October came and went and so did All Souls Day. Steven bought a memory candle at church for us to light here at home as a remembrance of our faithful departed, but the tall white beauty remained unlit until today.
Into the light
The phone rang twice during the noon hour: first, to prepare me for a call; forty minutes later, to deliver the news. At twelve-fifteen, mom passed into the light, no doubt joyfully reuniting with friends and loved ones who preceded her in death, especially her precious mother who, together with twin baby boys, died during childbirth when mom was barely nine.
Now, thanks to God’s master plan, mom’s life has begun anew peacefully, without suffering or pain, and— best of all— with God, his angels, and his saints.
November is a month for mourning, a month for joy.
The remembrance of our beloved dead brings tears to our eyes. Our faith in the resurrection makes us lift up our heads; it lets Christian joy intermingle with our sorrow….
Love is for all seasons. So is the prayerful remembrance of those we loved in life (Franciscan Mission Associates [FMA], B-17/08).
We must not bury the dead twice, beneath flowers and in our hearts, but keep them alive by our side with the things that they held dear and we still cherish. In the wonderful memory of their names, their special dates and remembrances, they shall remain alive in us and through us. Don’t only shed tears for them, but also remember them with your good works. Keep their memory bright with your love. We must bury the body, but extol their souls in brightness (FMA, B-11/06).
For a happy death… Lord Jesus, grant us the grace always to follow the example of the Holy Family so that, at the hour of our death, Mary, your loving mother, together with blessed Joseph may come with you to meet us and to escort us to the light, happiness, and peace of heaven where you live with the Father and the Holy Spirit. One God, forever and ever. Amen.
For all the faithful departed… God, creator and redeemer of all the faithful, grant to the souls of your servants and handmaids the forgiveness of all their sins. Through our devout prayers may they obtain the pardon which they have always desired. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Lord, hear our prayers. In your mercy bring us to your place of peace, and light the soul of your servant (name) whom you have summoned from this world. Call (name) to be numbered in the fellowship of your saints. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
For departed loved ones… O almighty God who, by the love which you have for men, have deigned to take our humanity; to live a life of hard work; to suffer a most cruel Passion; and, finally, to die on the Cross— I beg of you by the infinite merits purchased for us with your precious blood, look mercifully on the suffering which is endured by the holy souls in purgatory.
Accept, O merciful God, the prayers which I offer for them, and call them to the glory of heaven. I recommend to you the souls of my relatives, my friends, and my benefactors, and— in a special manner— those to whom I may have been an occasion of sin by my bad example.
Most holy Virgin, mother of mercy, comforter of the afflicted, intercede for those souls that, by your powerful intercession, they may be admitted to enjoy that kingdom which is prepared for them. Amen.
For one’s parents… Heavenly Father, we are called to honor our mother and father always, even after death. It is with a special love that I offer this heartfelt prayer for my parent’s (parents’) safe passage to heaven.
Humbly I ask you to watch over them with tenderness and care. In your mercy forgive their sins and welcome them into full communion with all the faithful in Christ. Grant that one day I will be so blessed as to see my parent(s) again in the radiance of eternal joy. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen (FMA B-36/2016).
For the souls in purgatory… O gentle heart of Jesus, ever present in the Blessed Sacrament, ever consumed with burning love for the poor captive souls in purgatory, have mercy on them.
Be not severe in your judgments, but let some drops of your precious blood fall upon the devouring flames.
And, merciful Savior, send your angels to conduct them to place of refreshment, light, and peace. Amen (From A treasury of prayers, The Leaflet Missal Company, n. d., p. 14).
Light and peace… Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Psalm 23… The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. In verdant pastures he gives me repose; beside restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul.
He guides me in right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil, for you are at my side with your rod and your staff that give me courage.
You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come.
Sympathy… God be with you in your sorrow through the night and day. May some blessing come tomorrow that will clear its cloud away. God is generous in his giving. Give him now the soul that’s fled. May he bless with strength the living. Rest eternally the dead.
Unending peace… O loving Father and Savior, send your angels to carry the soul of your servant from this earth to the heavenly place of eternal and everlasting life. Let family and friends who have passed before in faith be reunited in joy with the departed. Forgive any wrongs that have been committed and welcome this beloved spirit into the warm embrace of your unending peace. Amen.
The Jeremiah bookmark and the prayers for the faithful departed are from Fr. Primo at Franciscan Mission Associates, P.O. Box 598, Mount Vernon, NY 10551-0598; The Pieta Prayer Booklet is from the MLOR Corporation (1996; prayer, p. 56).
November 2, 2012
“Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them”
(St. John Chrysostom).
“All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1030)
September 4, 2013
“I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow… and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, declares the Lord”
“Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy” (John 16:20).
November 2, 2013
Lord, shine your everlasting light on all my departed loved ones. May they find rest in your loving arms. Thank you for giving everything so that we can live forever with you in heaven (the Word among us, p. 23).
May 31, 2014
“Our family chain is broken, and nothing seems the same; but as God calls us one by one the chain will link again” (Tranmer, 2009).
June 18, 2014
“God has concealed from us the day of our death, that we may spend all our days well” (St. Alphonsus Liguori).
July 9, 2014
Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows (Venerable Pope Paul VI).
November 2, 2014
“We have loved them during life; let us not abandon them until we have conducted them by our prayers into the house of the Lord” (St. Ambrose).
January 5, 2015
“A man must always be ready, for death comes when and where God wills it” (St. John Neumann).
February 2, 2015
Our lighted candle is a sign of the divine splendor of the one who comes to expel the dark shadows of evil and to make the whole universe radiant with the brilliance of his eternal light. Our candle also shows how bright our souls should be when we go to meet Christ (St. Sophronius).
August 7, 2015
“I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).
November 4, 2015
“If during life we have been kind to the suffering souls in purgatory, God will see that help be not denied to us after death” (St. Paul of the Cross).
February 10, 2016
You have given my days a very short span; my life is as nothing before you. All mortals are but a breath (Psalm 39:6).
November 1, 2016
Remember that you have only one soul; that you have only one death to die; that you have only one life, which is short and has to be lived by you alone; and there is only one Glory, which is eternal. If you do this, there will be many things about which you care nothing (St. Teresa of Ávila).
Links of interest… Bible gateway… Candles to light… Colbert, suffering & gratitude… Commending the soul to God … Companion in illness… Companions of St. Anthony (prayer booklet)… Death & dying… Eternal rest (prayer)… Family chain poem: broken chain (Ron Tranmer) / Consolatorio (blog) / memorial / prayer cards… For the faithful departed… Franciscan Mission Associates… Gift of a Christian death… Grief as spiritual purification / share / turned to joy… Grieving heart: books / quotes on healing / reflections… Healing fountain of grief… Holy souls, prayer, & healing… Intercession of saints… Joy in the midst of grief… Lessons from a monastery: Detachment… My soul feels lean (author / sorrow)… November: Walking with the Church in sorrow & joy… Prayers: book / for holy souls – the deceased – those in purgatory – when one fears death / meditations / more… Pursued by God… Resources for grieving… St. Joseph prayer for the dying… Ten ways to prepare for a holy death… Turn mourning into joy… “Win-Win:” Lessons on death in the context of faith…