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.