Requiem Mass

I’ve heard someone say that in a Requiem Mass on the memorial of a death, there used to be a fake casket. Is this true, and if so…what was its purpose?

Never heard of it or seen it in my years as an altar boy from 1943 till 1957 and I served lots of “black” Masses…

Don’t know, but I’ve seen the catafalque at Requiem Masses (never been to one, though–just seen photos).

Yes, a catafalque covered with a black funeral pall. It was for the *absolution *. why the body was not present could be through different reasons- disease, the Mass is being celebrated elsewhere from where the person died, it is forbidden by civil law, anniversary of note, etc. Also on All Souls, the catafalque represents All the Faithful Departed

It is not usually done after a common quotidianis- a daily Mass for the Dead.

The absolution are a series of final supplicatory prayers for the soul(s) of the departed.

There are two forms of the absolution- when the body is present and the body is absent. Formerly the absolution was very complicated with the Rituale and the Missale contradicting each other on certain points and wording, or the Rituale contradicting the Caeremoniale, but in 1919-20 when the new Missal came out, it was simplified and made one. The difference is that if the body is not present the celebrant does not say this prayer

Enter not into judgment with your servant, O Lord; for in your sight no man can be justified unless you grant him remission of all his sin. Therefore we beseech you, let not the sentence of your judgement fall upon him whom the true prayer of Christian faith commends to you: but by the help of your grace, let him, who while he lived was sealed with the sign of the Holy Trinity be worhty to escape the avenging judgement: Who lives and reigns world without end. Amen.

and can say any collect for the dead in place of this one

O God, whose property is ever to have mercy and to spare, we humbly entreat you on behalf of the soul of Thy servant (handmaid) N., which you have this day commanded to pass out of this world: that Thou would not deliver it into the hands of the enemy nor forget it for ever, but command it to be taken up by the holy Angels, and to be borne to our home in paradise, that as he (she) had put his (her) faith and hope in you, he (she) may not undergo the pains of hell but may possess everlasting joys. Through Christ our Lord.

Yes, a catafalque covered with a black funeral pall. It was for the *absolution *. why the body was not present could be through different reasons- disease, the Mass is being celebrated elsewhere from where the person died, it is forbidden by civil law, anniversary of note, etc. Also on All Souls, the catafalque represents All the Faithful Departed

It was not usually done after a common quotidianis- a daily Mass for the Dead. It was also connected more with a Solemn Mass than a simple low Mass.

The absolution are a series of final supplicatory prayers for the soul(s) of the departed.

There are two forms of the absolution- when the body is present and the body is absent. Formerly the absolution was very complicated with the Rituale and the Missale contradicting each other on certain points and wording, or the Rituale contradicting the Caeremoniale, but in 1919-20 when the new Missal came out, it was simplified and made one. The difference is that if the body is not present the celebrant does not say this prayer

Enter not into judgment with your servant, O Lord; for in your sight no man can be justified unless you grant him remission of all his sin. Therefore we beseech you, let not the sentence of your judgement fall upon him whom the true prayer of Christian faith commends to you: but by the help of your grace, let him, who while he lived was sealed with the sign of the Holy Trinity be worhty to escape the avenging judgement: Who lives and reigns world without end. Amen.

and can say any collect for the dead in place of this one

O God, whose property is ever to have mercy and to spare, we humbly entreat you on behalf of the soul of Thy servant (handmaid) N., which you have this day commanded to pass out of this world: that Thou would not deliver it into the hands of the enemy nor forget it for ever, but command it to be taken up by the holy Angels, and to be borne to our home in paradise, that as he (she) had put his (her) faith and hope in you, he (she) may not undergo the pains of hell but may possess everlasting joys. Through Christ our Lord.

You can see some magnificent pictures of a (cardinal) bishop’s catafalque here. As this picture clearly shows, it also has his regalia, the cappa magna, the galero, a mitre, etc.

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