All Souls Day


Happy Feast of All Souls Day. It is also known as Day of the Dead. It is the commemoration of all the faithful departed, that is, the souls of all Christians who died but have not yet received salvation, who are currently in Purgatory. Souls that are not perfectly cleansed from venial sins, or who have not fully atoned for past transgressions, are excluded from the Beatific Vision (Heaven). The faithful on earth can help them by offering prayers, alms, and especially by the sacrifice of the Mass.

On this day time should be spent in prayer for the souls of our loved ones as well as those who have no one who will pray for them. It is an honored tradition to visit the graves of our deceased offering prayers and to leave some mark of esteem, such as flowers, to adorn their graves. It is customary to clean tombs, decorate them, and light candles in memory of the dead. (Lighting of candles is more common in other countries.) We visited a local cemetery to offer prayers. Our families are not buried in this state so we pray for them from afar and for the people in the cemetery we visit. This particular cemetery as many in Northern Virginia have been in use for hundreds of years. We read many gravestones of fallen Civil War soldiers. The children were affected most by seeing so many babies and children who were lost. It opened up some discussion on mortality. We said some prayers and made our way home with thoughts of the finality of life. 

-Memento Mori- 

A good prayer for this day is the Prayer Of St. Gertrude The Great 

“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 home and within my family.  Amen.”


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