Prayers for Mourning

Audio available here.

Di benedicaris vos.

As a result of the recent shooting of innocent children at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, United States of America, and escalating violence in the macronation surrounding the State of Sandus, these prayers are dedicated to all people in order for us to collectively mourn the dead. Please light a candle and/or incense for those who have entered the next life, no matter what faith you may be of.

These prayers are the Orphic Hymns translated by Thomas Taylor (1792) and published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 1999. One can read them on They are altered to fit the guidelines of the Collegio Sacerdae and of the Sacra Flameno of the Collegio.

Orphica Hymno LVIII – Hymno ad Moirae
Orphic Hymn 58 – Hymn to the Fates

Daughters of darkling Night, much-nam’d, draw near infinite Fates, and listen to my pray’r;
Who in the heav’nly lake (where waters white burst from a fountain hid in depths of night,
And thro’ a dark and stony cavern glide, a cave profound, invisible) abide;
From whence, wide coursing round the boundless earth, your pow’r extends to those of mortal birth
To men with hope elated, trifling, gay, a race presumptuous, born but to decay;
Whose life ’tis your’s in darkness to conceal to sense impervious, in a purple veil,
When thro’ the fatal plain they joyful ride in one great car, Opinion for their guide;
‘Till each completes his heav’n-appointed round at Justice, Hope, and Care’s concluding bound,
The terms absolv’d, prescrib’d by ancient law of pow’r immense, and just without a flaw;
For Fate alone with vision unconfin’d, surveys the conduct of the mortal kind.
Fate is Jove’s perfect and eternal eye, for Jove and Fate our ev’ry deed descry.
Come, gentle pow’rs, well born, benignant, fam’d, Atropos, Lachesis, and Clotho nam’d:
Unchang’d, aerial, wand’ring in the night, restless, invisible to mortal fight;
Fates all-producing all-destroying hear, regard the incense and the holy pray’r;
Propitious listen to these rites inclin’d, and far avert distress with placid mind.

Orphica Hymno LXXXVI – Hymno ad Thanatos
Orphic Hymn 86 – Hymn to Death

Hear me, O Death, whose empire unconfin’d, extends to mortal tribes of ev’ry kind.
On thee, the portion of our time depends, whose absence lengthens life, whose presence ends.
Thy sleep perpetual bursts the vivid folds, by which the soul, attracting body holds:
Common to all of ev’ry sex and age, for nought escapes thy all-destructive rage;
Not youth itself thy clemency can gain, vig’rous and strong, by thee untimely slain.
In thee, the end of nature’s works is known, in thee, all judgment is absolv’d alone:
No suppliant arts thy dreadful rage controul, no vows revoke the purpose of thy soul;
O blessed pow’r regard my ardent pray’r, and human life to age abundant spare.

Orphica Hymno XVII – Hymno ad Pluton
Orphic Hymn 17 – Hymn to Pluto

Pluto, magnanimous, whose realms profound are fix’d beneath the firm and solid ground,
In the Tartarian plains remote from fight, and wrapt forever in the depths of night;
Terrestrial Jove, thy sacred ear incline, and, pleas’d, accept thy mystic’s hymn divine.
Earth’s keys to thee, illustrious king belong, its secret gates unlocking, deep and strong.
‘Tis thine, abundant annual fruits to bear, for needy mortals are thy constant care.
To thee, great king, Avernus is assign’d, the seat of Gods, and basis of mankind.
Thy throne is fix’d in Hade’s dismal plains, distant, unknown to rest, where darkness reigns;
Where, destitute of breath, pale spectres dwell, in endless, dire, inexorable hell;
And in dread Acheron, whose depths obscure, earth’s stable roots eternally secure.
O mighty dæmon, whose decision dread, the future fate determines of the dead,
With captive Proserpine, thro’ grassy plains, drawn in a four-yok’d car with loosen’d reins,
Rapt o’er the deep, impell’d by love, you flew ’till Eleusina’s city rose to view;
There, in a wond’rous cave obscure and deep, the sacred maid secure from search you keep,
The cave of Atthis, whose wide gates display an entrance to the kingdoms void of day.
Of unapparent works, thou art alone the dispensator, visible and known.
O pow’r all-ruling, holy, honor’d light, thee sacred poets and their hymns delight:
Propitious to thy mystic’s works incline, rejoicing come, for holy rites are thine.

Sacra Flameno


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