Rosary for the Dead

One of the many pious customs which we still keep is the recitation of the Decenary of the Passion (decenario de la pasión in Spanish), otherwise known as the Rosary for the Dead (rosario del difunto in Spanish). In some places, this rosary was sung publicly, as evidenced by Marcelo Adonay’s setting of the prayer said at the Pater bead, Lubháng maaawaíng Jesús ko, for three voices accompanied by strings and winds (listen to the first one minute or so of the piece here). The original Spanish has been translated into the various languages of the archipelago, and now forms part of the customary novenas recited for the deceased.

Premier Deuil
Premier deuil | William Adolphe Bouguereau | 1888

The rosary is said this way: Kneeling before a Crucifix, make the sign of the Cross, and then say the Act of Contrition. Afterwards, say the opening prayer, followed by the oblation. At the Pater bead, a prayer is said in the place of the mystery, followed by ten invocations to the Lord, to which Have mercy on the soul of N. is responded. Click the subheading below to open the document.

Bouguereau - A soul brought to heaven (1878)
A soul brought to heaven | William Adolphe Bouguereau | 1878

ROSARY FOR THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED
in honour of the Blessed Passion of the Lord

Opening Prayer

Open, O Lord, our lips to bless Thine Holy Name: cleanse our hearts from all vain, perverse and alien thoughts; shine upon our understanding, inflame our affection, that worthily, attentively and devoutly we may recite this Rosary of Thy most sacred Passion, with the most bitter sorrows of Thy Most Holy Mother, and we may merit to be graciously heard before the face of Thy Divine Majesty: Who livest and reignest through the ages of the ages. Amen


Oblation

O my sweetmost Jesus, Who to redeem the World, didst deign to be nailed to the Cross, we beseech Thee, O Lord, by Thine most sacred Passion, deliver the soul of N. from the torments of hell, and bring him (or her) to rest in Thy most hallowed glory. Amen.


At the Pater bead:

O my most merciful Jesus, look with benignant eyes upon the souls of the faithful departed for whom Thou didst die and receive the torment of the cross. Amen.


At the Ave bead:

O my Jesus, for that copious sweat of Blood which Thou didst shed in the Garden, have mercy on the soul of N.

O my Jesus, for that slap which Thy venerable countenance did receive, have mercy on the soul of N.

O my Jesus, for those cruel scourges which Thou didst suffer, have mercy on the soul of N.

O my Jesus, for that crown of sharp thorns which pierced Thy most holy head, have mercy on the soul of N.

O my Jesus, for those steps which, carrying the cross, Thou didst make in that Way of Bitterness, have mercy on the soul of N.

O my Jesus, for Thine most holy face awash with Blood, which Thou didst leave imprinted upon the veil of Veronica, have mercy on the soul of N.

O my Jesus, for that bloodstained garment which the executioners did tear away violently from Thee, have mercy on the soul of N.

O my Jesus, for Thine most holy Body nailed to the cross, have mercy on the soul of N.

O my Jesus, for Thine most holy feet and hands transfixed with sharp nails, have mercy on the soul of N.

O my Jesus, for Thine side opened by the blade of a lance, whence did flow Blood and water, have mercy on the soul of N.

After the rosary, the Litany of Loreto is said. Instead of saying Pray for us, we say Pray for the soul of N. This change—us to for the soul of N.—is observed in the rest of the responses. The rosary ends at this point. The practice, however, is to recite the novena in honour of the Holy Souls in Purgatory afterwards.

Ut in omnibus laudetur Dominus.

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