The Church Triumphant, Militant, Suffering
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 of the Church 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. 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).
Gaudeámus omnes in Dómino, diem festum celebrántes sub honóre Sanctórum ómnium: de quorum solemnitáte gaudent Angeli, et colláudant Fílium Dei. Ps. xxxii. i. Exsultáte, justi, in Dómino: rectos decet collaudátio. v. Glória Patri.
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. Ps. Rejoice in the Lord, ye just: praise becometh the upright. v. Glory be to the Father.
Omnípotens sempitérne Deus, qui nos ómnium Sanctórum tuórum mérita sub una tribuísti celebritáte venerári: quaésumus: ut desider-átam nobis tuae propitiatiónis abundántiam, multiplicátis interces-sóribus, largiáris. Per Dóminum.
Almighty and everlasting God, who hast given us in one feast to venerate the merits of all Thy saints; we beseech Thee through the multitude of intercessors to grant us the desired abundance of Thy mercy. Through our Lord.
Léctio libri Apocalypsis beáti Joánnis Apóstoli. In diébus illis: Ecce ego Joánnes vidi álterum Angelum ascendéntem ab ortu solis, habéntem signum Dei vivi: et clamávit voce magna quátuor Angelis, quibus datum est nocére terrae et mari, dicens: Nolíte nocére terrae, et mari, neque arbóribus, quoadúsque signémus servos Dei nostri in fróntibus eórum. Et audívi númerum signatórum, centum quadragínta quátuor míllia signáti, ex omni tribu filiórum Israël. Ex tribu Juda duódecim míllia signáti. Ex tribu Ruben duódecim mílha signáti. Ex tribu Gad duódecim míllia signáti. Ex tribu Aser duódecim míllia signáti. Ex tribu Néphthali duódecim míllia signáti. Ex tribu Manásse duódecim míllia signáti. Ex tribu Símeon duódecim míllia signáti. Ex tribu Levi duódecim míllia signáti. Ex tribu Issachar duódecim míllia signáti. Ex tribu Zábulon duódecim míllia signáti. Ex tribu Joseph duódecim míllia signáti. Ex tribu Bénjamin duódecim míllia signáti. Post haec vidi turbam magnam, quam dinumeráre nemo póterat, ex ómnibus géntibus, et tríbubus, et pópulis, et linguis: stantes ante thronum, et in conspéctu Agni, amícti stolis albis, et palmae in mánibus eórum: et clamábant voce magna, dicéntes: Salus Deo nostro, qui sedet super thronum, et Agno. Et omnes Angeli stabant in circúitu throni, et seniórum, et quátuor animálium: et cecidérunt in conspéctu throni in fácies suas, et adoravérunt Deum, dicéntes: Amen. Benedíctio, et cláritas, et sapiéntia, et gratiárum áctio, honor, et virtus, et fortitúdo Deo nostro, in saécula saeculórum. Amen.
Lesson from the book of the Apocalypse of Saint John the Apostle. In those days, behold, I, John, saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the sign of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying: Hurt not the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees, till we sign the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them that were signed: an hundred and forty-four thousand were signed, of every tribe of the children of Israel. Of the tribe of Juda were twelve thousand signed: of the tribe of Ruben twelve thousand signed: of the tribe of Gad twelve thou-sand signed: of the tribe of Aser twelve thousand signed: of the tribe of Nephthali twelve thousand signed: of the tribe of Manasses twelve thousand signed: of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand signed: of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand signed: of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand signed: of the tribe of Zabulon twelve thousand signed: of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand signed: of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand signed. After this, I saw a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, and tribes, and peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and in sight of the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and they cried with a loud voice saying: Salvation to our God who sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and the ancients, and the four living creatures; and they fell down before the throne upon their faces, and adored God, saying: Amen. Benediction, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, honour, and power, and strength to our God for ever and ever. Amen.
Timéte Dóminum, omnes sancti ejus: quóniam nihil deest timéntibus eum. v. Inquiréntes autem Dóminum, non defícient omni bono. Allelúia.
Allelúia, allelúia. Veníte ad me omnes qui laborátis et oneráti estis: et ego refíciam vos. Allelúia.
Fear the Lord, all ye His saints: for there is no want to them that fear Him. v. But they that seek the Lord shall not be deprived of any good.
Alleluia, alleluia. Come to Me all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you. Alleluia.
Sequéntia sancti Evangélii secúndum Matthaéum. In illo témpore: Videns Jesus turbas, ascéndit in montem, et cum sedísset, accessérunt ad eum discípuli ejus, et apériens os suum docébat eos, dicens: Beáti páuperes spíritu: quóniam ipsórum est regnum caelórum. Beáti mites: quóniam ipsi possidébunt terram. Beáti qui lugent: quóniam ipsi consola-búntur. Beáti qui esúriunt et sítiunt justítiam: quóniam ipsi satu rabúntur. Beáti misericórdes: quóniam ipsi misericórdiam consequéntur. Beáti mundo corde quóniam ipsi Deum vidébunt. Beáti pacífici: quóniam fílii Dei vocabúntur. Beáti qui persecu-tiónem patiúntur propter justítiam: quóniam ipsórum est regnum caelórum. Beáti estis cum maledíxerint vobis, et persecúti vos fúerint, et díxerint omne malum advérsum vos, mentiéntes, propter me: gaudéte, et exsultáte, quóniam merces vestra copiósa est in caelis.
Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. At that time, Jesus seeing the multitudes, went up into a mountain; and when He was sat down, His disciples came unto Him. And opening His mouth, He taught them, saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land. Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice; for they shall have their fill. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart; for they shall see God. Blessed are the peace-makers; for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for My sake: be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven.
Justórum ánimae in manu Dei sunt, et non tanget illos torméntum malítiae: visi sunt óculis insipiéntium mori: illi autem sunt in pace, allelúia.
The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the torment of malice shall not touch them: in the sight of the unwise they seemed to die, but they are in peace, alleluia.
Múnera tibi, Dómine, nostrae devotiónis offérimus: quae et pro cunctórum tibi grata sint honóre justórum, et nobis salutária, te miseránte, reddántur. Per Dóminum.
We offer to Thee, O Lord, the gifts of our devotion; may they be pleasing to Thee in honour of all Thy saints; and of Thy mercy let them avail for our salvation. Through…
Vere dignum et justum est aéquum et salutáre, nos tibi semper, et ubíque grátias ágere: Dómine sancte, Pater omnípotens, ætérne Deus: per Christum Dóminum nostrum. Per quem majestátem tuam laudant Angeli, adorant Dominatiónes, tremunt Potestátes. Cæli, cælorúmque Virtútes, ac beáta Séraphim socía exsultatióne concél-ebrant. Cum quibus et nostras voces, ut admítti jubéas, deprécamur, súpplici confessióne dicéntes:
It is truly meet and just, right and availing unto salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God, through Christ our Lord. Through whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the dominations worship it, the powers stand in awe. The heavens, and the heavenly hosts, and the blessed Seraphim join together in celebrating their joy. With whom we pray Thee join our voices
Beáti mundo corde, quóniam ipsi Deum vidébunt: beáti pacífici, quóniam fílii Dei vocabúntur: beáti qui persecutiónem patiúntur propter justítiam, quóniam ipsórum est regnum caelórum.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God: blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God: blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Da quaésumus, Dómine, fidélibus pópulis ómnium Sanctórum semper veneratióne laetári: et eórum perpétua supplicatióne muníri. Per Dóminum.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that Thy faithful people may always rejoice in paying reverence to all Thy saints, and may they be helped by their unceasing prayers. Through our Lord.