During the month of October we were faithful and dedicated in praying the Rosary individually as well as in the BECs. During this month of November we are reminded once again to commemorate ALL the faithful departed souls. Let’s get to know a little background about All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days.
November 1 is All Saints’ Day. On this day we commemorate the departed who have attained the beatific vision. It is a day when we celebrate ALL of the faithful who are in Heaven. All Souls’ Day is celebrated on November 2. All Souls’ Day is not a holy day of obligation. It should not be confused with All Saints’ Day, which is a holy day of obligation.
As Catholics we truly believe that through our traditions and teachings of the Church and through the prayers and Masses offered for the faithful departed, they may be cleansed of their sins so that they may meet God face to face in Heaven.
On All Souls’ Day our families visit the cemeteries or columbarium of our departed ones and clean up the premises. We say extra prayers or light up candles and place flowers at the departed souls’ graves. Priests have been designated to bless the cemeteries and columbarium on this day.
All Souls’ Day is a day set aside for honouring the dead. It is a day primarily celebrated in the Catholic Church and a few other Christian denominations. Most protestant denominations do not recognize the commemoration of the Faithful Departed souls and they disagree with the theology behind it.
The custom of setting apart a special day for intercession of the departed souls was first established by St. Odilo of Cluny in 1048 AD. It was accepted in Rome only in the 14th century.
In our Book of Remembrance this year, we have more than 5,000 names as compared to last year where there were only around 4,000 names. I am glad that we have not forgotten all those who have gone before us. They will always remain in our memories. We shall place the Book of Remembrance with reverence on the altar – where the sacrifice of the Mass is offered.
We shall set aside the whole month of November as a month of intercession, on the part of our community, to pray for all the souls in Purgatory and all the souls whom we have forgotten to pray for. May they be cleansed and perfected before they enter into heaven.
May their souls rest in peace.