Ahem, sorry about the ad, but go ahead and hit play...
and then, if you will, pray this with me:
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May the souls of the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God,
rest in peace.
November is the time to turn our thoughts to souls. The faithfully departed souls are celebrated and honored this week. On Friday, All Saints Day, we celebrate those souls resting happily in heaven with Jesus, praising God. We celebrate those beloved saints known to us and other unknown, and all those we hope are resting peacefully. It's also a First Friday.
On Saturday, All Souls' Day, we pray for those faithful souls in purgatory, on their way to heaven, but who can not get there without the aid of our prayers (to remove temporal punishment). They can then in turn pray for us. It's also a First Saturday.
November is the month dedicated to the poor souls in purgatory. We have this beautiful gift we can make of our time to help those poor souls and enrich our lives by spending a small amount of time each of the first eight days of November, stopping by a cemetery and praying for the poor souls who appreciate our prayers, as well as satisfying the normal conditions for indulgence below:
Indulgences for the Poor Souls
(from our parish website)
November is dedicated to the Holy Souls. From November 1 to November 8, inclusive, a
plenary indulgence, applicable only to Poor Souls in Purgatory, is granted to those who visit a
cemetery and pray, even if only mentally, for the departed, provided the usual conditions are
On November 2, All Souls Day, a plenary indulgence for Poor Souls will be granted to those who
visit any parish church or public oratory and there recite one Our Father and one Credo.
Only one plenary indulgence may be granted each day.
The usual conditions to acquire a plenary indulgence are:
1. detachment from sin; which is a true sorrow for, and repudiation of, all one’s sin, mortal
2. reception of Holy Communion on the day the indulgence is sought;
3. prayer for the intention of the Holy Father on the day the indulgence is sought (one Our
Father and one Hail Mary suffice, or any other suitable prayer);
4. sacramental confession within a week of completion of the prescribed work.
If these conditions are not met, the indulgence will be partial.
Several plenary indulgences may be granted on the basis of a single sacramental confession,
but only one plenary indulgence may be gained on the basis of a single Holy Communion and
prayer for the pope’s intentions.
Partial indulgences are granted to those who recite Lauds or Vespers of the Office of the Dead,
and to those who recite the Eternal Rest Prayer provided below. A partial indulgence may be
granted more than once a day.
"It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead,
that they may be loosed from sins."
(2 Macchabees 12, 46)
Not at all!
Please read this article about the Myths of Indulgences and this Primer on Indulgences and embrace and take on this beautiful gift we have for the benefit of our souls and so many others.
We have a duty to pray for souls in public and in our private prayers for the repose of souls. Go ahead and add to your calendar, on the first eight days of November, and make a visit to a cemetery (it doesn't have to be Catholic) and pray and think of the loved ones that have gone before us.
St Gertrude the Great's prayer:
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal Church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.
Our Lord promised St. Gertrude that 1,000 souls would be released from purgatory each time it is said devoutly- go ahead and pray it again.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domini, et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Requiescant in pace.