All Souls Day: November 2

All Saints Day and All Souls Day belong together. On the Feast of All Saints we thank God for calling all to holiness as his children. All of us are called to be numbered among the saints of God.

On All Souls Day we remember that we are all weak and sinful and depend on the mercy of God.  We can lose hope in our call, and so on All Souls Day we ask God’s mercy for ourselves and those who have gone before us in death.

Listen to our prayer at Mass:

“Remember, also, our brothers and sisters, who have fallen asleep in the hope of the resurrection, and all who have died in your mercy. Welcome them into the light of your face. And have mercy on us all, we pray, that with the Blessed Virgin Mary, with the blessed Apostles and all the saints who have pleased you throughout the ages, we may be coheirs to eternal life and may praise and glory you, through your Son, Jesus Christ.( 2nd Eucharisitic Prayer)

We pray for all who hope in Christ’s resurrection, and also for “all who have died in your mercy.” All Souls is a day we pray for all who have died.

We begin our prayer on All Souls Day with St. Paul’s words to the Thessalonians and Corinthians, affirming God’s promise of eternal life to all humanity:

“Just as Jesus died and has risen again, so through Jesus God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep and as in Adam all die so also in Christ all will be brought to life.”

At the Communion of the Mass, we hear the words of Jesus:

“I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord. Whoever believes in me even though he die will live and anyone who believes in me will never die.”

Yet death saddens us; it can weaken our faith. Praying for the dead strengthens our faith and benefits those who have gone before us. In our opening prayer we ask for stronger faith.

Listen kindly to our prayers, O Lord,
and, as our faith in your Son
raised from the dead is deepened,
so may our hope of resurrection for your departed servants
also find new strength.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen.

“It’s a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the living and the dead.” Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.

8 thoughts on “All Souls Day: November 2

  1. Orlando

    Today at Mass in FL when my ten year old grand daughter saw the tears running down my face she asked me, “Are you crying because you miss your Dad?” I found myself nodding “Yes.” She leaned into me and hugged me with a tenderness she had had never shown before. The Resurrected Savior had revealed Himself in her and my tears had become tears of joy.

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  2. Berta

    You are right Fr Victor that All Saints and All Souls should be celebrated one after the other. All of us hope and pray that we will get into God’s Kingdom! So we should not only pray for the known Saints but for those souls that have become Saints . I get a feeling that my parents and grandparents are up there ready to intercede for me whenever they’re needed. So I celebrate all of those unrecognized Saints who are looking over us!!!!!

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  3. fdan

    Dear Father Victor, yes, death can sadden us and weaken our faith. And thank you for reminding us that praying for the dead can strengthen it and bring new strength in Christ to our dearly departed. Your Reflections are a refresher course for our faith. They inspire me day-by-day. Thank you, Father Victor!

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  4. cenaclemary12

    Tears upon Loss
    Though we need to weep your loss,
    You dwell in that safe place in our hearts
    Where no storm on night or pain can reach you.

    Your love was like the dawn
    Brightening over our lives,
    Awakening beneath the dark
    A further adventure of color.

    The sound of your voice
    Found for us
    A new music
    That brightened everything.

    Whatever you enfolded in your gaze
    Quickened in the joy of its being;
    You placed smiles like flowers
    On the altar of the heart,
    Your mind always sparkled
    With the wonder at things.

    Though your days here were brief,
    Your spirit was alive, awake, complete.

    We look toward each other no longer
    From the old distance of our names;
    Now you dwell inside the rhythm of breath,
    As close to us as we are to ourselves.

    Though we cannot see you with outward eyes,
    We know our souls gaze is upon your face,
    Smiling back at us from within everything
    To which we bring our best refinement.

    Let us not look for you only in memory,
    Where we would grow lonely without you.
    You would want us to find you in presence,
    Besides us when beauty brightens,
    When kindness glows
    And music echoes eternal tones.

    When orchids brighten the earth,
    Darkest winter has turned to spring;
    May this dark grief flower with hope
    In every heart that loves you.

    May you continue to inspire us:
    To enter each day with a generous heart.
    To serve the call of courage and love
    Until we see your beautiful face again
    In that land where there is no more separation,
    Where all tears will be wiped from our mind,
    And where we will never lose you again.

    By John O’Donohue
    To Bless the Space between us

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  5. fdan

    Thank you for introducing us to this poet-author-priest-philosopher. His books on 1st perusal express what is deep within us in very blessed, relatable ways. I have ordered the Book of Blessings, so far! Thank you, cenaclemary12!

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  6. fdan

    On Waking
    by John O’Donohue (1956-2008)
    I give thanks for arriving
    Safely in a new dawn,
    For the gift of eyes
    To see the world,
    The gift of mind
    To feel at home
    In my life,
    The waves of possibility
    Breaking on the shore of dawn,
    The harvest of the past
    That awaits my hunger,
    And all the furtherings
    This new day will bring.

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