Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Friday, November 02, 2007

All Souls Day: Praying for the Dead

Today being All Souls Day, it's not a bad time to take a look at the traditional Office of the Dead. As with all of the Divine Office, the Office of the Dead was revised heavily after Vatican II. In the case of the Office of the Dead, it was shorted considerably, and the daytime hours were added. Originally, the Office of the Dead contained only Vespers, Matins and Lauds, providing a vigil-through-morning set of prayers for the dead.

While the modern version can be found in the readily available Christian Prayer books and the full Liturgy of the Hours, the traditional Office of the Dead is not widely available in print. However, there are several good sources online.

The easiest to use (in parallel English and Latin) is on, though the site is unfortunately run by "traditionalist" schismatics. (Not that the hours themselves are different, but if you lood into their other matierals elsewhere on the site, you'll note they are sedevacantists.)

The Office of the Dead is also available on the Hypertext Book of Hours on Their edition doesn't have as many options for the Collects, but it is otherwise complete, and the Hypertext Book of Hours has a number of other prayers and hours traditionally found in medieval books of hours (all in nice, Latin/English parallel format).

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