In Telemachus Stephen remembers how "all prayed on their knees" around his mother's deathbed, and he recalls words from that prayer: "Liliata rutilantium te confessorum turma circumdet: iubilantium te virginum chorus excipiat" (“May the troop of confessors, glowing like lilies, surround you. May the choir of virgins, jubilant, take you in”). His thoughts return to these words at the end of the same chapter, and also in Scylla and Charybdis, Circe, and Ithaca.
Thornton notes that E. R. Steinberg traced the Latin words to a prayer contained "in most Roman Catholic Rituals," intended to be spoken by the sick person's bedside "during the death agony." Gifford further notes that this prayer for the dying is included in the Catholic Layman’s Missal, which remarks that “In the absence of a priest, these prayers for commending a dying person to God, may be read by any responsible person, man or woman.”