How to say the Vespers of the Dead

A question has come up about using the Office of the Dead for occasions such as Memorial Day. In response to that I will try to complete a short series of posts as to how I would use this Office for such and other occasions.

The Office of the Dead is usually added to the Office of the day so that Vespers of the Dead begins immediately after the Vespers of the day has ended. If it is said as the only Office in the day (and therefore does not follow Daily Vespers) the Office begins with a secret Our Father & Hail Mary.

Vespers of the Day


V. Let us bless the Lord.

R. Thanks be to God.

At this point, instead of saying “May the souls …” the First Antiphon of the Vespers of the Dead is begun: “I will walk …” Since we are here discussing the Office as kept as a special commemoration the Antiphons are doubled (see Rubrics p. G13 “And the Antiphons … (… one Collect).

1st Antiphon

Psalm 116

1st Antiphon

2nd Antiphon

Psalm 120

2nd Antiphon

3d Antiphon

Psalm 121

3d Antiphon

4th Antiphon

Psalm 130

4th Antiphon

5th Antiphon

Psalm 138

5th Antiphon

V./R. no Hymn.

Antiphon on The Song of the Blessed Virgin

The Song of the Blessed Virgin

Antiphon on The Song of the Blessed Virgin

Our Father (said kneeling)

At this point, because the Antiphons are doubled in the Office, Psalm 146 is not said. Instead the Office continues as follows:

V. From the gates of hell.

R. Deliver …

V. Lord, …

R. And let …

If you are in Holy Orders of at least the Diaconate the Office continues:

V. The lord be with you.

R. And with thy spirit.

If you are not at least a Deacon skip the above verse and response and continue to:

Let us pray.

There is a different Collect available according to the situation. For Memorial Day I would pick Collect 13 or 14. For a friend I would pick 6, 7 or 11 as seems most appropriate to you.

At last the following is said to conclude the Office of the Dead:

V. Rest eternal grant …

R. And let light …

V. May they rest …

R. Amen.

After the Office of the Dead there is no final Our Father or anything else. The Vespers of the Dead ends here.


About Father Gregory

I am an Anglican Catholic Priest, currently residing in Orvelte, the Netherlands.
This entry was posted in Anglican Breviary, Psalmody, Rubrics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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