Transitus of St Francis


 

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The Transitus of our Holy Father Francis

 

 

“to be gone – to be with Christ”

 

 

THE FOLLOWING ARE THE PARTICIPANTS:

 

Narrator:

 

tells the story of the last hours of Francis’ life.

Commentator:

 

interprets the facts of the narrative.

Francis:

 

the voice of St. Francis, is the principal celebrant or Leader.

Lector:

 

reads the Scripture passages.

Brother

 

signifies both “friends” and “superior.”

All

 

 

everyone present at the Ceremony.
Leader: We adore you,
All:

most holy Lord Jesus Christ,
here and in all your churches
throughout the world,
and we bless you
because by your holy cross
you have redeemed the world.

 

Leader: O God come to our aid.
All:

O Lord make haste to help us.

 

Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

OPENING HYMN: SEE BACK OF SHEET

Ant. 1: He was found perfect and virtuous and through him a remnant was preserved in time of wrath.

Psalm 1

If the Lord does not build the house,
In vain do it’s builders labour,
If the Lord does not watch over the city,
In vain does the watchman keep vigil.

 

In vain is your earlier rising,
Your going later to rest.
You who toil for the bread you eat,
When he pours gifts on his beloved while they slumber.

 

Truly sons are a gift from the Lord,
A blessing, the fruit of the womb,
Indeed the sons of youth
Are like arrows in the hand of a warrior.

 

O the happiness of the man
Who has filled his quiver with these arrows.
He will have no cause for shame when he disputes with his foes in the gateways.

 

Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

 

as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

 

Pause for quiet prayer & reflection on Psalm.

 

Ant. 1: He was found perfect and virtuous and through him a remnant was preserved in time of wrath.

 

Ant. 2: The praises of God are always on his lips; he invites stars, breezes, birds and all other creatures to praise the Creator.

Psalm 68 (69) 111

 

As for me in my poverty and pain
Let your help, O God, lift me up.

 

I will praise God’s name with a song
I will glorify Him with thanksgiving
A gift pleasing God more than oxen,
More than beast prepared for sacrifice.

 

The poor when they see it will be glad
And God seeking hearts will revive
For the Lord listens to the needy,
And does not spurn his servants in their chains
Let the heavens and the earth give Him praise
The sea and all it’s living creatures.

 

For God will bring help from Sion
And rebuild the cities of Judah
And men shall dwell there in possession
The sons of his servants shall inherit it
Those who love his name shall dwell there.

 

Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

 

as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

 

Pause for quiet prayer & reflection on Psalm.

 

Ant. 3: The Lord raised the humble to the heights and exalted him to the ends of the earth.

 

Psalm 141 will now be sung. This is the psalm he recited close to his death

 

Ant 3 : The Lord raised the humble to the heights and exalted him to the ends of the earth

 

Commentator:

Francis Bernadone, the little troubadour from Assisi, lived a most remarkable life;
…. a life which was transformed through the good news of the
Gospels into a mirror which reflected the God-Man, Jesus Christ;
…. a life which had only recently been stamped with the
approval of the Crucified, by being pierced with the nail and lance, wounds of the Stigmata;
…. it is a life which all too quickly and painfully was drawing to a close.

 

Narrator:

The forty day fast and retreat which Francis spent on Mount La Verna, where he had received the Stigmata, left him utterly exhausted. It was now time to make the long, tiring journey back to Assisi.

 

Commentator:

It was to be a journey home in two senses; it would be a journey home to the Portiuncula and San Damiano, from which his
first spiritual commission had derived, and from which he would have spread the message of Christ across the world, had he been allowed. But, it was home, too, in that Francis knew that he had but a few more months to live before welcoming Sister Death with the same spiritual joy with which he had welcomed the Seraph which had cut into his body the
wounds of the Crucified Saviour,

 

Narrator:

When he knew that the time of his death had come, Francis called all his brothers together once more. He comforted them in their sorrow about his approaching death. Convinced that the end was near, one of the brothers whom Francis loved very much addressed him:

 

Brother:

Father, your sons are about to be without a father. Remember your orphan-sons whom you are now leaving; forgive them their faults. You are our father and our mother who has begotten us and brought us forth in Christ, our captain and our shepherd, our master and our ruler, teaching and correcting us by your example rather than harsh words. Together we ask for your blessing and for some words by which we might remember your last teaching.

 

Francis:

Let it be written down that I give my blessing to all my brothers and sisters now and in time to come until the world’s end. My weakness and sickness make me unable to speak many words, but in these three sentences, let my will and intention be made known to all my sons and daughters.
Let them, one and all, love one another as I have loved you!
Let them evermore love and observe Lady Poverty!
And let them evermore be faithful and loyal to the prelates and clergy of Holy Mother Church!
This shall be your portion that you shall be made heirs and reign in the kingdom of heaven, poor in temporal things, but rich in virtue.

 

Narrator:

Then Francis ordered the book of the Gospels to be brought and asked that the Gospel according to St. John be read from that verse which begins: …. “It was before the festival of the Passover….”

 

Lector:

 

 

A reading from the Gospel according to John 13:1-15

“Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter who said to him: “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus answered: “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand. Peter said to him: “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered: “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him: “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”

Jesus said to him: “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean though not all of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said: “Not all of you are clean.” After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe and had returned to the table, he said to them: “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord – and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.”

 

Narrator:

Then Francis had himself placed naked on the ground. Placed thus without his garment of sackcloth, Francis raised his countenance to heaven, and giving his entire attention to that glory, he covered the wound in his right side with his left hand. Then he said to his brothers:

 

Francis:

I have done what was mine to do; my work is finished; may Christ teach you to carry out yours!

 

Narrator:

Meanwhile Francis’ guardian hurriedly arose and taking a habit said to him:

 

Brother:

Francis, realise that this habit has been lent to you by me. I take away from you all authority to give it away to anyone else.

 

Commentator:

Then Francis rejoiced for he saw that he had kept faith with Lady Poverty to the very end of his life. Happy in the thought of this last acceptance of the spirit of poverty, Francis smiled and allowed himself to be re-clothed with the habit.

 

Narrator:

By now his end was only a few hours away. At this supreme moment, Francis in the most solemn way possible, remembered the ties of friendship and loyalty which bound the brothers together, and with that faith and simplicity which always encouraged him to imitate the example of Christ in the most literal of ways, he asked that bread be brought to him. Too weak to break it himself, he asked that it should be broken for him and then gave a piece to each of those present.

 

Leader:

Almighty, most high and supreme God,
Father, holy and just,
Lord, King of heaven and earth,
we give you thanks for yourself.
By your own holy will you created
all things spiritual and physical,
made us in your own image and likeness,
and gave us a place in paradise,
through your only Son, in the Holy Spirit.

 

All:

We praise you, Father, for all creation and its restoration in Christ Jesus.

 

Leader:

(with hands extended)
Holy Father,
above all we give you thanks today
for the memory of your blessed servant
and our father,
Francis of Assisi.
May the bread of heaven
which Sister Earth has given
and our brothers’ and sisters’ hands have moulded,
under whose appearance Jesus nourishes us,
aids us as we walk as brothers and sisters,
following the footsteps of the poor and humble Christ.

 

All:

For your’s heavenly Father,
is the kingdom and the power and the glory,
through Jesus Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
now and for ever. Amen.

 

Narrator:

Francis was very near now to death, but neither his mind nor his spirit seemed to droop. He called two of his brothers to come closer to him, for his voice was now weakening. He asked them to sing for him once more the verses of his Canticle of the Sun,
including the last verse in praise of Sister Death.
…. and he tried with almost silent lips,
to join in the hymn,
as he did,
Francis of Assisi,
the Little Poor Man,
died!

 

Commentator:

He who began his life singing and dancing in the streets of Assisi as the leader of Earthly festivities, literally died singing
with spiritual joy for his release from all beauty and all the sorrow of life here on earth.

 

The Paschal Candle is now lit.

The Guardian passes on the light of Christ to the Fraternity and the

Cantico della creaturarum ( canticle of creation) is played

 

All pause now for a few minutes of silent prayer.

 

Responsory:

 

Leader: My heart and my soul ring out their joy to God, the living God.
All:

My soul is longing and yearning, is yearning for the courts of the
Lord.

 

Magnificat Sung

 

Antiphon: He rejoiced to share in the sufferings of Christ, and now he exults with joy in the glory revealed to him.

 

My soul now glorify
the Lord who is my Saviour

 

R/

Rejoice for who am I
that God has shown me favour.

 

The world shall call me blest
and ponder on my story.

 

R/

In me is manifest
God’s greatness and his glory.

 

For those who are his friends,
and keep his laws as holy.

 

R/

His mercy never ends
and he exalts the lowly.

 

But by his power the great,
the proud, the self conceited.

 

R/

The kings who sit in state
are humbled and defeated.

 

 

He feeds the starving poor,
he guards his holy nation.

 

R/

Fulfilling what he swore
long since in revelation.

 

Then glorify with me,
the Lord who is my Saviour.

 

R/

One Holy Trinity,
for ever and for ever.

 

Antiphon:

He rejoiced to share in the sufferings of Christ, and now he exults with joy in the glory revealed to him.

 

Intercessions

Through the gospel, the Lord Jesus calls us to share in his glory. Let us make our prayer with him to our heavenly Father.

Response :

Lord, in your mercy hear our prayer.

 

Leader:

We pray for all nations, that they may seek the way that leads to peace; that human rights and freedom may be everywhere respected, and that the world’s resources may be generously shared.

Response :

Lord, in your mercy hear our prayer.

 

Leader:

We pray for the Church, that her leaders may be faithful ministers of your word, that all her members may be strong in faith and hope and that you may be recognized in the love she bears to all.

Response :

Lord, in your mercy hear our prayer.

 

Leader:

We pray for our families, and the community in which we live, that we may find you in them.

Response :

Lord, in your mercy hear our prayer.

 

Leader:

We pray for ourselves, that in the coming week we may serve others in our work, and find peace we rest.

Response :

Lord, in your mercy hear our prayer.

 

Leader:

We pray for the sick, those ill at home or in hospital: for all those who have asked our prayers or who need them. Lord given them your comfort and strength.

Response :

Lord, in your mercy hear our prayer.

 

Leader:

We pray for the faithful departed: that through your mercy they may rest in peace.

Response :

Lord, in your mercy hear our prayer.

 

Our Father …… Sung

 

Leader:

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray: (moment of silent reflection)
you granted the reward of eternal life
to our Blessed Father Francis.
Grant that we who celebrate
with tender devotion and filial affection
the memory of his passing from death to new life,
may ourselves one day have the joy of sharing
with him the gifts of the heavenly Kingdom.
This we ask through Christ our Lord.

 

All:

Amen.

 

Leader:

May the Lord Bless you and keep you.
May He turn his face to you, and have mercy on you.
May He turn His countenance to you and give you peace.
May the Lord Bless you:
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

 

All:

Amen.

 

Leader:

Let us praise the Lord.

 

All:

Thanks be to God.

 

Final hymn :

Back of sheet

 

OPENING HYMN

 

ABOUT THE EARTH THE NIGHT CREEPS ON
AND SHADOWS FILL THE AIR.
OUR FATHER KNOWS HIS DAYS HAVE RUN
AND SOON WILL END HIS CARE.

 

HOW CONSTANT IS THE LITTLE MAN,
HOW STEADFAST IS HIS MIND,
HIS ARDENT LOVE THE WORLD WILL SPAN
HIS HEART GOD’S LOVE WILL FIND.

 

HIS SONS WITH SORROW’S BITTER TEARS
ABOUT HIM SADLY MOURN,
DESERT US NOT WITH ALL OUR FEARS.
TO THEM THEIR CRY IS BORNE.

 

THUS SPEAKING, FORTH HIS SPIRIT WENT
TO TAKE IT’S PLACE ABOVE,
AMONG THE STARS IT MAKES ASCENT
IN BLESSEDNESS OF LOVE.

 

FINAL HYMN

 

ALL CREATURES OF OUR GOD AND KING,
LIFT UP YOUR VOICE AND WITH US SING;
ALLELUIA, ALLELUIA!
THOU BURNING SUN WITH GOLDEN BEAM,
THOU SILVER MOON WITH SOFTER GLEAM;
O PRAISE HIM, O PRAISE HIM,
ALLELUIA, ALLELUIA,ALLELUIA

 

THOU FLOWING WATER, PURE AND CLEAR,
MAKE MUSIC FOR THE LORD TO HEAR,
ALLELUIA, ALLELUIA!
THOU FIRE MASTERFUL AND BRIGHT,
THAT GIVEST MAN BOTH WARMTH AND LIGHT: O PRAISE HIM……

 

LET ALL THINGS THEIR CREATOR BLESS,
AND WORSHIP HIM IN HUMBLENESS,
O PRAISE HIM, ALLELUIA!
PRAISE, PRAISE THE FATHER, PRAISE THE SON,
AND PRAISE THE SPIRIT, THREE IN ONE : O PRAISE HIM…..

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