Masses for the dead can be found in the fifth century. St. Odilo, fourth abbot of Cluny, was responsible for the institution of the general commemoration of all the faithful departed. He instituted it and fixed its celebration on November 2, the day after All Saints.
We continue to dedicate this month of November for the poor souls in purgatory. We shall offer Masses and prayers for the liberation of our deceased families, friends, priests and all forgotten souls as well.
What more we can do:
a) Do pious practices to help the Poor Souls by attending Weekend Masses and do remember the deceased members among your family and friends and make an extra sacrifice for them; pray the rosary for the most forgotten souls in purgatory.
b) At home: Make a nice poster listing all the family and friends who have departed. Put this on your altar where the members of the family can be reminded to pray for the loved ones throughout November.
c) Do visit gravesites anytime throughout the year. You can make it a monthly affair or during the deceased’s birthday or anniversary. It can be done privately. Whenever you visit the gravesites, clean them, decorate them with flowers and add lamps or candles. Do pray for the faithful departed. You may recite the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and the Rosary. Visits to the cemetery should be uplifting, calm and peaceful, not a scary event.
d) On a personal level, do read about “The Doctrine of Holy Souls in Purgatory” and “The Mystery of God’s Justice and Mercy.
Can we help the departed who are in the condition of purgatory? (YouCat no. 160 or CCC nos. 1032 & 1414)