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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Requiem Hymn

Christ enthroned in highest heaven,
Hear us crying from the deep,
For the faithful ones departed,
For the souls of all that sleep,
As Thy kneeling Church entreateth,
Hearken, Shepherd of the sheep.

Let Thy plenteous loving-kindness
On them, as we pray, be poured;
Let them through Thy boundless mercy,
From all evil be restored;
Hearken to the gentle pleading
Of Thy Mother, gracious Lord.

When, O kind and radiant Jesus,
Kneels the Queen, Thy throne before,
Let the court of Saints attending
Mercy for the dead implore;
Hearken, loving Friend of sinners,
Whom the cross exhalted bore.

Hear and answer prayers devoutest;
Break, O Lord, each binding chain;
Dash the Gates od Death assunder,
Quell the Devil and his train;
Bring the souls which Thou hast ransomed,
Evermore in joy to reign. Amen.

--from the "Traditional St. Augustine's Prayer Book,"
published by the Anglican Parishes Association

[Singing Note: The above hymn fits nicely to the tune "Pange Lingua" in the Sarum melody. Meter: 87.87.87]

[Rubrical Note: "Christ Enthroned in Highest Heaven" is, apparently, sung after the Requiem Mass, but I don't see why it can't be sung at other times in private prayers for the departed.]

[Textual Note: Kneeling and praying for a restoration from evil for the departed reminds me of the Eastern Rite Kneeling Prayers at Pentecost Vespers, when the Church prays for all those in hell. The Kneeling Prayers have such gravity to them, being the prayers of the Church on her greatest feast for the greatest petition--that God have mercy on those suffering in hell. There are seven Kneeling Prayers, one for each day of the week. A priest I know recommended that we pray one each day. I'll post them later.]


Blogger Huw Raphael said...

Thanks! As a result of your post, i googled the Kneeling Prayers. WOW.

I have only heard the Kneeling Prayers 3 or 4 times... and I tend to be totally toast by that point in the service. I confess to have never noticed the prayers for the dead during the service. Those prayers are worded VERY strongly: we may not believe in "purgatory" but we sure do have a lot of it.

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[Sorry...I made some errors]


At least from what I've heard, one of the big issue with "purgatory" is the "time": time does not continue as we know it, so gaining indulgences for "x" days/months/years is rather useless. That said, there are other diferences, but the idea of purification seems similar to me. Though I may be completely wrong!



Thank you for that lovely hymn. I've only heard the kneeling prayers once (being a recent enquirer), but I was struck both by their beauty and the petitions to Christ when I heard them earlier this year. This is the Faith!

4:16 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Praying for those in Hell? Could you please expand?

And 'Christ enthroned' really is splendid, isn't it?

7:49 AM  

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