Dear Parishioners of St. James,
Monday, November 2nd, is All Souls Day.
The Church encourages us to pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, as well as receiving Plenary Indulgences, if possible. Normally, indulgences applicable to the deceased by those who visit a cemetery are obtained during the first week in November. This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vatican reported the indulgence can be obtained by anyone who visits a cemetery, even if only mentally, on any day in November, and devoutly prays for the faithful departed.
The Church teaches that prayer, particularly the Mass and sacrifices, may be offered on behalf of the souls in Purgatory. This day dedicated to all souls is different than the Feast of All Saints, a Holy Day of Obligation which is celebrated on November 1st of each year. On the Feast of All Saints, the Church commemorates all the saints in heaven and the work God did in their lives.
On All Souls Day, we offer prayers specifically for the eternal peace and heavenly rest of all those who died in a state of grace but are not yet completely purified. “All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.” CCC 1030 As Catholics, we believe our prayers offered for the souls in Purgatory will help cleanse these souls to prepare them for the vision of God in heaven.
To help purify the souls of family members and friends in Purgatory during the month of November (and always), visit the cemeteries and pray for their souls. We should also remember to pray for the souls that have no one to pray for them. Visit a church or oratory, attend Mass, and go to Confession.
As members of the Body of Christ, the souls in Purgatory can pray for us, but they need our prayers because they can no longer pray for their own souls.
Holy Souls in Purgatory Pray for Us.
Catechism of the Catholic Church; usccb.org; Vatican News; catholicnewsagency.com; cruxnow.com; catholicanswers.com
For additional information on how to pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, click on this link: