November is one of my favorite months — the month which the Church dedicates especially to the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Accordingly, this month’s Prayer by Prayer challenge will have a “purgatorial” flavor.
But first, how did the month for the Holy Rosary go?
This time, I have good news! October’s easy Prayer by Prayer challenge (Link) was a success! I picked up the Portuguese Avé Maria very quickly and even learned the Gloria. (“Gloria ao Pai, e ao Filho, e ao Espirito Santo, como era no principio, agore, e sempre.”) I became a little ambitious and wanted to include the Pai Nosso . . . but only got as far as “Pai Nosso.”
The Latin Memorare was also a very simple challenge. I already say the Memorare at the end of every Rosary, so was able to practice every day.
I now wish I had tried to learn a third prayer, in German . . . But I remember that the failures of previous months came from forcing myself to learn prayers I was not really interested in. At the end of October, it was better to have 2/2 than 2/3!
November’s Latin: Dies Irae
In my Latin Mass community, I get to hear at least one Mass for the Dead every month. In these Masses, we sing or say the Dies Irae (Day of Wrath) before the Gospel. It’s a very long sequence, so I will not challenge myself to memorize it, but to learn the chant.
In the past, I have needed to borrow a hymnal from my friends in the choir, to be able to sing along. By the end of November, I want to know the “melody” well enough that I can hum it to myself on the bus. My plan is to listen to the above recording at least once a day.
November’s German: Gebet der hl. Getrud
The German mystic St. Getrud the Great wrote a famous prayer for the Holy Souls and for all sinners on earth. In a vision, Our Lord told her that whenever someone prays it, one thousand souls are freed from Purgatory.
Ewiger Vater, ich opfere Dir das höchst Kostbare Blut Deines göttlichen Sohnes Jesus auf, zusammen mit allen heiligen Messen, die heute auf der ganzen Erde gefeiert werden, für alle Armen Seelen im Fegfeuer, für alle Sünder überall, für alle Sünder in der Weltkirche und diejenigen in meinem Hause und in meiner Familie. Amen.
If I learn this quickly and want to add more, I can search a treasury of German prayers and devotions for the Holy Souls! (Link) But adding a third prayer is not a real priority. As before, I’d prefer to learn 2/2 rather than 2/3.