November – Month of Praying for the Dead

In November the Church  remembers our Faithful Departed, as is recommended in the Scriptures of the Old Testament: “It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.”(2 Macch. 12, 46). This is found  not only in public and private prayers but also in the offering of the Mass for the repose of the souls of the departed. Similarly, in November the Church prays for all who are in  Purgatory, awaiting for the day, when fully purified ,they will join the company of the saints in heaven. The celebration of Mass is the ultimate means that  the Church can provide for charity for the dead. However, the faithful can also relieve their sufferings through  prayers, sufferings and penances, or other acts and prayers that have indulgences attached to them.

William-Adolphe_Bouguereau_The_Day_of_the_Dead_(1859)HAC for Fr.Nathan – image – Bouguereau – 1859

There are many indulgences, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, that can be obtained during  November. During November  the Church also meditates on the Communion of Saints, which is the  link with the faithful who have already reached heaven (Church Triumphant), the faithful departed who are still expiating their sins in Purgatory (Church Suffering) and of the pilgrim faithful here on earth (Church Militant). “In this wonderful exchange, the holiness of one profits others, well beyond the harm that the sin of one could cause others. Thus recourse to the communion of saints lets the contrite sinner be more promptly and efficaciously purified of the punishments for sin.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1475).

 

WRITTEN BY: Harold Clitheroe