The Eternal Rest Prayer is a Catholic prayer which is said after the death of a loved one. It is a way to ask God to safeguard the souls of those who have passed on and to guide them towards Heaven. It is a request to God to let their souls Rest In Peace. The Prayer presents death as a state of resting instead of a finished life or and end. Eternal signifies something that is forever. Something that has no end. This is why the phrase Rest In Eternal Peace seems more assuring than just Rest In Peace.
The Eternal Rest Prayer~ Latin
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine
Et lux perpetua luceat is
Fidelium animae, per misericordiam Dei, requiescant in pace. Amen
The Eternal Rest Prayer Translated
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace. Amen.
May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed
through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Understanding The Eternal Rest Prayer
The Catholic prayers give us hope that there is an Infinite power that controls things beyond our reach. He has access to everything and he will guide us forever if we choose to walk on his path. They are not merely words, they are a string of hope. Something we all hold onto tightly. Because let’s face it, nobody wants to go into oblivion. These prayers are a powerful source of nourishing our spiritual life. They are a way of transforming us into a way of God, for we will live in his gardens for an eternity.
The Origin Of Eternal Rest Prayer
The Eternal Rest Prayer can be traced back to the traditional Requiem Mass. Requiem Mass is just like the Funeral Mass. The only difference is that the Requiem Mass was the same for everyone. No matter who had died, the words were always the same. It started with the words:
Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine…
The Requiem Mass is a way to remember the sacrifice of Jesus. The origins of Requiem Mass can be traced back to the prophet Ezra. So, in short, the Eternal Prayer is directly inspired by the apocryphal book known as the 4 Esdras ( also called 2 Esdras).
The Biblical Origin Of Eternal Rest Prayer
Bible refers to death and eternal rest as synonyms. It sees death as eternal rest. So for the believers, it means that death does not bring an end to their lives, it merely puts them out of their pains of this life. It is said in the Book of Sirach,
Death is better than a miserable life, and eternal rest than chronic sickness
According to Isaiah
So when we pray that the perpetual light would shine on the Holy Souls, we’re praying that they would enter into the presence of God in heaven, where, as Isaiah says, “the Lord will be your everlasting light
The prayer uses the phrase perpetual light which can be seen in Isaiah as everlasting light. The everlasting light represents Heaven. It is said in John 9:5 that the “light of the world” is Jesus. Therefore, having everlasting or perpetual light shine on you means that we are safe, In heaven.
When Do We Recite The Eternal Rest Prayer
On November 2nd, every year, millions and millions of Catholics recite the prayer. This is a Catholic tradition. The prayer is recited to remember those who have passed away. It is a way to not forget them. The prayer is also recited to remember those in Purgatory.
Biblical References To The Eternal Life
And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life
Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?
1 Cor 15:55
For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on
He enters into peace; They rest in their beds, each who walked in his upright way
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life
Eternal Rest Quotes
As far as you can avoid it, do not give grief to anyone. Never inflict your rage on another. If you hope for eternal rest, feel the pain yourself; but don’t hurt others
A believer longs after God, to come into his presence, to feel his love, to feel near to him in secret, to feel in the crowd that he is nearer than all the creatures. Ah! dear brethren, have you ever tasted this blessedness? There is greater rest and solace to be found in the presence of God for one hour than in an eternity of the presence of man
Robert Murray M’Cheyne
Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity
We may rest assured that God would never have suffered any infants to be slain except those who were already damned and predestined for eternal death.
Every time we turn to Christ in faith it is like a moment of Sabbath, a little foretaste of eternal rest and glory. The gift of that moment lies not in what we do but what we receive. It is the holy time set aside to receive the greatest gift of God ever has to give, which is himself, in his own beloved Son.
Life is a pilgrimage. The wise man does not rest by the roadside inns. He marches direct to the illimitable domain of eternal bliss, his ultimate destination
Better a brief warfare and eternal rest than false peace and everlasting torment
Saving faith is an immediate relation to Christ, accepting, receiving, resting upon Him alone, for justification, sanctification, and eternal life by virtue of God’s grace
It began in eternity, it will go on through everlasting; there is no panic in the divine personality. God is peace, God gives peace, God gives rest
Let dissolution come when it will, it can do the Christian no harm, for it will be but a passage out of a prison into a palace; out of a sea of troubles into a haven of rest; out of a crowd of enemies, to an innumerable company of true, loving, and faithful friends; out of shame, reproach, and contempt, into exceeding great and eternal glory
The soul on earth is an immortal guest, Compelled to starve at an unreal feast: A spark, which upward tends by nature’s force: A stream diverted from its parent source; A drop dissever’d from the boundless sea; A moment, parted from eternity; A pilgrim panting for the rest to come; An exile, anxious for his native home
Rest, rest, shall I have not all eternity to rest
Slow down? Rest? With all eternity before me?
It is the night for this worried day that we call life. It is in the sleep of death that finds rest for eternity the sickness, pain, desperation, and the fears that agitate, without end, we unhappy living souls.
Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre
The little things are what is eternal, and the rest, all the rest, is brevity, extreme brevity.
In the words of Charles Kingsley:
God’s eternal light is ready to show you your way; God’s eternal peace ready to give you peace. Do you feel yourself full of sins and faults? Then take heart; for God’s unchangeable will is, to take away those sins, and purge you from those faults
The only way to get through the hallow valleys of death is by having firm faith in God. God doesn’t look at your sins, he doesn’t label you as the pious or the sinner because, in His house, there is no prejudice. There are no differences in his love. He cherishes all of his believers. And he waits, waits for us to return to him, waits for us to empty our sins in front of him so that he can grant us eternal peace.