As was discussed in our last article, the devotion for November that the Church recommends is praying for those who have died and are undergoing purification in Purgatory. Here is one of the common prayers for the dead, as well as a prayer we can pray for ourselves so that we are prepared for the moment of death. The psalm most associated with praying for the dead is the psalm known as De Profundis, Psalm 130. Here it is:
Out of the depths I have cried to Thee, O Lord: Lord hear my voice.
Let Thy ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication.
If Thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities; Lord, who shall stand it?
For with Thee there is merciful forgiveness: and by reason of Thy law,
I have waited for Thee, O Lord.
My soul hath relied on His word: my soul hath hoped in the Lord.
From the morning-watch even until night, let Israel hope in the Lord.
Because with the Lord there is mercy: and with Him plentiful redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.
V. Eternal rest give unto them. O Lord.
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. From the gate of Hell.
R. Deliver their souls, O Lord.
V. May they rest in peace.
V. Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
Let us pray:
O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, we beseech Thee to grant to the Souls of Thy servants the remission of their sins, so that by our prayers they may obtain pardon for which they long. O Lord, Who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen. May they rest in peace. Amen.
PRAYER TO ST. JOSEPH FOR A HAPPY DEATH
O Blessed Joseph, you gave your last breath in the loving embrace of Jesus and Mary. When the seal of death shall close my life, come with Jesus and Mary to aid me. Obtain for me this solace for that hour - to die with their holy arms around me. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I commend my soul, living and dying, into your sacred arms. Amen.
PRAYER FOR A HAPPY DEATH
O God, great and omnipotent judge of the living and the dead, we are to appear before you after this short life to render an account of our works. Give us the grace to prepare for our last hour by a devout and holy life, and protect us against a sudden and unprovided death. Let us remember our frailty and mortality, that we may always live in the ways of your commandments. Teach us to "watch and pray" (Lk 21:36), that when your summons comes for our departure from this world, we may go forth to meet you, experience a merciful judgment, and rejoice in everlasting happiness. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
PRAYER FOR FINAL PERSERVERANCE
O God, Who, while condemning all men once to die, hast yet concealed from them the moment and the hour of their death, grant that, spending all the days of my life in justice and in holiness, I may be made worthy to depart out of this world in Thy holy love. Through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the Unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
(This article is part of a series that will appear over the course of this year on the Monthly Devotions of the Church’s year).