Trial Liturgy: An Anglican Office of the Dead

(One of the reasons I transferred to WordPress is the ability to connect files to posts–this is a test of that functionality…)

Linked here are two files for an Anglican Office of the Dead. First, a Matins of the Dead; second, a Vespers of the Dead.

I have adapted the Roman form as found in the Anglican Breviary using the same kind of manipulations that were used to create our Morning Prayer form the combination of Matins and Lauds (there is no Prime version of the Office of the Dead) and Evening Prayer from Vespers (again–there is no Compline Office of the Dead). (For those unfamiliar with these Offices, see the article from the Catholic Encyclopedia.)

Following the traditional use, these may be read after the regular days Offices 1) on the first Friday of every month where we pray for all the departed, 2) on the day of death–or the day we are notified of someone’s death, 3) again on the day of burial, and 4) on the 3rd, 7th and 30th days after either death or burial. (While a double office is preferable you could, of course, read this instead of the usual offices…)

One of the reasons I post these files is because this disputed theological topic–praying for the dead–is part and parcel of the theological conundrum that the Lutheran Zephyr brought up: the invocation of the saints. I see them as inseperable because they are rooted in a shared Christian theology of death. I’ll write more on this a little later.

I welcome comments on the Offices.

8 thoughts on “Trial Liturgy: An Anglican Office of the Dead

  1. Chris T.

    I like them both! I’ve never prayed the Office using the BCP (I use the AB), but from what I know of Morning and Evening Prayer from the BCP, this seems like a pretty faithful adaptation of the AB Office of the Dead.

  2. tim cravens

    Actually, the Office of the Dead does exist for all eight offices — see November 2 (All Souls’ Day) for Compline, Prime, Terce, Sext, and None of the Dead.

    However, for “ordinary use”, only Vespers, Matins & Lauds is used.

  3. Derek the Ænglican

    Chris–I tried to stay as close to the original as possible…

    Tim–I didn’t realize that! I am only used to the ‘ordinary use’. I’ll take a look at them.

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  5. Monk-in-Training

    What a blessing these Offices are, the amazing thing is, I found them on the 13th anniversary of the death of my beloved wife. Thank you for them.

    servi servorum Dei

    Br. T

  6. Derek the Ænglican

    Thank you, Br. T. They had been on my mind for some time and some deaths in my family moved me to commit them to paper. Liturgy speaks when we cannot. (and sometimes when we should not.)

  7. Derek the Ænglican

    I’m glad you found it meaningful. We await a death in our own family–and I take refuge in not having to make up words to express my feelings. (M’s maternal grandfather: please keep him in your prayers…)

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