Monday, November 3, 2014

All Souls' Day 2014

On Sunday morning, I thought to put a dash of cinnamon in my coffee (which always has cream and sugar). How did I not think of this before? And why did no one tell me of this? I have a new way of drinking coffee now (and less motivation ever to quit drinking coffee).

Margaret (3-1/2) asked to write a Mass intention for the first time: her big sister

After Mass, we drove to Belmont Abbey's cemetery where our pastor led prayers for the faithful departed. Even though the old calendar observes All Souls' Day on Monday, the indulgence for praying for the dead extends always from November 1-8.

Between Noon of November 1 and Midnight tonight, a person who has been to confession and Communion can gain a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions, for the poor souls each time he visits a church or public oratory and recites the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Glory be to the Father six times. This is a special exception to the ordinary law of the Church according to which a plenary indulgence for the same work can be gained only once a day. Because of this, some of the customs described below may be begun on All Saints Day.

Also, the faithful who, during the period of eight days from All Saints Day, visit a cemetery and pray for the dead may gain a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions, on each day of the Octave, applicable only to the dead. Here is a simple invocation for the dead, called the "Eternal Rest" prayer:
Eternal rest grant unto him/her (them), O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon him/her (them). May he/she (they) rest in peace. Amen.
Latin version:
Réquiem ætérnam dona ei (eis) Dómine; et lux perpétua lúceat ei (eis). Requiéscat (Requiéscant) in pace. Amen.
Catholics also pray this prayer for the dead anytime throughout the year, and whenever they pass a cemetery. Many families pray a Rosary nightly for the dead throughout the Octave of All Saints, replacing the Fatima prayer with the Eternal Rest prayer. (Source)

We think perhaps nearly 100 people showed up today.

Families brought hot coffee, doughnuts (modern "soul cakes"), and treats for us to enjoy after praying at the cemetery.

The weather made the event more penitential, the temperature having dropped to 29 degrees overnight and warmed only to about 50 accompanied by a stiff wind. In the morning, the Weather Channel website greeted me with the warning, "Sunday likely to bring record cold."

Life amidst death in the shadow of the cross

Walking toward the cross

All Souls' Day commemorates the faithful departed--those who die with God's grace and friendship.
Not everyone who dies in God's grace is immediately ready for the goodness of God and heaven, so we must be purified of the temporal effects of sin. The Church calls this purification of the elect "purgatory." Church teaching on Purgatory essentially requires belief in two realities: there will be a purification of believers prior to entering heaven, and the prayers and Masses of the faithful in some way benefit those in the state of purification.
As to the duration, place and exact nature of this purification, the Church has no official dogma, although St. Augustine and others used fire as a way to explain the nature of the purification.
While in the current liturgical calendar All Souls' Day is commemorated on a Sunday, in the old calendar (1962 Missal) it is considered a requiem Mass and transferred to Monday, Nov. 3. [emphasis mine]
Source: Catholic News Herald, October 24, 2014

We joined another family for dinner at a pizzeria and these two chatted it up the whole time.

On Monday, All Souls' Day observed, we will be attending a Latin Mass graciously offered by our priest. The normally very busy three days of All Saints' and All Souls' activities will be four days this year!


  1. this image is really, really fantastic!

  2. Sarah: Thanks! That means a lot coming from you!