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Roman Baker
Roman Baker

All Saints Litany (English)


In Christian usage, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth. (2Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 3:14-19; 2Corinthians 13:5) In Orthodox and Catholic teachings, all Christians in heaven are considered to be saints, but some are considered to be worthy of higher honor, emulation, or veneration.




All Saints Litany (English)



The Litany of the Saints (Latin: Litaniae Sanctorum) is a formal prayer of the Roman Catholic Church as well as the Old Catholic Church, Anglo-Catholic communities, and Western Rite Orthodox communities. It is a prayer to the Triune God, which also includes invocations for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Angels and all the martyrs and saints upon whom Christianity was founded, and those recognised as saints through the subsequent history of the church. Following the invocation of the saints, the Litany concludes with a series of supplications to God to hear the prayers of the worshippers. It is most prominently sung during the Easter Vigil, All Saints' Day, and in the liturgy for conferring Holy Orders, the Consecration of a Virgin and reception of the perpetual vows of a religious or a diocesane hermit.


The litany is published in five sections. The first contains a short series of invocations of God, beginning with a threefold Kyrie, followed by invocations of God the Father of Heaven, the Son who redeemed the world, the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Trinity.


The second section lists the saints who are to be included, given in the following order. Within each category, men are listed in chronological order, followed by women, also in chronological order. Distinctive names are given in brackets so the cantor knows which saint is intended,[clarification needed] but a directive notes that the bracketed names may be omitted when the Latin is sung. Additional saints, such as the patron of a place or the founder of a religious order, may be inserted in the appropriate place. The official list of recognized saints can be found in the Roman Martyrology.


Certain names are grouped together by the litany itself (e.g. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael; Francis and Dominic); in the list above, a semi-colon always indicates the next line of the litany. Some priests and religious who are also Doctors of the Church (Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, Bernard of Clairvaux and Thomas Aquinas) are grouped with the "Priests and Religious", rather than with the "Bishops and Doctors". Strict chronological order is not followed in the case of the Jesuit, Francis Xavier (died 1552), who is placed after the founder of the Jesuits, Ignatius Loyola, who died in 1556.[3]


A severely abbreviated form of the litany is given in the official text for the Rite of Baptism of Children.[6] This consists only of the invocations of Mary Mother of God, St John the Baptist, St Joseph, St Peter and St Paul, and All holy men and women, with the addition of saints relevant to the circumstances of the baptism. In the rite the litany is immediately preceded by suggested or ad hoc prayers for the child(ren) being baptized and family members present, and immediately followed by a prayer of minor exorcism.


An extended form of the litany is also permitted for baptisms, beginning with a Kyrie, and followed by the same selection of saints used for the Easter Vigil (as listed above). The saints are followed by brief invocations of Christ and then petitions which include "Give new life to these chosen ones by the grace of baptism".


The Litany of Saints is also prescribed[3] for ordination (different saints are added corresponding to the different grades of ordained ministry), religious profession, the blessing of an abbot, and the dedication of churches and altars.[8]


In the Latin language version of the Litany, the names of one or more saints are chanted by a cantor or choir, and the congregants reply with either, Ora pro nobis (if one saint is addressed) or Orate pro nobis (using the plural imperative form of the verb, if more than one saint is addressed). Both responses translate to "Pray for us." However, it is permissible to personalize the Litany of Saints for a funeral rite or other Mass for the dead. When this was done during the Funeral of Pope John Paul II and recently the Funeral of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the response was Ora[te] pro eo, or "Pray for him."[3][9]


The iBreviary website offers a text in English[11] of the full Litany of Saints expanded with many additional saints, drawn in part from the bespoke litanies for particular liturgical occasions. It includes a note that in ceremonies involving the Pope, the canonized Popes are moved from their usual place to form part of an expanded list of Popes prior to other bishops and doctors.


A commercially published setting of the Litany of Saints by John Becker includes the name of Origen among its additional saints. Although recognized[12] by Pope Benedict XVI as a significant theologian, Origen is not listed in the Roman Martyrology[13] and was anathematized in the year 553 for certain opinions he was alleged to have held.[14] Origen's inclusion in a published litany, albeit without the official sanction of Catholic authorities, has resulted in vigorous comment in the blogosphere.[15]


The form of the litany in use prior to the Council is given in the Roman Ritual, published in a Latin-English edition in 1952.[18] The Catholic Encyclopedia article available online[19] entirely reflects pre-Vatican II usage.


This Litany of the Saints begins with a threefold Kyrie, followed (as in the current version) by invocations of God the Father of Heaven, the Son who redeemed the world, the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Trinity. The names of the saints follow:


The litany then twice pleads with God to be merciful, and this is followed by 21 invocations for which the response is Libera nos, Domine ("O Lord, deliver us"), then 17 petitions with the response Te rogamus, audi nos ("We beseech thee, hear us"). The final part of the litany consists of seven invocations of Christ, the first three under the title "Lamb of God".


Almighty, everlasting God, who hast dominion over both the living and the dead and art merciful to all who, as Thou foreknowest, will be Thine by faith and works; we humbly beseech Thee that they for whom we intend to pour forth our prayers, whether this present world still doth detain them in the flesh or the world to come hath already received them stripped of their mortal bodies, may, by the grace of Thy fatherly love and through the intercession of all the saints, obtain the remission of all their sins. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen.


This litany is the oldest litany continually in use. It was used if not by Pope Liberius certainly by Pope St. Gregory the Great in the "Litania Septiformis" at Rome and in the procession of St. Mamertus at Vienna. This litany forms one of our oldest liturgical offices in the West, and is the model for all others.


Note that the saints had their weaknesses and struggles just like we do. But they also had a tremendous devotion to God. They became canonized (that is to say, officially recognized) as Catholic Saints after their deaths. This was usually done after a lengthy review of both the holiness of their lives and miracles associated with them.


The Litany of the Saints is often recited or sung in a shorter form than the one given below (which is itself an abridged version!) on All Saints Day (naturally enough!). It is a moving appeal for help from many of our greatest saints, as well as for divine protection.


In the Litany of Saint Joseph, the Church invokes the most chaste Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the foster father and Guardian of the Redeemer, and patron saint of the Universal Church. In May 2021, in honor of the Year of Saint Joseph, Pope Francis added seven new invocations to the litany.


The Committee on Divine Worship has slightly adapted and approved this translation (originally published in 1909), which also incorporates the new invocations and alternate introduction and conclusion indicated by the Holy See. It may be freely published, and other English translations may also be used. This litany is enriched with a partial indulgence (Manual of Indulgences, conc. 22).


You will find a post on St Cera at her feast day, January 5. Look in the index page Irish Saints of January for a direct link, call up the January archive or use this: -cera-of-kilkeary-january-5.htmlSt Cera is one of the many relatively obscure Irish female saints, for some reason she has become popular with young Americans as a choice of confirmation name. I'm not sure I fully understand why. You would probably be more likely to find a medal of her in the US, I have never seen one here.


Deacon: Commemorating our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.


Priest (in a low voice): O Holy God, Who is resting among the holy ones, praised by the Seraphim with the thrice-holy voice, glorified by the Cherubim, and worshiped by every celestial power, You have brought all things into being out of nothing. You have created man according to Your image and likeness and adorned him with all the gifts of Your grace. You give wisdom and understanding to the one who asks, and You overlook not the sinner, but have set repentance as the way of salvation. You have granted us, Your humble and unworthy servants, to stand even at this hour before the glory of Your holy Altar of sacrifice and to offer to You due worship and praise. Master, accept the Trisagion Hymn also from the lips of us sinners, and visit us in Your goodness. Forgive all our voluntary and involuntary transgressions, sanctify our souls and bodies, and grant that we may worship You in holiness all the days of our lives, through the intercessions of the holy Theotokos and of all the saints who have pleased You throughout the ages. 041b061a72


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