Death does not separate us from one another—neither from the saints, nor from loved ones who have died but had not become perfectly holy on earth. We are helped by the prayers of the saints and we pray for those who have died in need of further healing and purification. This is our great Communion of Saints.
Let us pray for all deceased members of our families. Our reflection is from Pope Benedict’s Angelus Message for November 1, 2011.
November 2 is dedicated to the Commemoration of the faithful departed; it helps us to remember our dear ones who have left us and all the souls on the journey to the fullness of life, on the heavenly horizon of the Church, to which [yesterday’s] Solemnity has elevated us. Since the early days of the Christian faith, the earthly Church, recognizing the communion of the whole mystical body of Jesus Christ, has honored with deep respect the memory of the dead, she offers suffrage for them. Our prayer for the dead is therefore not only useful but necessary, as it can not only help them, but also make their intercession for us effective. Also visiting cemeteries, while preserving the ties of affection with those who loved us in this life, reminds us that we are all going towards another life, beyond death.
May the tears, due to earthly departure, not prevail over the certainty of the resurrection, over the hope of reaching eternal beatitude, “the supreme moment of satisfaction, in which totality embraces us and we embrace totality” (Spe Salvi #12).
The object of our hope is to rejoice in the presence of God in eternity. Jesus promised this to his disciples, saying: “I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you” (Jn 16:22). Let us entrust to the Virgin Mary, Queen of All Saints, our pilgrimage towards the heavenly homeland, as we invoke her maternal intercession for our departed brothers and sisters.
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. 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.
All Souls’ Day Indulgence -- November 2 Plenary Indulgence
From the Handbook of Indulgences
Visiting a Church or an Oratory on All Souls Day
A plenary (“full”) indulgence, which is applicable only to the souls in Purgatory is granted to the Christian faithful who devoutly visit a church or an oratory on (November 2nd,) All Souls Day.
Requirements for Obtaining a Plenary Indulgence on All Souls Day (Nov. 2nd)
1. Visit a church and pray for souls in Purgatory
2. Say one “Our Father” and the “Creed” in the visit to the church
3. Say one “Our Father” and one “Hail Mary” for the Holy Father’s intentions
4. Worthily receive Holy Communion (ideally on the same day if you can get to Mass)
5. Make a sacramental confession within a week of All Souls Day
6. For a plenary indulgence be free from all attachment to sin, even venial sin (otherwise, the indulgence is partial, not plenary, “full”).