Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Prayers for the Dying #1

Why do I post such an odd thing? How is it tech? How is it Chestertonian?

It is tech, because prayer is the greatest form of communication and because it is a grand implementation of subsidiarity, even more amazing than using subsidiarity to do spot transport for cable television.

It is Chestertonian, since it deals with The Common Man in his longing for The Everlasting Man.

And, paradoxically, we ought to ponder death as one of the most healthy ways of living - all the greatest saints point to the Four Last Things. We shall all die - let us then think of those who are about to die - few of us will be there for them, as a physician or as a relative or close friend, but we can be generous in the only way we may be able to be generous - by prayer. It is enacting subsidiarity - being of assistance to others, as we hope to be assisted when we need it in our own extremity.

Here, then, follows the first of "three tender and useful prayers for the dying" - in the Latin from the 1898 Rituale Romanum, with my attempted translation. (I have also tried to indicate the changes to plural.)

Tres piæ et utiles morientibus Orationes cum tribus Pater noster, et tribus Ave María, in agone mortis recitandæ.

Primo dicitur: Kyrie eléíson. Christe eléison. Kyrie eléison.

Pater noster. Ave María.

Oratio. Dómine Jesu Christe, per tuam sanctíssimam agoníam, et oratiónem, qua orásti pro nobis in monte Olivéti, quando factus est sudor tuus sicut guttæ sánguinis decurréntis in terram: óbsecro te, ut multitúdinem sudóris tui sanguínei, quem præ timóris angústia copiosíssime pro nobis effudísti, offérre et osténdere dignéris Deo Patri omnipoténti contra multitúdinem ómnium peccatórum hujus fámuli tui (horum famulorum tuorum) N., et líbera eum (eos) in hac hora mortis suæ ab ómnibus pœnis et angústiis, quas pro peccátis suis se timet (timent) meruísse: Qui cum Patre et Spíritu sancto vivis et regnas Deus in sæcula sæculórum. Amen.
Which is, approximately:
Three tender and useful prayers for the dying, with three "Our Fathers" and three "Hail Marys" for recitation in the agony of dying.

First is said: Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.

Our Father... Hail Mary...

Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, by Thy most holy agony, and prayer, which Thou prayed for us on the Mount of Olives, when Thy sweat was like drops of blood running down on the earth: I beseech Thee, that Thou would deign to offer and show to God the Father Almighty Thy great bloody sweat that for fear of anguish Thou copiously shed for us, against all the many sins of this Thy servant, and free him in this hour of his death from all punishment and agony, which for his sins he fears he has merited for himself. Thou Who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.
It will be our turn one day. Perhaps by this publication someone will say them for you. Or me.

PS: if you can supply a better translation, or corrections to mine, please do so.


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