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What power does the Evil One have over the faithful departed? I didn’t have a satisfying answer. I thought that it was a matter of a poor translation, but I looked up the text kuxta Officium Divinum, Liturgia Horarum, Iuxta Ritum Romanum, and found the following text: These intercessions were composed quite quickly during the s.

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Even though they are found in the liturgical books, their nature as intercessions means that they are a rather weak source from the doctrinal point of view. It is therefore quite possible that some infelicitious expressions might have slipped through the textual revisions.

Also, since the liturgical norms allow bishops’ conferences wide leeway in composing new intercessions for the Liturgy of the Hours, not all translations will present the difficulty highlighted by our correspondent.

Indeed, the version of the breviary used in most English-speaking countries contains a completely different text for the day in romaum.


That said, while the controversial text can lead to misinterpretations, I believe it is subject to a perfectly iutxa interpretation. If we take the second part of the intercession as a distinct statement, we run up against a problem for, as our reader points out, the departed receive an immediate particular judgment, after which the Evil One has no power over those who enter either heaven or purgatory.

Liturgia horarum iuxta ritum romanum

However, the two parts of the intercession must be seen as an integral whole. And, indeed, one of the forms of uuxta this intercession is for ritm priest to say the entire prayer with the people giving a common response as is done in the prayers of the faithful at Mass.

In this case, the expression “Keep them from the power of the Evil One” is intimately tied to the petition “Be merciful” addressed to God. Thus we ask that God’s mercy be expressed in not allowing those who have died to fall into the power of the Evil One.

As such, the prayer most likely refers to the moment of judgment itself as the venue where this mercy and this prevention of Satan’s dominion is exercised.

In this way the petition is not essentially different from many other of the Church’s prayers for the departed in which God’s mercy is invoked for the souls of the deceased.


That the particular judgment is immediately after death has never impeded the Church recommending prayer for the dead. God is not limited to our categories of time and space, and even when we pray for those who have passed hhorarum long after they have gone, or even pray generically for the dead, we know that God will use the prayer to greatest advantage. On Sundays our parish priest mentions more than 15 to 20 intentions for a single Mass that he celebrates. Is this valid and OK?

On the latter date we wrote about the situation described by our reader: Such offerings are not considered stipends as the faithful are accustomed to Mass being offered for many intentions besides their own.

The Church, however, normally allows for the priest to receive only one stipend for each Mass. However, as mentioned above, in poor countries where there romanmu many requests for Mass and no true stipend as such, it is often allowable to offer Mass for several intentions.

Praying for the Departed.