Last Updated  13-Nov-2010 1:52 PM

Praying for the Dead

From the Pastor's Desk (2003)

Belief in life after death predates Christianity in Ireland. The ghostly practices of Halloween stem from the belief that the veil between the living and the dead was at its thinnest at this time of the year. There is a danger in these times of commercialised emphasis that the pagan practices of Halloween will dull our awareness of the Christian teaching and practice that sets this month aside as one of special devotion to those who "have gone before us with the sign of faith".

Christ gave us a whole new understanding of where this life leads to. The doctrine of the Communion of Saints tells us that our dear departed are indeed close to us and that we can help one another - we can pray for them and they for us.

Many have a great devotion to the Holy Souls. During the first 8 days of the month the Church places in our hands the means of bringing help to them by taking part in the Novena of Masses and by gaining the indulgences that can hasten their journey to heaven, should they still be in the process of purification, that is known as Purgatory. This is an essential part of our Catholic Faith. By making available the indulgences the Church is drawing form the treasury of graces and merits won by the Saints.

The conditions laid down are meant to help us distance ourselves from sin and draw closer to Christ, and thus make our prayer more acceptable.

Many of those we now pray for set the example for us and we look forward to being helped by those whom we now encourage to remember those who go on before us on the journey to our final home.

Could you DO something for November?

When a mother died her son made a New Year resolution. A good mother, he would do it for her. He gave up smoking for the year. He has not smoked since! Could you do something for your loved ones - maybe just for the month? Morning Mass? Daily visit a Church? Prayer Life - and for the Dead? Stations of the Cross? Charitable Work? Visit an Old or Sick Person? Give Charity? Better Work?


Feasts of All Saints All Souls

Indulgences for the Dead

.1. From 12 Noon on 1 Nov. until midnight on 2 Nov. all who have confessed, received Holy Communion and prayed for the Pope's intentions (one Our Father and Hail Mary, or any other prayer of one's choice) can gain one plenary indulgence by visiting a church or oratory and there reciting one Our Father and the Apostles Creed.

This indulgence is applicable only to the Holy Souls.
Confession may be made any time within the week preceeding or following 1 Nov. Holy Communion may be received on any day from 1 to 8 Nov.

2. The Faithful who visit a cemetery and pray for the dead may gain a plenary indulgenge for the Holy Souls on the usual conditions, once per day from 1 to 8 Nov. The above conditions apply.



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