Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed ~ November 2, 2021

Posted by Team Missio on Oct 27, 2021 11:20:51 AM

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On All Souls Day we remember those who have gone before us

Reflections on the readings for the Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed (November 2, 2021): WIS 3:1-9; PS 23:1-3,3-4,5,6; ROM 5:5-11; JN 6:37-40


MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days. 

Praying for the faithful departed is encouraged not only on this day, but throughout the year.

The Commemoration of the Faithful Departed is more generally known as All Souls Day. It is a time to show our respect for those who have died and to ask God to receive them into His heavenly presence. These are the souls who retain some stain of sin. In purgatory they are purged or purified so that they are able to witness the Beatific Vision. Only then is a soul ready to spend life everlasting in the presence of God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Offering prayers for the dead has existed since the early days of the Church. This feast has been held in connection with All Saints Day since the 11th century. However, it was only when medieval monasteries began commemorating their deceased members that the idea of a special holy day spread more widely. Many countries have special traditions on this day to remember their beloved dead. These include visiting cemeteries and decorating graves with flowers or other mementoes, lighting candles, and tolling church bells.  

Praying for the faithful departed is encouraged not only on this day, but throughout the year. In the words of Pope St. John Paul II, “In praying for the dead, the Church above all contemplates the mystery of the Resurrection of Christ, who obtains salvation and eternal life for us through His Cross. … Contemplation of the lives of those who have followed Christ encourages us to lead a good, upright Christian life so that we can prepare ourselves each day for eternal life.” Jesus came among us to save us from sin and death. In today’s Gospel, we hear Him say, “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 on the last day” (John 6:40). Praying for the souls in purgatory unites us with them is a beautiful way as we assist them on their way to heaven. More than that, we are reminded of the eternal life that we will share with them in the presence of God – if we embrace the Divine will and grace, and return and share His love day by day. 

Topics: homily helps

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