Remembrance of the Holy Souls
Dear Friends of Carmel,
The month of November will shortly be upon us, and our thoughts turn toward purgatory and the holy souls who dwell there for a time, expiating their faults. Holy Mother Church admonishes us to pray more especially for these souls, both known and unknown to us, during November.
A custom we keep in our chapel here is to place the names of deceased family members and other loved ones on our altars, and our priests faithfully remember these souls at each Mass offered during the entire month of November. We wish to invite you to send us, before November 1st, the names of your loved ones who are deceased, and we will be happy to include these souls in this great benefit of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for their speedy release and eternal peace. As many as five Masses are offered here at our chapel each day, and a remembrance of your deceased loved ones will be made at each Mass, each day of the month of November, starting on Holy Souls Day.
The customary offering for the remembrance is $10 or more for as many names as you wish to submit, and your donation will serve as a stipend for the priests who will be offering the Masses.
If we knew we could still help those we love who have departed from this world, wouldn’t we want very much to do it? By virtue of the consoling doctrine of the Communion of Saints, the prayers and merits of each one are capable of helping 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 – most especially by means of the Holy Mass.
If we know more about the life of these souls who are being purified by God after death, we understand the both their sufferings and their joy. And understanding gives wisdom and greater charity to our prayers for them. Read these and other books to learn more about this mystery of mercy in God’s loving Providence over our souls. You can also visit our Doctrine and Devotions page to read more about this consoling Doctrine.
Besides the Holy Mass, our own private prayers can assist the Holy Souls. The Chaplet for the Souls in Purgatory
is composed of indulgenced liturgical prayers for their benefit – and
once again – offers a contemplative and peaceful prayer for us in
considering their life of sorrow and love.
“Between death and eternal beatitude, there is purgatory. Because our works do follow us, and not all of them are good works, or, even if they are good, they are full of faults and imperfections, it is necessary for the souls to be purified of every blemish before being admitted to the vision of God. And yet, if we were perfectly faithful to grace, there would be no need of purgatory, for God purifies here below those who give themselves wholly to Him, who let themselves be fashioned and formed according to his good pleasure…”
– Father Gabriel
May the thought of that place of loving expiation rouse our zeal to pray for the souls of the departed, and may it also make us more courageous in embracing the purifying crosses of daily life to repair for our own faults.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls rest in Your blessed peace!
Your Carmelite Sisters