October 31 – Vigil of All Saints
Let us prepare our souls for the graces heaven is about to shower upon the earth in return for its homage. Tomorrow the Church will be so overflowing with joy that she will seem to be already in possession of eternal happiness; but today she appears in the garb of penance, confessing that she is still an exile. Let us fast and pray with her; for are not we too pilgrims and strangers in this world, where all things are fleeting and hurry on to death? Year by year, as the great solemnity comes round, it has gathered from among our former companions new saints, who bless our tears and smile upon our songs of hope. Year by year the appointed time draws nearer, when we ourselves, seated at the heavenly banquet, shall receive the homage of those who succeed us, and hold out a helping hand to draw them after us to the home of everlasting happiness. Let us learn, from this very hour, to emancipate our souls, let us keep our hearts free, in the midst of the vain solicitudes and false pleasures of a strange land: the exile has no care but his banishment, no joy but that which gives him a foretaste of his fatherland.
With these thoughts in mind, let us say with the Church the Collect of the Vigil.
|Domine Deus noster, multiplica super nos gratiam tuam: et, quorum prævenimus gloriosa solemnia, tribue subsequi in sancta professione lætitiam. Per Dominum.||O Lord our God, multiply thy grace upon us; and grant us in our holy profession to follow the joy of those whose glorious solemnity we anticipate. Through our Lord.|
Let us close this month as we opened it, by homage to Mary, Queen of the holy Rosary, and Queen of all the Saints. The ancient Dominican Missals furnish us with a formula.
Verni pubent surculi
Et efflorent pulluli
|In the virginal garden, the young shoots of spring push forth, and burst into blossom with fruitful abundance.|
|Gelu et hiems transeunt,
Nix et imber abeunt,
Rosæ in terra prodeunt
Et cœlesti germine.
|The frost and the winter have passed away, the snow and the rain are over; and roses spring up on earth from a heavenly seed.|
|Rosa, radix lilii
Haæc ex horto lilii
Toto curen exsilii
|The rose has produced a lily; during the whole time of her exile she gathered the produce of her Son’s garden:|
|Justis ad lætitiam,
Reis ad justitiam,
Electic ad gloriam
|Joy for the just, and justification for sinners, glory for the elect, salvation for all.|
|Quæ de cœlis attulit
Et in terris sustulit,
Christus mundo contulit
Contra mundum prælians.
|The gifts Christ brought from heaven, and the sufferings he endured on earth, he bestowed upon the world when he overcame the world.|
|Nos hic tectus frondibus,
Vocans, purgans, præmians.
|He sheltered under the rose-tree’s foliage, he was wounded by the thorns, he was crowned with its flowers; thus does he call us, purify us, reward us.|
|A stirpis rosariæ
Gemmis, spinis, foliis,
Ubi satrix residet.
|Because of the leaves and thorns and flowers of the rose, we shall enjoy the delights of that rich land, where she, the fair cultivator resides.|
|Atque hujus militiæ
Ter trinis consortiis
|The empress, who joyfully presides over our militant companies, and over the nine choirs of the triple hierarchy.|
|Salve nova triumphatrix
Et triumphi reparatrix
|Hail! thou, who by a new triumph dost repair the loss we sustained, when the enemy triumphed in the first combat.|
|Rursus minax sævit ultor,
Ni resistas, perit cultor
|See how again he threatens fierce revenge; unless thou oppose him, every Christian must perish.|
|Ave Verbi domicilium,
Sancti Spiritus sacrarium,
Summi Patris filia.
|Hail, home of the Word, sanctuary of the Holy Ghost, daughter of the most high Father!|
|Affer nobis juge auxilium,
Sub discrimen vitæ varium
Contra tela hostilia.
|In the various perils of this life, bring us unfailing assistance against the darts of the enemy.|
|Ut coronent nos post prælium,
Quæ fert cœli viridarium
Mixta rosis lilia.
|May lilies intertwined with roses from the garden of heaven, be our crown of victory after the combat. Amen.|
This text is taken from The Liturgical Year, authored by Dom Prosper Gueranger (1841-1875)