Falling asleep vs dying in His Mercy


From Eucharistic Prayer II:

What has always struck me as odd about this passage, is that those who have “fallen asleep in the hope of the resurrection”, and “all who have died in your mercy” are mentioned as separate groups. Clearly they are not considered the same. Why not? What’s the difference between one who has fallen asleep in the hope of the resurrection, and one who has died in God’s mercy?



Interesting. I await the answer to that as well.

I read one group as those that follow God’s way and hope for resurrection because of how they lead their life, and the second group as those that may not have followed him as closely, but who he may bless with his Mercy anyway.



I’m not a biblical or canon scholar, but my guess would be that they are actually the same. The Bible likes to repeat and rephrase things for emphasis - I’m guessing this is a similar idea. Some more knowledgeable person can correct me.

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Because some might have died in His mercy without hoping for resurrection.

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These are separated by being on different lines, that’s all.
They refer to the same people
Not different

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I’ve heard that one many times before, Lee. But on a language level that explanation just doesn’t work, because the conjunctive “and” (at the start of the 3rd line) makes it quite clear that different groups are intended. It’s just a matter of what the word “and” means when separating clauses of this kind: if I say “let’s pray for all those who like candy, and all those who play football”, then it’s obvious that the two are not the same. Some of those who like candy might also be football-players, and the other way aorund, but the point is that generally the conjunctive sets the two groups apart.

@adgloriam That seems to be the implication. But isn’t dying in His Mercy the same as dying in Faith, and isn’t dying in Faith the same as dying in Hope of the Resurrection?



Hebrew poetry relies heavily on parallelism, saying the same thing in different words. We see it a lot in the Psalms. This has carried over into liturgy, it just adds emphasis and poetry to the prayer




Very helpful. And so obvious once it is pointed out. :relaxed:

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Thank you, that link had a great explanation.

I’ll copy the first part here:

In Eucharistic Prayer 2, the celebrant prays: “Remember also our brothers and sisters who have fallen asleep in the hope of the resurrection, and all who have died in your mercy: welcome them into the light of your face.”

What does this distinction mean?

The first group refers to Christians, those who believe in the Resurrection. The second group includes everyone else. All have died in God’s mercy. We pray that all may be reunited with God.

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The old form of Eucharistic Prayer 2 made the same distinction - it sounds like between Christians and everyone else: “Remember our brothers and sisters who have gone to their rest in the hope of rising again; bring them and all the departed into the light of your presence."



That’s another strange version actually. To pray that all the departed may be brought into the light of God’s presence seems inappropriate, because that would suggest a belief in universal salvation, which is clearly not the RCC’s position or the position of any authentic religion really. Not that I’m against the idea non-Christians being saved – on the contrary, I’m all for it. But the idea that all are (or may be) saved isn’t right.



Faith would be defined as belief in revealed truth.

Mercy in this sense I actually take as “in a state of grace”, or perhaps even petitioning God to forgive and have mercy on those who aren’t in a state of grace.

“Bring them all” has as subject of the sentence “brothers and sisters” with the subject having as property “who have gone (…) in the hope of rising again” thus in this sentence you petition for those who had hope of resurrection (this sentence seems more circumscribed).



There is none.

You’re interpreting poetic language in an overly literalistic manner, thereby creating a contradiction where in fact none exists.

They’re saying the exact same thing twice in a poetic manner.



The church does pray that all are saved. We condemn nobody. All may be saved. That is left to God.

This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim 2:3-4)

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OP, good thread. I had never thought if the distinction. Glad we got a good answer


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