  6. Those candles are astonishing. How in the world do they light them?

  7. acardnal says:

    Love seeing the skull and crossbones.

  8. I recall a catafalque with black pall–without the genuine skull and crossed bones on black velvet cushion (a real touch of class, that)–at a solemn high EF requiem Mass at Mother Angelica’s Shrine in Alabama several years ago on the anniversary of John Paul II’s death .

  9. Luvadoxi says:

    The first photo takes my breath away.
    As I looked at this, my iPod was playing “Weightless” by Courtney Jones, followed by the “Kyrie” by Matt Maher. Little graces from God.

    She is not dead but sleeping….
    I have been raised with Christ….

  10. acardnal says:

    I just found this news report from CNA about the Summorum Pontificum anniversary celebrations in Rome. Good Fr. Z is quoted in the article.

  11. Timothy Mulligan says:

    Libera me, Domine, de morte aeterna, in die illa tremenda . . .

  12. contrarian says:

    Is that a Catholic church?

    Are you sure?

  13. 99% that the deacon is Fr. Michael Houser of the archdiocese of St. Louis.

  14. Cathy says:

    I’ll be honest, this is the first time I have seen this. Beautiful and honest. Is it possible to desire this for all?

  15. Sword40 says:

    I went last year to our FSSP parish for All Souls Mass. It wasn’t a Pontifical High Mass but a very beautiful Solemn High Requiem with absolution at the catafalque. Fr. Saguto does a wonderful Mass.
    The nearby Dominican parish generally has a Solemn High Requiem but it appears not this year. Very disappointing. I’ll bet they did in Anchorage (right Fr. P?)

  16. a catechist says:

    Not a Pontifical, yet. But in just a couple of hours, I’ll see a solemn Requiem for the first time. It will be the first EF Requiem for the celebrant and the 2 (permanent) deacons assisting him. If you could, in your kindness, offer a quick prayer for these clergy, please?

    Of course, we’ll send pictures this week if we can.

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  18. off2 says:

    Wow! Pontifical Mass of Requiem at the Faldstool. (Spell check wants it to be at the toadstool.) Just wow! May the souls of the faithful departed….

  19. Wonderful pictures! Does anyone know who the bishop celebrant was?

  20. Fabrizio says:

    The celebrant was Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, Secretary-General of the Governatorate of Vatican City State

  21. Gregory DiPippo says:

    NBW, pberginjr is correct, the painting over the High Altar is by Guido Reni.

    Fr. Fox, the candles are lit with a VERY long piece of bamboo split at the end so that it can hold a wick, held in the hands of a very clever sacristan. It’s not as hard as it looks.

    EtVerbum… the celebrant is Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca.

  22. jhayes says:

    Cathy wrote:

    Is it possible to desire this for all?

    Perhaps someone here can tell us if this was a requiem Mass for a specific person or is it for All Souls Day with a symbolic coffin?

  23. NBW says:

    @pberginjr and Gregory DiPippo, thanks for all the info!

  24. Jael says:

    Every year on this date at my Dominican parish.

  25. benedetta says:

    First experience of the Requiem Mass in the EF today for me. Beautiful, and sobering.

  26. rhhenry says:

    OK, fire up your snark, but I have some real questions. Given that I was born in 1977, the following might be obvious to you, but it is not intuitve to me:

    — Whose remains are in the casket?
    — Why are his/her remains being venerated in this way?
    — Are the “trappings” of the Mass (color of vestments, “stagecraft” of the coffin, etc.), permitted and / or encouraged under the “New Order?”

    I’m all for a return to Tradition, but I have to be honest — this is all new / foreign / weird to me . . .

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  28. Gregory DiPippo says:

    No snark – these are all perfectly legitimate questions if you’ve never seen this before. There are no remains in the casket. The skull and crossbones at the base of the catafalque are real; they once belonged to the Franciscan St. Leonard of Port-Maurice, who would hold them when he preached, in accordance with the common custom of the 18th century, as a reminder to his listeners that death is the only ultimate reality in this world, so act accordingly! (The church of St. Leonard’s Confraternity is San Gregorio de’ Muratori, the former home of the FSSP Apostolate in Rome.)

    None of this is an act of “veneration”. When a person died, the body was brought to church and laid on a bier (or “catafalque”) like the one you see here (sometimes smaller, but sometimes much, much bigger), and at the end of the Requiem Mass, the celebrant would do as Bishop Sciacca did last night; the responsory “Libera me Domine” is sung, and then the coffin is sprinkled with holy water and incensed, and prayers were said for the dead person. This ceremony is known as the Absolution.

    Since All Souls’ Day is the Church’s occasion par excellence to pray for all of the faithful departed, this catafalque symbolically represents all of the faithful departed, and the Absolution is done for them all. (This is also why we make it rather larger.) In much of Italy, the Absolution was done on All Souls’ Day and the seven days following as well.

    The use of black is permitted at funerals and All Souls’ Masses in the OF; I am not sure about the use of catafalques.

  29. Clinton R. says:

    Oh, the Fishwrap folks must be throwing a major league nutter over this!

  30. StWinefride says:

    rhhenry, there is also a pious custom whereby the faithful can receive a Plenary Indulgence applicable to the Holy Souls in Purgatory between November 1 and November 8 (source The Enchiridion of Indulgences) accompanied by the usual conditions for gaining a Plenary Indulgence of Confession, Holy Mass and Prayers for the Pope. If you ever visit Rome there is a wonderful little Purgatory Museum in a Church not far from Castel Sant’Angelo. Here’s a good article with a description of the relics:

    Enjoy learning about the Catholic Faith – all the customs and traditions that the post-Vatican II Church did away with are your heritage, your Catholic birthright! Hope it’s a real eye-opener as it was for me.

    Far from being mere”externals”, one discovers that the EF Mass, and the customs and traditions of the Church dispose the faithful to being more deeply receptive to the Mysteries of the Faith and to the awesome majesty of God. We no longer have trouble identifying ourselves with the Publican in the Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican (Luke 18:10-14). Not because we are worms, but because as St Paul says: “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (St Paul to the Romans 7:15).

    All is grace and we are in need of God’s mercy. Apart from Jesus we can do nothing.

    “I am the true vine, any my Father is the vine dresser” John 15:1

    Enjoy the Mass of Thanksgiving this afternoon Father Z! So many of us would have loved to have been there – I will send my Guardian Angel to be there for me!

  31. moon1234 says:

    You are so lucky Fr. Z. The Church is just stunning. I was lucky enough to go to TLM twice on All Souls day. Once at 6:30am with my school age children and once at 6:30pm with the older boys. We are so lucky to have the society of Jesus Christ the Priest. I got to begin my day praying for loved ones who have died and end the day the same way. Both were low Masses. I can’t imagine what it must be like to have a solemn high Mass with one of the Requiem compositions.

  32. StWinefride says:

    Sorry, here’s a clearer explanation from Rorate re Plenary Indulgence for the Holy Souls.

    There are several plenary indulgences available for the first week in November. They are the following:

    For the faithful departed

    § 1. A plenary indulgence, applied exclusively to the souls in Purgatory, is granted to the Christian faithful who:

    1° on each single day, from the first to the eighth day in November, devoutly visit a cemetery and, even if only mentally, pray for the faithful departed; [Note: one plenary indulgence for each day, if the usual conditions are met]

    2° on the day of Commemoration of All Faithful Departed [November 2] (or, according to the Ordinary, on the preceding or subsequent Sunday, or on the day of the solemnity of All Saints) piously visit a church or oratory and there recite the Pater and the Credo.

    (Reference: Enchiridion Indulgentiarum, 4th edition, al. concessiones.)

  33. JaneC says:

    Sword40 — yes, there was a sung Requiem in the Dominican Rite in Anchorage yesterday, celebrated by Fr. Paul Raftery. It was lovely!

  34. Hieronymus Illinensis says:

    The other usual condition for a plenary indulgence is that the person seeking the indulgence must be free of all attachment to sin, even venial sin. Does that condition also apply when the indulgence is for the souls in Purgatory, not for the person performing the indulgenced act?

  35. StWinefride says:

    Hieronymus Illinensis, the usual conditions for gaining a plenary indulgence do indeed include the intention of being free from all attachment to sin, even venial. I wasn’t clear in my first post which is why I posted Rorate’s post, who mention “under the usual circumstances”.

    However, it would be nice to think that God would be a bit more lenient with us when seeking a Plenary Indulgence for the Holy Souls! As St Peter says in 1 Peter 4:8: “for charity shall cover a multitude of sins”. The very fact that we feel moved to help the Holy Souls in Purgatory, an act of love, could perhaps in turn move God. I know that as a mother I forgive my children more easily for an act when I see that their intention was good, even though the end result was the same as if their intention was bad.

  36. MouseTemplar says:

    Whoa. Saving this to show my husband. He is a funeral director and always complaining about the tacky services the not-Catholic-anymore kids have for their passionately devout, departed parents!

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