Office of the Dead

The unique Catholic tradition of chanting Latgalian psalms, called mirušo ofīcijs, translated in English as “Office of the Dead” is still practiced today in the eastern – Sēlija and Latgale – regions of Latvia. Although it may sound quite ominous, the purpose of it is benign – to pray and intercede for the souls of deceased relatives, initially during the first days immediately following the death of a relative and before the funeral, and also a year after their passing. The tradition is an important part of the grieving process. It is also increasingly considered a symbol of Latgalian identity.