Folk Choir leads University in prayer for the repose of the soul of Annrose Jerry
This past weekend, thousands of people gathered in Washington, D.C. to mourn the loss of millions of lives. These lives were taken from the world through means of such methods as abortion and other unnatural causes. As members of the Notre Dame family marched within this crowd, they added one more name to the list of lives cut too short. That name was Annrose Jerry.
Death is never an easy thing to encounter. It is made all the harder when death takes a member of your family. As a result death affects us greatly now as it has taken from us our sister Annrose. We are sad. We weep. We mourn.
One of the ways in which we see our Notre Dame family mourn is when we gather together in prayer from the repose of Annrose’s soul. In a special way, the Folk Choir sought to pay homage to their lost member by praying Solemn Vespers for the repose of her soul.
The Folk Choir chose to pray Vespers from the Office for the Dead. The prayers from the Office for the Dead can be recited at the typical hours of the Breviary for the repose of the soul of a decedent. Vespers from this Office contain psalms that reflect our thoughts and prayers at the death of a loved one.
In particular, Vespers includes the recitation of Psalm 130. The psalm, often called the De Profundis, is a penitential psalm whose first words are filled with great sorrow and that are cried out “from the depths.” And indeed, the members of the Notre Dame family who gathered to pray Vespers cried out to God from the depths of their hearts, as they sang loudly begging the Lord to hear their dolorous cry for Annrose’s sake.
The pain and the sorrow were palpable, yet so too was a certain hope and trust in the Lord’s mercy. Above the faithful gathered in the Lady Chapel of the Basilica was the magnificent painting of the Cross around which a scroll read “Spes Unica,” “Only Hope.” This image served as a reminder to those gathered that it is through the death of Christ that we can hope in His mercy, that we can trust in His love, that we can pray to Him and hope that He might grant entrance into His Kingdom to our sister Annrose.
1 Corinthians 14:55-77 was read during Vespers: “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” In faith we repeat these taunting words to death, knowing that “the sting of death is sin” but that “thanks be to God [we have been] given the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” We trust that, in following Christ even to the Cross, we shall be granted access to His Paradise. And the responsory reminds us that “In [the] Lord is our hope. We shall never hope in vain.”
The members of the Notre Dame choirs then joined their voices for a traditional prayer of hope for Annrose by singing In Paradisum. They would repeat this musical prayer on Monday night, at a Memorial Mass offered for Annrose, filling the entire Basilica with their mournful plea. True to its words, the whole Notre Dame family prays for you, Annrose: “May the choirs of angels escort you into paradise: and at your arrival may the martyrs receive and welcome you; may they bring you home into the holy city, Jerusalem. May the holy angels welcome you, and with Lazarus, who lived in poverty, may you have everlasting rest.”
Indeed, Monday night our Notre Dame family gathered together en masse at the Basilica to offer the Holy Sacrifice in hopes of everlasting rest for Annrose. The Basilica was filled not only with the beautiful music of Folk Choir, but filled beyond capacity with students, faculty, staff, and priests. As her biological family sat in the first pews of the church, her university family sat in pews, on the floor, large crowds stood outside. All of them making the same plea, all of them wishing to send Annrose’s soul into the care of the choirs of angels in hopes that they might escort her to a new home in the Heavenly City.
On behalf of myself and the staff at the Irish Rover, our prayers are with our fellow students, our faculty and staff, and especially the family of Annrose Jerry.
Clamavi de profundis ad te Domine – from the depths, I have cried out to you, oh Lord: Eternal rest grant unto her, oh Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Patrick is a sophomore in Knott Hall studying mathematics and theology. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.