Friday, November 2, 2012

All Things Live for Him

"Come, let us worship the Lord, all things live for him."

To me, the best part of today's office is its very first line, the antiphon of the Invitatory Psalm. What a  glorious affirmation on the day we remember our beloved dead: that they are NOT dead, and that their unending lives will find their purpose and fulfillment  when they are immersed  in the beauty and goodness of Christ. 

Remember that you can gain a plenary indulgence each day from now until November 8th by visiting a cemetery, praying for the dead there, and fulfilling the "usual conditions" for a plenary indulgence: sacramental confession and communion within a week plus prayers for the Holy Father. This indulgence is for the souls in purgatory only, it can't be applied to yourself.

In addition, you can obtain partial indulgences--which don't require the conditions of confession and communion--through any number of prayers and good works. Among these is saying either morning or evening prayer of the Office of the Dead, which is what we use today.

The Office of the Dead is interesting. It forms the liturgy of All Souls Day. We can also use it as a votive (at our own choosing) office on any weekday in ordinary time that doesn't have an obligatory memorial, feast, or solemnity. We would do well to use it on learning of a loved one's death, on the day of a funeral, and on the anniversary of a loved one's death. 

For more information from the Church's document on indulgences, go to