All Soul’s Day pays respect and remembers the souls of all friends and loved ones who have died and gone to heaven. It is a time to pray for their souls that they may be received into heaven. Upon death, it is believed that souls have not yet been cleansed of sin. Praying for souls of loved ones helps to remove the stain of sin, and allow the souls to enter the pearly gates of heaven. All Souls Day was started in 998.
The importance of the feast was made clear by Pope Benedict XV (1914-22), when he granted all priests the privilege of celebrating three Masses on All Souls Day: one, for the faithful departed; one for the priest’s intentions; and one for the intentions of the Holy Father. Only on a handful of other very important feast days are priests allowed to celebrate more than two Masses.
Often people will pray to their lost loved ones and even ask for special favors.
This beautiful prayer, drawn from the Byzantine Divine Liturgy, reminds us that Christ’s victory over death brings us all the possibility of eternal rest. We pray for all of those who have gone before us, that they, too, may enter into Heaven.
Prayer for All the Deceased
By Thy resurrection from the dead, O Christ, death no longer hath dominion over those who die in holiness. So, we beseech Thee, give rest to Thy servants in Thy sanctuary and in Abraham’s bosom. Grant it to those, who from Adam until now have adored Thee with purity, to our fathers and brothers, to our kinsmen and friends, to all men who have lived by faith and passed on their road to Thee, by a thousand ways, and in all conditions, and make them worthy of the heavenly kingdom.
Did you know? All Souls Day is sometimes called the “Day of the Dead”.