Tuesday, November 1, 2011

For the Living and Dead

O God
Your majesty is ineffable,
Your power incomparable,
Your goodness inestimable.
You are the Lord of the living and the dead.
We are those whose power in the world
Is bound in the flesh.
They are those, whose bodies are laid aside and are now received.
Give to the living, mercy and grace,
And to the departed, rest and light for ever.
Give to the Church, truth and peace,
And to us, forgiveness of sins, and your good favor.

Bishop Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626),
as translated by David Scott

For use as in daily intercessions, on All Souls’ Day (Nov. 2), during times of grief, or at the Eucharist, prior to Communion.

This prayer expresses with precision and economy the Church's teaching on the Communion of Saints. Christians experience an assurance capable of looking through death to Life in its fullness. We do this by faith, and this faith comes from a gift given freely by God and received by the human heart. It is a fruit of love—not in this case the “love” of passing emotions, but the love of the Holy Trinity, to which the threefold opening of this prayer alludes.

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