All Souls, 2020Dear Brothers and Sisters:
Prayer for the dead is an essential part of every single offering of the Sacrifice of the Mass. The Faithful Departed are mentioned in each Eucharistic Prayer and very frequently at the Prayers of the Faithful. Every day, worshipers throughout the world ask God to have mercy on the Holy Souls in Purgatory. This practice is as ancient as the Catholic Church itself.
The deceased members of our Church and of our family may be taken from us physically, but our relationship does not cease upon their death. For those of us yet to undergo the transition from this life, we cannot speak to the precise nature of the process of moving from earthly existence to Heaven. What we do know, is that the dead rely on our prayers as they navigate the choppy waters of death to make their way to the safe harbors of Eternal Life.
The most commonly used Preface of the Mass for the Dead states: “Indeed for your faithful, Lord, life is changed not ended.” The faithful departed remain part of our spiritual family. As such, they rely entirely on our prayers and our sacrifices. We believe that once they experience the beatific vision, they in turn remember us in their own prayers!
Let us join together to pray for our deceased loved ones who are counting on our prayers on their behalf. At the Shrine, we will pray for your family, friends, and loved ones throughout the month of November, the month of the dead. Please send the names of your loved ones so that we can place them on the altar of the Shrine for remembrance throughout the entire month. Let us pray for the Church being purified in purgatory that they might become the Church Triumphant in Heaven, our destiny!
In Christ our Lord,
Very Rev. Vincent M. Kelber O.P.