The Feast of All Souls: Prayers, Traditions, and Activities
The Sistine Chapel
On All Souls’ Day, Roman Catholics commemorate the faithful departed or those baptized Christians believed to be in purgatory. It is celebrated on November 2 unless this date falls on a Sunday. When this happens, All Souls’ Day is celebrated on November 3.
In the early days of Christianity, the names of the departed brethren were recorded on tablets. Later, in the sixth century,the Benedictine monasteries commemorated their deceased during Pentecost. In Spain there was such a day on Saturday before before Pentecost, at the time of St. Isidore (d. 636). In Germany there existed a ceremony of praying to the dead on October 1. St. Odilo of Cluny (d. 1048) ordered the commemoration of all the faithful departed to he held annually in the monasteries of his congregation. From there, it spread among the other congregations of the Benedictines and among the Carthusians to various dioceses. On this day, three requiem Masses are celebrated: one for the celebrant, one for the departed, and one for the Holy Father.
Traditions, Prayers, and Activities
Catholic Culture offers some wonderful activities to perform on this day.
Today, I will be commemorating All Souls’ Day in the following ways:
1. I will be remembering all those deceased family members I love, but especially: my mom, my dad, my younger sister, my mother-in-law, and my father-in-law and I will be praying the rosary for them.
2. I will attend Holy Mass to pray for the faithful departed.
3. I will pray the following prayers:
Prayer for the Poor Souls in Purgatory
V. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.
R. And let the perpetual light shine upon them.
And may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
V. Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine.
R. Et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Fidelium animae, per misericordiam Dei, requiescant in pace. Amen
Prayer of St. Gertrude the Great
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the most precious blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory.