What is All Souls Day?

What is All Souls Day?

Image by Pezibear (2014) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

November 2 is the day the Church sets aside for All Souls Day but what does this mean? Basically, it is the commemoration of all the faithful departed who may be detained in purgatory. Of course, it is a good and holy thing to pray for the souls in Purgatory every day, especially Mondays, which is traditionally devoted to praying for those souls. Still, just like with All Saints, the Church gives us this particular day to remind us the importantance of praying for these holy souls who are saved but must complete their purification before entering heaven.

Although today is not a holy day of obligation, going to mass for All Souls Day is the most efficacious way to pray for them. Another beautiful way to pray for them is the Chaplet for the Poor Souls in Purgatory. In addition, the Pieta Prayer Book suggests praying 5 Apostle Creeds, 1 Hail Holy Queen, 1 Our Father, 1 Requiem and the Prayer of St. Gertrude the Great.

In case you don’t know the Requiem and Prayer of St. Gertrude, here they are:

The Requiem

“Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord and let your perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.”

Prayer of Saint Gertrude

“Ethernal Father, I offer thee the most precious blood of thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with all the Masses said throughout the world today, for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.”

That one is the version I was taught. Now, there is a second version that many people use:

“Eternal Father, I offer thee the most precious blood of thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with all the Masses said throughout the world today, for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.”

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Fearless Friday: For the Faithful Departed

Our family has a heavy heart this week. My dear Aunt Miriam passed away this past Sunday. The wake and funeral was on Wednesday and Thursday and it breaks my heart that I wasn’t able to make the trip back to NY to be there.

Aunt Miriam was 76 when she died. She was sick for years with heart trouble but ironically, it wasn’t what killed her – it was toxins that took over her body. She was a wonderful woman, with a true heart for God.

I was close to Aunt Miriam and spent several weeks with her during the summer many times while growing up. It was she who encouraged me in my faith and reading the bible when I was a teenager. She was full of love and generosity to others. I am going to miss her terribly.

In the last weeks of her life she was anxious, but she died peacefully, surrounded by her children and grandchildren. My mom said that her parish priest prayed with Aunt Miriam and gave her the Anointing of the Sick the morning she passed.

So today, would you join me in praying for the repose of the soul of Aunt Miriam and not just her, but for all the recently deceased?

“Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord, and let Your perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.”

(Linked to Fearless Friday.)