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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: April ::
Prayers for the Dead
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0624  Tuesday, 5 April 2005

From:           Peter Bridgman <
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Date:           Monday, 4 Apr 2005 13:16:37 +0100
Subject:        Prayers for the Dead

At yesterday's high mass at St Peter's, Cardinal Sodano, the Vatican
secretary of state, included the following in his epitaph for JPII ...

"To our unforgettable father we say, may angels guide you to paradise.
May a joyous choir welcome you and lead you to the holy city, to
celestial Jerusalem."

Sodano is quoting from the antiphon from the old Latin burial service:
"In paradisum deducant te angeli ... Chorus angelorum te suscipat ...
aeternam habeas requiem" ("may angels guide you to paradise ... choirs
of angels sustain you ... and grant you eternal rest".)

The similarity to Horatio's epitaph in Hamlet 5, 2 (And flights of
angels sing thee to thy rest) is striking.  Since there was nothing even
vaguely like this in the Book of Common Prayer, which banned prayers for
the dead, how is it that WS quotes from the old antiphon?

Peter Bridgman

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