Monday, November 2, 2009

The Feast of All Souls

Just as the Church yesterday celebrated all those who have died in the friendship of God and now worship Him in heaven, known and unknown, today the Church celebrates those who have died likewise in the friendship of God but are being purified in purgatory.  Today is the Feast of All Souls.

"On this day is observed the commemoration of the faithful departed, in which our common and pious Mother the Church, immediately after having endeavored to celebrate by worthy praise all her children who already rejoice in heaven, strives to aid by her powerful intercession with Christ, her Lord and Spouse, all those who still groan in purgatory, so that they may join as soon as possible the inhabitants of the heavenly city." — Roman Martyrology
On this day, Catholics around the world pray for those who are being purified in purgatory, to help them to attain the Beatific Vision.  As such, it is incumbent on Catholics to pray for the faithful departed, especially those who have passed on in their families and parishes.

- Priests are permitted on All Souls Day to say up to three Masses for the faithful departed; attend Masses offered for such and ask your priest to say a Mass for someone who has died.

- Pray the Divine Office for the Dead this day.

- Offer a rosary for the faithful departed in purgatory.

- Visit a cemetary, select a few graves and offer prayers and self-denials for those buried there (a plenary indulgence for the souls in purgatory is given for those who do this, provided all the other conditions for a plenary indulgence are met).

These are just a few suggestions for things you can do for the holy souls in purgatory.  Remember to pray with fullness of heart and mercy.

God Bless.

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