PRAYERS FOR THE SOULS IN PURGATORY
“It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.” (2 Machabees 12:46)
FOUR PRAYERS FOR THE DEPARTED
Written by St. Gertrude with the approval of Our Lord
When St. Gertrude was about to say these prayers together with the psalter, she asked Our Lord whether they were acceptable to him, and received this answer: They are so acceptable to me that whenever a soul is liberated from Purgatory, it is to me as though my own soul were delivered out of captivity, and I will surely reward them in due time, in the omnipotence of my boundless compassion. Wherefore, although you cannot recite the whole psalter, say at least these four most effectual prayers, and after each of them say:
HAIL, Jesus Christ, Splendour of the Father; Hail, Prince of Peace, Gate of Heaven, Living Bread, Offspring of the Virgin, Vessel of the Godhead.
V. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
Or, De Profundis (Psalm 129).
I ADORE, salute, and bless thee, O sweetest Lord Jesus Christ, and I praise thee and give thee thanks with the love of all thy creatures for the vast love wherewith thou didst condescend to be made man for us, to be born, to endure hunger and thirst, toils and sorrows, for thirty-three years, and to bestow on us thyself in the most holy Sacrament; beseeching thee that thou wouldst vouchsafe to unite and blend with the merits of thy most holy conversation and life this my prayer, which I make to thee for the soul of N. departed [or, for the souls of all the faithful departed]; and to supply from the great abundance of those merits, and perfectly to complete whatsoever he has neglected in thy worship and love, in thanksgiving and in prayer, in virtue and good works, and all the service due to thee, in all that by thy grace he might have done and has not done, or did from impure motives, or carelessly and imperfectly. Amen.
I ADORE, salute, and bless thee, O sweetest Lord Jesus Christ, and I give thee thanks for that love wherewith thou, the Creator of all things, didst condescend for our redemption to be seized and bound and dragged away to judgment, to be trampled upon, buffeted and spit upon, to be scourged and crowned with thorns, to be condemned, to bear thine own cross, to be stripped and nailed to the cross, to die a most bitter death, and to be pierced through with the lance. And in union with that love I offer thee these my unworthy prayers, beseeching thee to blot out and efface utterly through the merits of thy most holy Passion and Death whatsoever this soul for which I pray has ever done against thy will, by evil thoughts or words or deeds; and that thou wouldst vouchsafe to offer to God the Father all the sorrow and the anguish of thy torn Body and of thy desolated Soul, all thy merits and all thine actions, for all that chastisement which he has incurred at the hands of thy justice. Amen.
I ADORE, salute, and bless thee, O sweetest Lord Jesus Christ, and I give thee thanks for all the love and the faithfulness with which thou didst overcome death and rise from the dead, and glorify our flesh by ascending in it to the right hand of the Father; beseeching thee that thou wouldst now vouchsafe to render the soul for which I pray partaker of thy triumph and of thy glory. Amen.
I ADORE, salute, and bless thee, O sweetest Lord Jesus Christ, and I render thee thanks for all the graces thou hast ever bestowed on thy glorious Mother and on all thine elect, in union with the gratitude with which all thy saints exult in the bliss thou hast obtained for them through thy holy Incarnation, Passion, and Resurrection; beseeching thee that thou wouldst vouchsafe to supply to this soul from the merits and prayers of the same glorious Virgin and all thy saints, whatever is lacking to his own. Amen.
(Taken from Preces Gertrudianæ: Prayers of St. Gertrude and St. Mechtilde of the Order of St. Benedict.)
De Profundis (Psalm 129)
1. Out of the depths I have cried to thee, O Lord:
2. Lord, hear my voice. Let thy ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication.
3. If thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities: Lord, who shall stand it.
4. For with thee there is merciful forgiveness: and by reason of thy law, I have waited for thee, O Lord. My soul hath relied on his word:
5. My soul hath hoped in the Lord.
6. From the morning watch even until night, let Israel hope in the Lord.
7. Because with the Lord there is mercy: and with him plentiful redemption.
8. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.