Praying for the Dead
November is the month traditionally devoted to prayers for the dead, given that the feast of All Souls falls on November 2nd. We are encouraged to pray for the souls of our departed relatives, friends and benefactors and also for those who may have no one to pray for them. Someone who has died in God’s grace, yet still needs purification from sin before they can see God face to face in heaven, experiences a condition called purgatory. In the gaze of God’s love they experience burning shame and painful remorse over sinful or unloving behaviour or perhaps anger or disappointment following injury or hurt. After death a person can do nothing more for themselves, but because all the baptised form one communion and are united with one another, the living can also help the souls of the faithful departed. By prayer, fasting, and above all through the celebration of the Holy Mass, we can obtain grace for the departed so that they may experience the lasting joy of being in God’s loving presence for ever in heaven.
Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.
Fr John Fairhurst OSB