All Souls Novena

Today, we begin nine days of prayer in preparation for our annual Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls Day). This novena can be as simple as reciting the “Requiem Æternam” each day: “Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.”

While our annual Solemnity of All Saints (November 1st) is a celebration of those departed souls enjoying the vision of God in Heaven, All Souls Day (November 2nd) reminds us to pray for those departed souls who are bound for Heaven, but who are not yet purified of their attachments to sin. This prayer (“suffrage”) for the dead “is an urgent supplication for God to have mercy on the souls of the dead, to purify them by the fire of His charity, and to bring them into His kingdom of light and life”. (Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, Vatican City, 2001, no. 251)

The Church allows each priest to celebrate the Holy Mass three times on All Souls Day, and so we will have six such celebrations in our parish on November 2nd:
6:30 am—in the convent chapel (all are welcome to attend)
7 am—at the church side altar of the Blessed Mother (Extraordinary Form of the Roman Mass)
8 am—in the church
12:10 pm—in the parish chapel
6 pm—in the church (the principal parish Mass for All Souls Day)
7:30 pm—in the church (in Spanish/en español)

Please also remember that a plenary indulgence, applicable only to the souls in Purgatory, is available on All Souls Day to the faithful who “devoutly visit a church or an oratory and recite an Our Father and the Credo”. You may also gain a plenary indulgence for the souls in Purgatory each day from November 1st to November 8th, if you “devoutly visit a cemetery and pray, even if only mentally, for the pardon of the departed”. (Enchiridion Indulgentiarum, Vatican City, 1999, no. 29)