Last Gospel & Rite of Absolution at EF Requiem Mass
  • -b
    Posts: 39
    Below is the context in which my questions emerged in the last two weeks. In short, though, here are my questions:

    1. Is there a Last Gospel at the Mass of All Souls when Mass is followed by the Absolution with a catafalque, but not at a funeral Requiem Mass with the body present? And a Requiem Mass when the body is not present, like for a memorial or anniversary? The Psallite Sapienter contradicts my 1962 Missal on this. I don't see any mention of the Last Gospel in Liber for the Requiem Mass.

    2. Is the sermon (if any) given at the conclusion of the Requiem Mass, but at its usual place at the All Souls Mass?

    3. At the Absolution, the priest begins with "Non intres" prayer for a funeral, but this is omitted at the All Souls Mass?

    4. After the Responsory, prayers and responses, priest prays "Deus cui proprium" at a funeral Mass, but at a Mass without the body present (All Souls (and anniversary Mass?)) priest prays "Absolve, quaesumus" - yes?

    We recently had two EF funerals in the week before All Souls Mass, also EF. As choir director I'm consulting the Liber Usualis, my 1962 Missal, the Parish Book of Chant, and CMAA publication, Psallite Sapienter. The two priests involved consulted their own book with rubrics specifically for the priest. The EF Requiem Mass was new to both priests. As much as we prepared beforehand, there were still last-minute questions and changes made. I'm trying to sort things out before I file everything away for the next occasion.
  • My understanding:
    1. No. Whenever there is an absolution, this takes the place of the Last Gospel, regardless of whether the corpse is present or not.
    2. It is more common in my experience that the sermon at a Requiem that is not a funeral Mass per se takes place in the normal time rather than at the end.
    3. The Non intres prayer only occurs when there is a corpse present. It does not occur at memorial Requiem Masses such as All Souls. In this case, the Absolution immediately begins with the cantored intonation of Libera Me, which can take place while the celebrant is divesting chasuble / maniple and taking the cope.
    4. The note from my '62 Fortescue for the final prayer when the body is not present: "It is Absolve, quesumus Domine, or the collect of the appropriate Mass (with the short conclusion), or other suitable prayer."

  • rarty
    Posts: 93
    What Incardination says above looks pretty comprehensive. I think there is an opportunity for a book that better describes all of this!

    A new rubric in 1960 (510 e) says that the Last Gospel is omitted in a Mass for the Dead when the "absolutio super tumulum" follows immediately.

    As such, the Ordo Absolutionis at the end of the 1962 Missal specifies to omit the Last Gospel in the preceding Mass—with or without the body present.

    I know it is common to give the sermon after the Gospel, but the Missal itself (Ritus servandus, XIII n. 3) specifies that if there is to be a sermon at a Mass for the Dead, which should include All Souls' Masses, it should be given after Mass and before the Absolution.
    Thanked by 1Incardination
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,198
    Some of the confusion is due to the changes in the Rubrics, we usually have a last Gospel even with absolutions but we follow pre-55. Although the LMS pontifical requiem in Westminster Cathedral used full pre-55 perhaps due to using the Pontificale that was not updated with the other books.