Sunday, January 31, 2016

Maronite Year XIX

The last of the three Sundays of Commemoration is the Sunday of the Faithful Departed, the Maronite version of All Souls. It is primarily a day of hope, as again and again the prayers both of the Maronite Divine Office and of the Divine Liturgy emphasize the hope of the faithful who depart from our midst. But it also looks forward to the preparatory days to come with a note of warning: hope is based on repentance.

Sunday of the Faithful Departed
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; Luke 16:19-31

Hope of the desperate, Savior of the fallen,
in hope of Your kindness we cry out for mercy,
knowing You do not desire the death of sinners,
but repentance and love;
sinners pardoned, the impure cleansed, penitent thieves,
these You bring within the gates of Your paradise,
promising life to those who drink Your holy blood
and eat of Your body.
From nothing You created us men and women,
from sin You restore those who have fallen aside,
from death You raise those who have been laid to their rest,
and thus we praise Your name.

Remember those who have placed their hope in Your grace,
who were washed by You, who were sealed by Your Spirit,
who have partaken of Your body and Your blood,
O Hope who never fails.
Our days are short, but blessed are those who die in You;
one day they will come into Your peaceful harbors,
following their Lord in holy resurrection,
rejoicing in glory,
as all things are made new in the Lamb's bright wedding,
and the feast of celebration lasts forever,
and all are dressed in the splendid robes of glory,
singing with smiling eyes.

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