Ordinary Time: November 2nd
The Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed (All Souls)
Old Calendar: All Souls Day ; Other Titles: All Souls Day
"On this day is observed the commemoration of the faithful departed, in which our common and pious Mother the Church, immediately after having endeavored to celebrate by worthy praise all her children who already rejoice in heaven, strives to aid by her powerful intercession with Christ, her Lord and Spouse, all those who still groan in purgatory, so that they may join as soon as possible the inhabitants of the heavenly city." —Roman MartyrologyEvery priest is permitted to say three Masses on this day and it would be a good practice for the laity to attend three Masses and offer them for the Poor Souls.Don't forget to pray for the souls in Purgatory during the "Octave" of All Souls, from November 1 to the 8th.
All Souls Day
The Church, after rejoicing yesterday with those of her children who have entered the glory of heaven, today prays for all those who, in the purifying suffering of Purgatory await the day when they will be joined to the company of saints. At no place in the liturgy is stated in more striking fashion the mysterious union between the Church triumphant, the Church militant and the Church suffering; at no time is there accomplished in clearer fashion the twofold duty of charity and justice deriving for every Christian from the fact of his incorporation in the mystical Body of Christ. By virtue of the consoling doctrine of the communion of saints the merits and prayers of each one are able to help all; and the Church is able to join her prayer with that of the saints in heaven and supply what is wanting to the souls in Purgatory by means of the Mass, indulgences and the alms and sacrifices of her children.
- Add some pious practices to help the souls in Purgatory: attend three Masses for the faithful departed on this day; remember your family and friends who are deceased and make an extra sacrifice for them; pray the rosary for the most forgotten soul in Purgatory.
- An indulgence, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, is granted to the faithful, who devoutly visit a cemetery and pray, even if only mentally, for the departed. The indulgence is plenary each day from November 1-8; on other days of the year it is only a partial indulgence. The plenary indulgence is earned under the usual conditions: sacramental confession (within 20 days before or after), one Eucharistic Communion for each visit (20 days before or after), and prayer for the Pope's intentions (usually one Our Father and the Creed or Hail Mary, prayed each visit) while detached from sin. See Praying for the Dead and Gaining Indulgences During November for more information about indulgences for the souls in Purgatory.
- There is also solemn commemoration from the Book of Blessings that can be used on All Souls. See Visiting a Cemetery on All Souls Day, Memorial Day, or on the Anniversary of Death or Burial.
- Make a poster listing all your departed family and friends. Put this on display where the members of the family can be reminded to pray for the loved ones throughout November. Remind family members to offer extra prayers and sacrifices for the souls in Purgatory. Of course this shouldn't be the only motivation, but do include the fact that after these souls reach heaven, they will intercede on your behalf.
- Read the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy and the section entitled "The Memorial of the Dead in Popular Piety." Of particular note:
The Christian, who must be conscious of and familiar with the idea of death, cannot interiorly accept the phenomenon of the "intolerance of the dead," which deprives the dead of all acceptance in the city of the living. Neither can he refuse to acknowledge the signs of death, especially when intolerance and rejection encourage a flight from reality, or a materialist cosmology, devoid of hope and alien to belief in the death and resurrection of Christ.
- Have family discussions about death, preparing for death, funerals, and the Sacrament of the Sick. Visit the cemetery with children. Visits to the cemetery can be uplifting, calm and peaceful and not a scary event.
- Purgatory And Catechesis,
- Holy Souls in Purgatory,
- Mystery of God's Justice and Mercy
- The Doctrine of Purgatory.
For many more documents search the library for "Purgatory."
Deeply rooted cultural elements connoting particular anthropological concepts are to be found among the customs and usages connected with the "cult of the dead" among some peoples. These often spring from a desire to prolong family and social links with the departed. Great caution must be used in examining and evaluating these customs. Care should be taken to ensure that they are not contrary to the Gospel. Likewise, care should be taken to ensure that they cannot be interpreted as pagan residues.