This blog contains regular postings relating to the Traditional Latin Liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. It includes regular commentary on the saints days and the liturgical cycle, with brief background and extracts from the liturgy both in Latin and English. Much of the material has been extracted from the 'St Andrew's Daily Missal', Dom Gueranger's 'Liturgical Year', or similar sources.

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Tuesday, 1 November 2016

1st November, The Feast of All Saints

The Feast of All Saints

The temple of Agrippa was dedicated, under Augustus, to all the pagan gods, hence its name of Pantheon. Under the Emperor Phocas, between A.D. 607 and 610, Boniface IV translated hither numerous remains of martyrs taken from the Catacombs.

On May 13, A.D. 610, he dedicated this new Christian basilica to St. Mary and the Martyrs. The feast of this dedication took later a more universal character, and the temple was consecrated to St. Mary and all the Saints.

As there was already a feast in commemoration of all the Saints, celebrated at first at various dates in various churches, then fixed by Gregory IV in A.D. 835 on November 1, Pope Gregory VII transferred to this date the anniversary of the dedication of the Pantheon as a church. The feast of All Saints therefore recalls the triumph of Christ over the false pagan deities.

In this temple is held the Station on the Friday in the octave of Easter.

As the saints commemorated during the three first centuries were martyrs, and the Pantheon was at first dedicated to them, the Mass of All Saints is made up of extracts from the liturgy of martyrs. The Introit is that of the Mass of St. Agatha, used later for other feasts, the Gospel, Offertory and Communion are taken from the Common of martyrs of the Church

The Church gives us on this day a wonderful vision of heaven, showing us with St. John, the twelve thousand signed (twelve is considered a perfect number) of each tribe of Israel, and a great multitude which no one can count, of every nation and tribe, of every people and tongue, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes and with palms in their hands (Epistle). Christ, our Lady, the blessed battalions distributed in nine choirs, the apostles and prophets, the martyrs crimsoned in their blood, the confessors adorned in white garments and the chaste choir of virgins form, as the hymn of Vespers sings, the majestic court. It is composed of all those who here below were detached from worldly riches, gentle, suffering, just, merciful, pure, peaceful and persecuted for the name of Jesus. "Rejoice," the Master had foretold them, "for a great reward is prepared for you in heaven" (Gospel, Communion). Among those millions of the just who were faithful disciples of Jesus on earth, are several of our own family, relations, friends, members of our parochial family, now enjoying the fruit of their piety, adoring the Lord, King of kings, and Crown of all Saints (Invitatory at Matins) and obtaining for us the wished for abundance of His mercies (Collect).

Gaudeamus omnes in Domino, diem festum celebrantes sub honore Sanctorum omnium: de quorum solemnitate gaudent Angeli, et collaudant Filium Dei. * Exsultate justi in Domino: rectos decet collaudatio.
Let us all rejoice in the Lord, celebrating a festival day in honour of all the Saints: at whose solemnity the Angels rejoice, and give praise to the Son of God.* Rejoice in the Lord, ye just: praise becometh the upright.
(Psalm 32:1 from the Introit of Mass)

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui nos omnium Sanctorum tuorum merita sub una tribuisti celebritate venerari: quaesumus: ut desideratam nobis tuae propitiationis abundantiam, multiplicatis inter cessoribus, largiaris.
O Almightyand everlasting God, who hast granted us to honour in one solemn feast the merits of all Thy Saints: we beseech Thee, that, since so many are praying for us, Thou wouldst pour forth upon us the abundance of Thy mercy, for which we long.

O Christ, thy guilty people spare!
Lo, kneeling at thy gracious throne,
Thy Virgin-Mother pours her prayer,
Imploring pardon for her own.

Ye Angels, happy evermore!
Who in your circles nine ascend,
As ye have guarded us before,
So still from harm our steps defend.

Ye Prophets and Apostles high!
Behold our penitential tears;
And plead for us when death is nigh,
And our all-searching Judge appears.

Ye Martyrs all! a purple band,
And Confessors, a white-robed train;
O, call us to our native land,
From this our exile, back again.

And ye, O choirs of Virgins chaste!
Receive us to your seats on high;
With Hermits whom the desert waste
Sent up of old into the sky.

Drive from the flock, O Spirit blest!
The false and faithless race away;
That all within one fold may rest,
Secure beneath one Shepherd's sway.

To God the Father glory be,
And to his sole-begotten Son;
And glory, Holy Ghost, to thee,
While everlasting ages run. Amen.

(Hymn for Vespers, from the Roman Breviary)

Angeli, Archangeli, Throni et Dominationes, Principalis et Potestates, Virtutes caelorum, Cherubim atque Seraphim, Patriarchae et Prophetae, sancti legis Doctores, Apostoli, omnes Christi Martyres, sancti Confessores, Virgines Domini, Anachoritae Sanctique omnes, intercedite pro nobis.
O ye Angels and Archangels, Thrones and Dominions, Principalities and Powers, Virtues of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, ye Patriarchs and Prophets, holy Doctors of the Law, Apostles, all Martyrs of Christ, holy Confessors, Virgins of the Lord, Hermits, and all Saints : intercede for us.
(Magnificat Antiphon from 1st Vespers)

The Catholic Encyclopaedia on the Feast of All Saints:

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