11/1/10

November 2: All Souls Day

On All Souls Day, November 2, the church prays for all who have died that through the purifying mercy of God they will come to the share in the Lord's resurrection and enjoy the peace of God's reign forever. The joy of All Saints is sobered by our prayer for the dead.

The audio is Pie Jesu from the Faure Requiem Mass.  The translation of this simple prayer for those who have died is this:
Pie Jesu Domine,
dona eis requiem.
Faithful Lord Jesus,
grant them rest.
Pie Jesu Domine,
dona eis requiem sempiternam.   
Faithful Lord Jesus,
grant them everlasting rest.
You might play and pray this on All Souls Day or any day in November when you're remembering in your prayer those who have died: those known to you and those known only to God... From the prayers for Mass on All Souls Day: Merciful Father, hear our prayers and console us... strengthen our hope that all our departed brothers and sisters will share in your Son's resurrection... Accept these gifts and receive our brothers and sisters into the glory of your Son... May this sacrifice wash away the sins of our departed brothers and sisters in the blood of Christ. You cleansed them in the waters of baptism. In your loving mercy grand them pardon and peace. Check the sidebar and click on Saint of the Day. The following are excerpts from the entry for November 2:
In the middle of the 11th century, St. Odilo, abbot of Cluny (France), decreed that all Cluniac monasteries offer special prayers and sing the Office for the Dead on November 2, the day after the feast of All Saints. The custom spread from Cluny and was finally adopted throughout the Roman Church...
The theological underpinning of the feast is the acknowledgment of human frailty. Since few people achieve perfection in this life but, rather, go to the grave still scarred with traces of sinfulness, some period of purification seems necessary before a soul comes face-to-face with God. The Council of Trent affirmed this purgatory state and insisted that the prayers of the living can speed the process of purification...
Whether or not one should pray for the dead is one of the great arguments which divide Christians. Appalled by the abuse of indulgences in the Church of his day, Martin Luther rejected the concept of purgatory. Yet prayer for a loved one is, for the believer, a way of erasing any distance, even death. In prayer we stand in God's presence in the company of someone we love, even if that person has gone before us into death...
“We must not make purgatory into a flaming concentration camp on the brink of hell—or even a ‘hell for a short time.’ It is blasphemous to think of it as a place where a petty God exacts the last pound—or ounce—of flesh.... St. Catherine of Genoa, a mystic of the 15th century, wrote that the ‘fire’ of purgatory is God’s love ‘burning’ the soul so that, at last, the soul is wholly aflame. It is the pain of wanting to be made totally worthy of One who is seen as infinitely lovable, the pain of desire for union that is now absolutely assured, but not yet fully tasted." (Leonard Foley, O.F.M.)
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