Celebrant: Death has been conquered in Jesus Christ. As the People of Life, we therefore intercede confidently for the living and the dead.
Jesus Christ is Risen! May the Church proclaim his victory over death with confidence, fidelity, and joy, we pray to the Lord...
Christ has robbed death of its power! May he free the human family from despair and from the fear of the grave, we pray to the Lord...
The eternal banquet of life has been prepared! May those who lack enough of this world's goods have their needs provided through the commitment of God's people, we pray to the Lord…
Mercy triumphs over judgment! May all children who have died by miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion be carried to the joys of heaven, we pray to the Lord...
The souls of the just are in the hand of God. May all who have died in the peace of Christ find eternal resurrection, we pray to the Lord...
God wants all to be saved. May those who have died without knowing Christ be taken into the arms of his mercy, we pray to the Lord...
You have freed the human family
From the dominion of the grave.
As you answer our prayers,
Fill us with joy
And with the hope of life eternal.
We ask this through Christ our Risen Lord. Amen.
The Church opposes abortion, but embraces with mercy those who have made this mistake. Let’s all take encouragement from these words of Pope John Paul II: “I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. To the same Father and to his mercy you can with sure hope entrust your child.” (The Gospel of Life, #99).
Readings each year are chosen from among the Masses for the dead
“The sadness of death gives way to the bright promise of immortality.” This declaration of the Church’s liturgy sheds light on her commitment to building a Culture of Life. The “Gospel of Life” is ultimately about life eternal, a pre-condition of which, of course, is natural life. In our struggle against the forces of death, we must feel its sorrow and pain. To fail to do so is to fail to be human and to fail to love.
Yet we are not overwhelmed by that sorrow, nor are we caught in despair. We grieve, just as Jesus wept at Lazarus’ death, but we grieve with hope, because we know death does not have the final word. When we lose a loved one, we weep because we love that person; yet we know that the farewell is a temporary farewell. We will be reunited in the resurrection.
This Christian approach to the death of an individual applies to our approach to the culture of death generally, and to the holocaust of abortion. We grieve and weep. Yet we do so with hope, and with the unshakeable confidence that the kingdom of death has already been destroyed. Pro-life work, therefore, is carried out with confidence and joy.