Litany for the Departed

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Litany for the Departed
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The Litany for the Departed or Litany for Those Fallen Asleep is composed of four petitions to the Lord, that He might grant rest in the Heavenly Kingdom to the souls of the departed and forgive all their sins.

This litany may be inserted into the Divine Liturgy, immediately following the Augmented Litany, especially at funerals and on Soul Saturdays, but also for the newly-departed.

This Litany in the strictest practice is not recited on Sundays. But it is an established practice at some small parishes where there are rarely, if ever, weekday Liturgies except on the greatest Feasts.

The Litany starts with three supplications:

  • Have mercy on us, O God, according to Thy great mercy, we pray Thee, hear and have mercy.
  • Let us pray also for the repose of the souls of the servant(s) of God (names), who has (have) fallen asleep , and that he (they) may be pardoned all his (their) sins, voluntary and involuntary.
  • That the Lord God will assign his (her, their) soul(s) to where the just repose.

Each responded with a three-fold "Lord, have mercy". Then a request:

The mercy of God, the kingdom of heaven, and the forgiveness of his (their) sins let us ask of Christ, our Immortal King and our God.

This is responded with “Grant this, O Lord.”

Then the litany ends with a prayer:

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.
Choir: Lord, have mercy.
Priest: For Thou art the Resurrection, the Life, and the Repose of Thy servant(s) who has (have) fallen asleep, (names), O Christ our God, and to Thee we send up the glory, with Thy eternal Father, and Thy all-holy and good and life-giving Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages.
Choir: Amen
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