Guild of All Souls
Praying for the Faithful Departed
What is the Breviary Online?
The Official Prayer of the Church
Next to the Holy Mass, the Divine Office (or Breviary) is the most important prayer offered to God. It is offered by the Church and in the name of the Church, conferring multifold graces and blessings on those who recite it worthily, attentively and devoutly. Normally the domain of priests and religious, the Church has continued to recommend her official prayer to the faithful. However, until now, the complexity of the rubrics and a lack of suitable translations has deterred many.
Now Accessible to the Layman
With the help of modern technology, it has become easier to overcome these problems. The result is the Roman Breviary published by the Confraternity of Ss. Peter & Paul in both Latin and English. No knowledge of the liturgy is required. All you have to do is click on the feastday, and then on the Canonical Hour you want to say. The rest is just like reading a book—everything is laid out for you in order according to the rubrics of the day. No more flicking through the ribboned sections of a weighty volume. No more apprehension that you are forgetting some obscure rubric. It's all there spelled out, in order, every day.
Learn More about the Breviary
And if you do want to deepen your knowledge of the Breviary or the Confraternity, this website can help you with that too. We already provide a short history of the Breviary, instructions on when to recite which Hours, a brief commentary on the psalms, and much more. And for those who would really like to understand the rubrics in greater depth, we provide in our bookstore a detailed but simply written electronic manual entitled How to Say the Breviary. We shall be expanding this website regularly with more information, so check back with us frequently. And may God reward your prayers by bestowing on you all those spiritual favours that come from a devout reading of the Church's Divine Office.
Is this Breviary for You?
Link to our Features Page to see what a difference our online edition of the traditional Roman Breviary can make in your life.
Link to the Office for the Feast of St. Pius X, our secondary patron. You can browse through the various Hours of the Office and get a feel for what to expect.
Check out the artwork, the original photos, play some of the music. We hope you enjoy the experience. More importantly do you think this approach to prayer is something that could be spiritually beneficial for you?
How Do I Get Started?
Register and Subscribe
Link to our online Breviary homepage. Underneath the login form is a box, with the words First-Time User? and Register Here in red letters underlined. Click on this link and complete the short form. Click the Sign up link.
Log in to our webiste using the user name and password you have chosen. When you first attempt to Recite the Breviary you will be linked to the subscription page. Here you may choose from our monthly subscription of $2.50 (USD) per month, or $24.00 for an annual subscription. Or simply send a check to the address provided on our Contacts page.
Office of the Dead
The Office of the Dead is a votive office recited for the holy Souls in Purgatory. It has two forms, common and solemn, the latter being said on the days of death and burial, and certain other anniversaries and mortuary services. It is comprised of First Vespers, Matins and Lauds.
The Office of the Dead is available as part of your subscription to the Breviary Online.
For the Faithful Departed
The practice of this Novena is especially and earnestly recommended to those who mourn the death of their parents, relatives and friends. They should commence it on the very day of the death of the person, and continue it during the nine following days. It will be a consolation for them and a relief for the dear departed one.
The Guild of All Souls
"It is a holy
and wholesome thing
to pray for the dead,
that they may be loosed from their sins."
(II Macab. 12, 46)
Praying for the Dead
Long ago the Holy Ghost said: It is a holy and wholesome thing to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from their sins. (II Macab. 12 : 46). Our Lord shed tears in seeing the tomb of Lazarus, and the Church, well acquainted with the feelings of her Divine Founder, is incessantly recommending charity for the Souls suffering in Purgatory. One of her eminent doctors, St. Thomas Aquinas, has said that: Of all prayers, the most meritorious, the most acceptable to God, are prayers for the dead, because they imply all the works of charity, both corporal and spiritual.
But there are many people unconscious of the fact that charity for the Poor Souls is profitable to the living as well as to the dead. It is the teaching of the most learned theologians, viz: St. Alphonsus, Sylvius, St. Robert Bellarmine, Bonacina, and Suarez. It is true, says St. Alphonsus, they are unable to pray or merit anything for themselves, yet, when they pray for others, they are heard by God. Let us refer to St. Robert Bellarmine: The Souls in Purgatory, says he, can pray for those, who address to them their petitions, and obtain from God help, forgiveness, assistance against temptations, and, all favors, both temporal and spiritual, which they may need.
Many Saints have experienced this wonderful assistance. St. Catherine of Bologna assured her Sisters that: She obtained many favors by the prayers of the holy souls in Purgatory, which she had asked in vain, through the intercession of the Saints. St. Theresa affirms that: She always obtained the favors which she asked from God, through the intercession of the Poor Souls. We read also in the book of St. Bridget's Revelations that: Being one day conducted by an Angel into Purgatory, she heard a soul say: 'O Lord, vouchsafe to reward those who assist us! Return hundredfold blessings to them that help us and introduce us into the light of Heaven'. St. Leonard of Port Maurice emphatically affirms that: The blessed Souls, delivered by our prayers, will come down from Heaven to assist us in our temporal and spiritual affairs. The holy Curé of Ars, replying to a priest, said: "If one knew what we may obtain from God by the intercession of the Poor Souls, they would not be so much abandoned. Let us pray a great deal for them, they will pray for us."
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque had a special devotion to the Souls in Purgatory and has often accepted the charge of suffering for them. Would that you knew, she said, how my soul was replenished with joy, when speaking to those Souls, and seeing them immersed in glory as in a deep ocean. As I requested them to pray for you, they replied: 'An ungrateful soul is not to be found in Heaven'! No we cannot be deceived! If we have an ardent charity, a sincere piety, a true devotedness for the Poor Souls, we will be favored with their protection.
Let us try it! When we are in trouble, when we long for a favour, let us perform some pious or charitable work for the relief of the Poor Souls. They will be grateful, they will plead for us, and present our requests to the Eternal Father, who loves them.
May God hear and bless the prayers of our Guild members, and deign to enkindle their hearts with generous zeal for the Poor Souls.
"Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy."
(Matth., 5 : 7)