From the 1907 Catholic Encyclopedia:
The commemoration of all the faithful departed is celebrated by the Church on 2 November, or, if this be a Sunday or a solemnity, on 3 November. The Office of the Dead must be recited by the clergy and all the Masses are to be of Requiem, except one of the current feast, where this is of obligation.
The theological basis for the feast is the doctrine that the souls which, on departing from the body, are not perfectly cleansed from venial sins, or have not fully atoned for past transgressions, are debarred from the Beatific Vision, and that the faithful on earth can help them by prayers, almsdeeds and especially by the sacrifice of the Mass.
In the early days of Christianity the names of the departed brethren were entered in the diptychs. Later, in the sixth century, it was customary in Benedictine monasteries to hold a commemoration of the deceased members at Whitsuntide. In Spain there was such a day on Saturday before Sexagesima or before Pentecost, at the time of St. Isidore (d. 636). In Germany there existed (according to the testimony of Widukind, Abbot of Corvey, c. 980) a time-honoured ceremony of praying to the dead on 1 October. This was accepted and sanctified by the Church. St. Odilo of Cluny (d. 1048) ordered the commemoration of all the faithful departed to be held annually in the monasteries of his congregation. Thence it spread among the other congregations of the Benedictines and among the Carthusians.
Of the dioceses, Liège was the first to adopt it under Bishop Notger (d. 1008). It is then found in the martyrology of St. Protadius of Besançon (1053-66). Bishop Otricus (1120-25) introduced it into Milan for the 15 October. In Spain, Portugal, and Latin America, priests on this day say three Masses. A similar concession for the entire world was asked of Pope Leo XIII. He would not grant the favour but ordered a special Requiem on Sunday, 30 September, 1888.
In the Greek Rite this commemoration is held on the eve of Sexagesima Sunday, or on the eve of Pentecost. The Armenians celebrate the passover of the dead on the day after Easter.
Pope Benedict XV granted Priests permission to offer three Masses on All Soul’s Day. One of these Masses the Celebrant may say according to his own intention; one must be offered for the faithful departed and the third for the intention of the Holy Father.
Fr. Leonard Goffine, in his wonderful Church’s Year, adds this for today:
“Are the heretics right in denying that there is such a place of purification as purgatory?
By no means, for by such denial they oppose the holy Scriptures, tradition and reason. The holy Scriptures teach that there is a purgatory: it is related in the Second Book of Machabees, that Judas Machabeus sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem, to be used in the temple, to obtain prayers for those who fell in battle, for he believed it a good and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from their sins. But for what dead shall we pray? Those in heaven do not require our prayers; to those in hell they are of no avail; we must then pray for those who are in the place of purification. Christ speaks of a prison in the future life, from which no man comes out until he has paid the last farthing. (Matt. v. 25, 26.) This prison cannot be hell, because from hell there is never any release; it must be then a place of purification. Again Christ speaks of sin which shall be forgiven neither in this world nor in the next, (Matt. xii. 32.) from which it follows that there is a remittance of some sins in the next world; but this can be neither in heaven nor in hell, consequently in purgatory. As the council of Trent says, (Sess. 6. c. 30.) the Church has always taught, according to the old tradition of the Fathers, in all her councils, that there is a purgatory, and every century gives proofs of the continual belief of all true Christians in a purgatory. Finally, man’s unblinded reason must accept a purgatory; for how many depart this earth before having accomplished the great work of their own purification? They cannot enter heaven, for St. John tells us: There shall not enter into it any thing defiled. (Apoc. xxi. 27.) The simple separation of the soul from the body does not make it pure, yet God cannot reject it as He does the soul of the hardened sinner in hell; there must then be a middle place, a purgatory, where those who have departed not free from stain, must be purified. See how the doctrine of the Church, reason and the holy Scriptures all agree, and do not let yourself be led away by false arguments from those who not only believe in no purgatory, but even in no hell, so that they may sin with so much more impunity.”
|Fidélium Deus ómnium Cónditor et Redémptor, animábus famulórum famularúmque tuárum remissiónem cunctórum tribue peccatórum: ut indulgéntiam, quam semper optavérunt, piis supplicatiónibus consequéntur. Qui vivis et regnas, cum Deo Patre in unitáte Spíritu Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.
|O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful: grant unto the souls of Thy servants and handmaidens the remission of all their sins: that through devout supplications, they may obtain the pardon which they have desired. Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, forever and ever.
|Deus indulgentiárum Dómine, da animábus famulórum famularúmque tuarum refrigérii sedem, qulétis beatitúdinem et lúminis claritátem. Per Dóminum nostrum Jesum Christum Fílium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.
|O God, the Lord of mercies, grant to the souls of Thy servants and handmaids, the anniversary of whose burial we commemorate, an abode of refreshment, the beatitude of rest, and the brightness of light. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, forever and ever.
|Deus véniæ largítor et humánæ salútis amàtor; quæsumus cleméntiam tuam; ut ánimas famulórum famularúmque tuárum, quæ ex hoc sæculo transiérunt, beáta María semper Vírgine intercedénte cum ómnibus Sanctis tuis, ad perpétuæ beatitúdinis consortium perveníre concédas. Per Dóminum nostrum Jesum Christum Fílium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.
|O God, the bestower of pardon and lover of man’s salvation, we beseech Thy clemency, through . the intercession blessed Mary ever a virgin, and all Thy saints, that the brethren, who have passed out of this world may together enjoy everlasting happiness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, forever and ever.
|1. Dies iræ! Dies illa, * Solvet sæclum in favilla: * Teste David cum Sibylla!
2. Quantus tremor est futurus, * Quando iudex est venturus, * Cuncta stricte discussurus!
3. Tuba mirum spargens sonum * Per sepulchra regionum, * Coget omnes ante thronum.
4. Mors stupebit, et natura, * Cum resurget creatura, * Iudicanti responsura.
5. Liber scriptus proferetur, * In quo totum continetur, * Unde mundus iudicetur.
6. Iudex ergo cum sedebit, * Quidquid latet, apparebit: * Nil inultum remanebit.
7. Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? * Quem patronum rogaturus, * Cum vix iustus sit securus?
8. Rex tremendæ maiestatis, * Qui salvandos salvas gratis, * Salva me, fons pietatis.
9. Recordare, Iesu pie, * Quod sum causa tuæ viæ: * Ne me perdas illa die.
10. Quærens me, sedisti lassus: * Redemisti Crucem passus: * Tantus labor non sit cassus.
11. Iuste iudex ultionis, * Donum fac remissionis * Ante diem rationis.
12. Ingemisco, tamquam reus: * Culpa rubet vultus meus: * Supplicanti parce, Deus.
13. Qui Mariam absolvisti, * Et latronem exaudisti, * Mihi quoque spem dedisti.
14. Preces meæ non sunt dignæ: * Sed tu bonus fac benigne, * Ne perenni cremer igne.
15. Inter oves locum præsta, * Et ab hædis me sequestra, * Statuens in parte dextra.
16. Confutatis maledictis, * Flammis acribus addictis: * Voca me cum benedictis.
17. Oro supplex et acclinis, * Cor contritum quasi cinis: * Gere curam mei finis.
18. Lacrimosa dies illa, * qua resurget ex favilla.
19. Judicandus homo reus. * Huic ergo, parce Deus:
20. Pie Iesu Domine, * dona eis requiem. Amen.
|1. Day of wrath and doom impending, * David’s word with Sibyl’s blending, * Heaven and earth in ashes ending!
2. Oh, what fear man’s bosom rendeth, * When from heaven the Judge descendeth, * On whose sentence all dependeth.
3. Wondrous sound the trumpet flingeth; * Through earth’s sepulchres it ringeth; * All before the throne it bringeth.
4. Death is struck, and nature quaking, * All creation is awaking, * To its Judge an answer making.
5. Lo! the book, exactly worded, * Wherein all hath been recorded: * Thence shall judgment be awarded.
6. When the Judge his seat attaineth, * And each hidden deed arraigneth, * Nothing unavenged remaineth.
7. What shall I, frail man, be pleading? * Who for me be interceding, * When the just are mercy needing?
8. King of Majesty tremendous, * Who dost free salvation send us, * Fount of pity, then befriend us!
9. Think, kind Jesu! -my salvation * Caused thy wondrous Incarnation; * Leave me not to reprobation!
10. Faint and weary, thou hast sought me, * On the Cross of suffering bought me. * Shall such grace be vainly brought me?
11. Righteous Judge! for sin’s pollution * Grant Thy gift of absolution, * Ere the day of retribution.
12. Guilty, now I pour my moaning, * All my shame with anguish owning; * Spare, O God, thy suppliant groaning!
13. Through the sinful woman shriven, * Through the dying thief forgiven, * Thou to me a hope hast given.
14. Worthless are my prayers and sighing, * Yet, good Lord, in grace complying, * Rescue me from fires undying!
15. With Thy sheep a place provide me, * From the goats afar divide me, * To Thy right hand do thou guide me.
16. While the wicked are confounded, * Doomed to flames of woe unbounded * Call me with thy saints surrounded.
17. Low I kneel, with heart submission, * See, like ashes, my contrition; * Help me in my last condition.
18. Ah! that day of tears and mourning! * From the dust of earth returning.
19. Man for judgment must prepare him, * Spare, O God, in mercy spare him.
20. Lord, all-pitying, Jesus blest, * Grant them thine eternal rest. Amen.
|Hóstias, quæsumus, Dómine, quas tibi pro animábus famulórum famularúmque tuárum offérimus, propitiátus inténde: ut quibus fidei christiánæ méritum contulísti, dones et præmium. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, Qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.||Mercifully look down, we beseech Thee, O Lord, upon the sacrifice which we offer Thee for the souls of Thy servants and handmaids, that, to those on whom Thou didst confer the merit of Christian faith, Thou mayst also grant its reward. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, forever and ever.|
|Propitiáre Dómine supplicatiónibus nostris, pro animábus famúlorum famularúmque tuórum, quorum hódie annua dies ágitur, pro quibus tibi offérimus sacrifícium laudis. ut eas Sanctórum tuórum consórtio sociáre dignéris. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, Qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.||Be propitiated, O Lord, by our supplications for the souls of Thy servants and handmaids, whose anniversary is kept to-day, for whom we offer Thee the sacrifice of praise, that Thou vouchsafe to join them to the company of Thy saints. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, forever and ever.|
|Deus, cujus misericórdiæ non est númerus, súscipe propítius preces humilitátis nostræ: et animábus fratrum, propinquórum, et benefactórum nostrórum, quibus tui nóminis dedísti confessiónem, per hæc sacraménta salútis nostræ, cunctórum remissiónem trífbue peccatórum. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, Qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.||O God, Whose mercy is boundless, mercifully receive the prayers of our lowliness, and grant, through these sacraments of our salvation, to the souls of our brethren, kindred, and benefactors, to whom Thou didst grant the confession of Thy name, the remission of all sins. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, forever and ever.|
|Animábus, quæsumus, Dómine famulórum famularúmque tuárum orátio profíciat supplicántium: ut eas et a peccátis ómnibus éxuas, et tuæ redemptiónis fácias esse partícipes. Qui vivis et regnas, cum Deo Patre in unitite Spiritu Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.||May the prayer of Thy suppliant people, we beseech Thee, O Lord, avail for the souls of Thy servants and handmaidens: that Thou mayest both deliver them from all their sins, and make them to be sharers in Thy Redemption. Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, forever and ever.|
|Præsta, quæsumus, Dómine, ut ánimæ famulórum famularúmque tuárum, his purgátæ sacrifíciis indulgéntiam páriter et réquiem cápiant sempi-térnam. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, Filium Tuum, Qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.||Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that the souls of Thy servants and handmaids, the anniversary of whose burial we commemorate, may be purged by this sacrifice and obtain alike forgiveness and everlasting rest. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, forever and ever.|
|Præsta, quæsumus omnípotens et miséricors Deus: ut ánimæ fratrum, propinquórum, et benefactórum nostrórum, pro quibus; hoc sacrifícium laudis tuæ obtúlimus majestáti; per hujus virtútem sacraménti a peccátis ómnibus expiáte, lucis perpétuæ, te miseránte, recípiant beatitúdinem. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, Filium Tuum, Qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.||Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty and merciful God, that the souls of our brethren, kindred, and benefactors, for whom we have offered, this sacrifice of praise to Thy majesty, being purified of all sins by the virtue of this sacrament, may, by Thy mercy, receive the beatitude of perpetual light. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, forever and ever.|