All Souls Day is over, but these souls still long for our prayers.
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This time of year in the coal mountains of Pennsylvania, as I see the leaves turning color and falling from the trees, it’s easy to call to mind the Four Last Things: death, judgment, heaven and hell. God reminds us of the cycle of life, through the cycle of nature He promised thousands of years ago: “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22).
All Souls Day is over— but the Church dedicates the month of November to prayer for the souls in Purgatory, and consideration of death: “In all you do, remember the end of your life, and then you will never sin” (Sirach 7:36). And all through November the Church grants special indulgences when we pray for the souls in Purgatory.
In fact, we ought to remember them throughout the year, as the Church does at every Mass. Fr. Paul O’Connell recommends especially offering up short indulgenced prayers many times every day for the souls in Purgatory—and for ourselves.
The saints tell us what Purgatory is actually like
To help us aid the poor souls, the Church has provided these beautiful indulgenced prayers for each day of the week.
O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood, which Thy divine Son Jesus shed in the Garden, deliver the souls in purgatory, and especially that one which is the most forsaken of all, and bring it into Thy glory, where it may praise and bless Thee forever.
O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood, which Thy divine Son Jesus shed in His cruel scourging, deliver the souls in purgatory, and among them all especially that soul which is nearest to its entrance into Thy glory, that it may soon begin to praise Thee and bless Thee forever.
O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood of Thy divine Son Jesus that was shed in His bitter crowning with thorns, deliver the souls in purgatory, and among them all, particularly that soul which is in the greatest need of our prayers, in order that it may not long be delayed in praising Thee in Thy glory and blessing Thee forever.
Pope: Don’t forget the souls in Purgatory!
O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood of Thy divine Son Jesus that was shed in the streets of Jerusalem while He carried on His sacred shoulders the heavy burden of the Cross, deliver the souls in purgatory and especially that one which is richest in merits in Thy sight, so that, having soon attained the high place in glory to which it is destined, it may praise Thee triumphantly and bless Thee forever.
O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee by the Precious Body and Blood of Thy divine Son Jesus, which He Himself on the night before His Passion gave as meat and drink to His beloved Apostles and bequeathed to His Holy Church to be the perpetual Sacrifice and life-giving nourishment of His faithful people, deliver the souls in purgatory, but most of all, that soul which was most devoted to this Mystery of infinite love, in order that it may praise Thee therefore, together with Thy divine Son and the Holy Spirit in Thy glory forever.
O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood which Jesus Thy divine Son shed this day upon the tree of the Cross, especially from His sacred Hands and Feet, deliver the souls in purgatory, and particularly that soul for whom I am most bound to pray, in order that I may not be the cause which hinders Thee from admitting it quickly to the possession of Thy glory where it may praise Thee and bless Thee for evermore.
O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood which gushed forth from the sacred Side of Thy divine Son Jesus in the presence and to the great sorrow of His most holy Mother, deliver the souls in purgatory, and among them all especially that soul which has been most devout to this noble Lady, that it may come quickly into Thy glory, there to praise Thee in her, and her in Thee through all the ages.
Are you comforting your departed loved ones? Or only yourself?