Litany of the Saints

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: When doing the Litany of the Saints, is it required to do the “Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy” before the actual Saint names? And is it also required to do the intercessions after the Saint names with the responses “Lord, deliver us, we pray” and “Lord, we ask you, hear our prayer” ? In looking at the new OBC, it doesn’t seem to reference these when mentioning the Litany. However, in the RCIA it does mention these. Are they only used with adults? Only at the Vigil? Or is it always used? If only used in RCIA, what if you are baptizing children along with adults?


A: The presumption is that the litany includes all those parts except in the Order of Baptism of Children, where a shorter version is presented.

The OBC also gives the full litany in the appendix. In the past, the book never told us what to do with it, but the new edition now permits us to use the full litany in the case of baptizing children.

The names of the saints change slightly from one litany to another. Even the one for the ordination of deacons differs a bit from the one for the ordination of priests. The concluding dialogues make the occasion even more specific, so they are rather important.

If baptizing both adults and children, the full litany is expected.