The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

“The souls of the just are in the hand of God…”


The souls of the just are in the hand of God
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
they shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the Lord shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.


— From the Book of Wisdom, a reading for mass on All Soul’s Day.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. 
May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed
Through the mercy of God, rest in peace.


Comments read comments(7)
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Steve P

posted November 2, 2010 at 9:12 am

For my Dad, for the wife of a dear friend, and for a young man from our parish taken all too soon.

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Deacon Norb

posted November 2, 2010 at 9:41 am

Say Deacon Greg:
There are almost a dozen women working in very high offices in the Vatican at this very moment. Can you track down their names and list them in a future blog?

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Jean-Pierre Chacon

posted November 2, 2010 at 1:56 pm

For my ancestors (Chacon & Perez) and my wife’s ancestors (Romo-Leroux & Antepara)….thank you for choosing life. May today find you in the peace and glory of God.
Let us all remember to especially pray for all the souls in purgatory who have no one else to pray for them.
God Bless.

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mike ahern

posted November 2, 2010 at 11:21 pm

i read this passage at my great uncles funeral some 16 years ago.
Fr Jay Edwards was a priest for more than 60 years in the Halifax/Nova Scotia area.
what is the book of wisdom?
i have read the bible/new and old testaments cover to cover many times in my life; where can this Book of Wisdom be found? it reads like Solomon, but the lack of passage and verse numbers makes me hard pressed to believe that it could be, as well as i think i would have stopped cold when i read past this in my many studies in the years since i first came across it, at St Josephs Church, North Sydney… any help appreciated

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Steve P

posted November 3, 2010 at 10:35 am

Hi Mike,
The book of Wisdom is indeed part of the Wisdom literature of the Bible (like Psalms, Song of Songs, etc.) However, you won’t find it in a “Protestant” Bible, that is, the version of the Bible used by most mainline Protestant or Evangelical Christians.
There are a few other books, and sections of books, that are in the Catholic Bible and not in the Protestant Bible. Some examples are Tobit, Judith, Sirach, Baruch, and 1 & 2 Maccabees.
One of the main things that distinguished the two versions of the Bible was that Luther and other Protestants decided to go with the canon (list of books) that was in use by the Jewish community. This meant counting as sacred scripture (i.e. divinely inspired) only those books and parts of books that were originally written in Hebrew. The examples I mentioned above are “Old Testament” books that indeed come out of the Jewish tradition, but they were originally in Greek, and therefore rejected by some.
There are certainly some theological and doctrinal differences that come to light when one examines the differences in Scripture. But we still agree on much more than we disagree.
So if you are looking for a Catholic Bible, look at translations like the NAB (New American Bible), or you’ll also find all the books in the NRSV (New Revised Standard Version), though they may be out of the traditional sequence. If you are using an NIV (New International Version), or a KJV (King James Version), you will not find Wisdom or the others.
Hope that helps. God bless you!

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Debra Lambert

posted November 3, 2010 at 2:53 pm

I apply this prayer over the souls of my ancestors and each of my friends that have passed on oh lord although I have not had the opportunity to read these books and have a true understanding I am still just learning I know this that I am your child and if this is for me to pray I now so do father god hear my prayers I would surely wish that those down the line throughout my family thier souls enter in the gate of heaven i pray they are with you and I also pray that when I arrive they will be able to meet me I love you god with all my heart your son jesus and mother mary please accept my primitive prayer from a believer that is uneducated in the catholic ways but trusts you totally in the name of jesus giving high honor to your mother mary accept my prayer I pray Love Debra.

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1997 F350 for Sale

posted April 5, 2012 at 7:29 am

You actually make it seem really easy with your presentation but I to find this topic to be actually one thing that I believe I might never understand. It sort of feels too complicated and extremely extensive for me. I am having a look forward to your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

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