All Souls Day: In Memory of Those We’ve Lost
In preparation for the Commemoration of All Souls Day, we remember and pray for those who have gone before us. Below is a Prayer for that special someone that is no longer in your life. They may have passed on, but we can always reconnect with them in spirit through prayer.
The Importance of Our Prayers
Catholics believe that after a person dies their soul goes to one of three places.
- Heaven – reserved for the souls of people who die “in a state of perfect grace and communion with God.”
- Hell – the destination for “those who die in a state of mortal sin”; based on choices they made while on earth
- Purgatory – perhaps the most common, purgatory is where “most people, free of mortal sin, but still in a state of lesser sin, must go.” In purgatory, departed souls are cleansed and perfected so that they too may enter into heaven.
On All Souls Day, we pray for our loved ones so that they may be forgiven of their sins and have the joy of entering into heaven. It is also a time for remembering and celebrating their lives. Many may also visit loved ones’ graves, leaving flowers, lighting prayer candles, or sprinkling holy water. If All Souls’ Day falls on a Sunday, priests may incorporate special prayers into the regular Sunday Mass.
Last year, during a homily he gave on All Souls Day, Pope Francis said, “Today is a day of memory that takes us back to our roots. It is also a day of hope. It reminds us of what we can expect: a hope of “what awaits us: a new heaven, a new earth, the holy city of the new Jerusalem. Beauty awaits us … memory and hope, hope to encounter, hope to arrive where there is the Love which created us, where there is the Love which awaits us: the love of the Father.”
“Between memory and hope” is the road that we must take, Pope Francis continued, emphasizing that it is the Beatitudes that lead us along this path. “These beatitudes – meekness, poverty of spirit, justice, mercy, purity of heart – are the lights that accompany us so as not to make mistakes,” he added.
We join you in praying for the souls of your loved ones. Their passing is not the end. It is the beginning of eternal life. May they rest in peace.