Sancta Missa - Rituale Romanum (Roman Ritual) - Prayers at the moment of death


1. At the moment a person is departing this life, then especially should all who are present kneel down and devote themselves to most fervent prayer. The dying person himself should say if he can (otherwise the priest or anyone present pronounces for him distinctly) the words: "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!" This and the following aspirations may be whispered in his ear from time to time, if it seems advisable:

Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

Lord, Jesus Christ, receive my spirit.

Holy Mary, pray for me.

Mary, Mother of grace, Mother of mercy, shield me from the enemy, and receive me at the hour of my death.

St. Joseph, pray for me.

O blessed Joseph, with Mary, your virgin-wife, open to me the innermost depths of divine mercy.

Jesus, Mary, Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul.

Jesus, Mary, Joseph, assist me in my last agony.

Jesus, Mary, Joseph, may I sleep and rest in peace with you.

2. Wherever it is custom, the bell of the parish church should be tolled to announce to the faithful that someone is dying, so that they may pray for the person.

3. When the soul has departed, the following is said immediately:

Come in haste to assist him (her), + you saints of God; Come in haste to meet him (her), you angels of the Lord. * Enfold in your arms this soul, + and take your burden heavenwards to the sight of the Most High.

V. May Christ receive you, for it was He who called you; And may angels carry you unto Abraham's bosom.

R. Enfold in your arms this soul, * and take your burden heavenwards to the sight of the Most High.

V. Lord, grant him (her) eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon him (her).

R. Take your burden heavenwards to the sight of the Most High.

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Our Father (the rest inaudibly until:)

P: And lead us not into temptation.

All: But deliver us from evil.

P: Lord, grant him (her) eternal rest.

All: And let perpetual light shine upon him (her).

P: From the gates of hell.

All: Deliver his (her) soul, O Lord.

P: May he (she) rest in peace.

All: Amen.

P: Lord, heed my prayer.

All: And let my cry be heard by you.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us prayer. To you, O Lord, we commend the soul of your servant, N., that he (she) who has departed this life may evermore live for you. In your all merciful and loving forgiveness, blot out the sins which he (she) has committed through human weakness; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

If the deceased was a priest, the title priest is added after his name.

4. Meanwhile the church bell should be tolled, if such is the custom, so that those who hear it may pray for the departed. The body should be laid out with due respect in a becoming place, and lights placed about it. A small crucifix should be fixed in the hands of the corpse, with the hands resting on the breast; or if a crucifix is not available, the hands should be arranged in the form of a cross. The corpse is to be sprinkled with holy water, and, until it is removed for burial, prayers are to be said for its soul's welfare by those present, both clergy and laity.

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