Saturday, November 2, 2019

The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls' Day)

First Saturday of the Month

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 26 Unauthorized Association with the Excommunicated
Mass: Wis 3:1-9; Resp Ps 23; Rm 5:5-11 or Rm 6:3-9; Jn 6:37-40

Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.

A tune I have in my head this morning is of a little ditty "we" sang as children: Pray for the dead and the dead will pray for you. As we commemorate all the faithful departed, the simple song makes more sense in light of today's "Prayer for the Morning" in my handy Magnificat: "The commemoration of All Souls is rooted in the Church's strong conviction that we, the living, have a serious responsibility in charity to pray for those who have died but who must yet complete the purification every human being needs to be able to enjoy the vision of God." For, as proclaimed in the Entrance Antiphon at Mass, just as Jesus died and has risen again, so through Jesus God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep; and as in Adam all died, so also in Christ will all be brought to life. Let us pray for all the dead, that they may be cleansed in a such a way that they are able to be with God and can stand there in fullness of life (Pope Benedict XVI). May their pure hearts be revealed. Indeed, blessed are the pure of heart, for they will see God (Mt 5:8). For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him up on the last day (Jn 6:40).

Not even the night of death shall prevail against this day of new life: instead it shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not swallow it up.
(Bernard of Clairvaux)

God is a God of the living. With confidence, we pray:
Raise them up, O Lord!
For all the dead whom we have loved in life.
For all the dead among those who have harmed us.
For all the dead whom no one remembers in prayer.
(Magnificat, Intercessions, November 2, 2019)

NB. You may be interested in a video message the Holy Father delivered to participants in the 4th World Meeting of Young People at Mexico City. You can find it on Vatican News. Among other things, Pope Francis said this, "Remember, if death is not to have the last word, it is because in life we learned to die for one another."

© Gertrude Feick 2019

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