The Commemoration of All the Faithfully Departed (All Souls’ Day)
I often think of my ancestors who walked this earth before my time and gave rise to me through their actions in the world. I feel gratitude for their time here, but I wonder if they were good, just, faithful, hopeful, and kind. Did they fulfill the call to faithfulness from our Lord and make it to heaven? And I pray for them the same way I hope they can pray for me.
The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. (Wisdom 3:1)
On All Souls Day, the Church gathers in a prayer of petition for the faithfully departed in purgatory. We pray to God for their souls, that by the glory of the Father, [they] too may live in the newness of life. (Romans 6:4)
We pray that God may forgive them their sins and welcome them to see the light of his face. For death was conquered by Jesus, we may be a triumphant Church with God for all time.
“If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him.” (Romans 6:8-9)
I once saw a painting depicting Christ’s triumph over death in the Eucharist, with heaven permeating the Church and all the souls and angels present sharing in the celebration, the banquet of our Lord. In the Eucharist, we truly are united, and both the Church and heaven rejoice for everyone who runs the good race and perseveres in goodness, justice, faith, hope, and kindness until our last day on earth. We are Christ’s, and we will not be lost if we do his will.
Let us pray:
Listen kindly to our prayers, O Lord, and as our faith in your Son, raised from the dead, is deepened, so may our hope of resurrection for your departed servants also find new strength. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Collect)