Ampleforth Abbey

24 February 2018

Echoes of the Word, 6th November 2017

Echoes of the Word is an occasional newsletter from the monks of Ampleforth Abbey, featuring reflections on the readings, feasts and seasons of the Church's year and the journey of discipleship. Click here if you are interested in subscribing.


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

Commemoration of Deceased Relatives, Friends & Benefactors / Commentary on Matthew 11:25-30

Each year, on the 5th November, the Benedictine family remembers all our friends, family and benefactors who have died. It is a reminder to each of us that the life and death of each person affects us all especially those who have been close to us in this life. When we think of the love and support that they gave us this commemoration gives us the opportunity to give something back, to express our gratitude for those who were there for us. No doubt we may still miss some of them, that sense of loss and grief we feel when those who were dear to us are no longer with us in the same way, but in the Gospel today Jesus assures us that in Him they will find rest for their souls. It is a powerfully comforting image knowing that those we love who have died are at peace. Today is not about focusing on our loss and pain but a chance to give thanks for the blessings received by those who played such an important role in our lives and to remember: Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.

Fr Kieran Monahan OSB


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