02 November 2009

All Souls Day

2 November 2009. Today we celebrate All Souls Day, the day on which the Church commemorates the faithful departed. Those souls who have departed this world before us, without attaining full sanctification and moral perfection, can be aided on the journey from purgatory to heaven by our prayers and the sacrifice of the mass.

Officially, today is Commemoratio omnium Fidelium Defunctorum in Latin (literally translated as the Feast of All Souls, Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed). Clergy and religious today are obligated to say the Office of the Dead.

The commemoration of the faithful departed, like Solemnity of All Saints yesterday, has long been a fixture on the calendar for Western Christianity. The 2 November commemoration was first instituted by Saint Odilo of Cluny at his monestary of Cluny in 998 A.D. The decree ordaining 2 November as All Souls Day is printed in the Acta Sanctorum (Saec. VI, pt. i. p. 585). The custom of All Souls Day then spread through the entire Cluniac Order, at the time the largest and most widespread network of monasteries in Europe. From there, the tradition of All Souls Day was adopted by several dioceses in France and was adopted by Rome in the Fourteenth Century.

Today, and for the entirety of November especially, we pray for all the faithful departed--for their assistance in reaching heaven from purgatory, and for the intercession of the saints on behalf off the souls in purgatory and on our behalf as well.

I pray especially for:
our two miscarried children,
Dorothy, and

IMAGE: William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) - The Day of the Dead (1859) from Wikimedia Commons

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