Beginning with November 2nd (All Souls Day) and continuing throughout the month of November Catholics everywhere focus their attention on praying for the dead. The idea is that in order to go directly to Heaven, we have to achieved perfect love in this life. For those who have not, if they reject God, they go straight to Hell, but if they want to be with Him, they can begin to undergo the final process of purification so that they can love and receive the love of God properly in Heaven. And so, we pray for the dead to help them through their ‘change of heart’.
In the new popular movie “Gravity” starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney perhaps the most striking scene points to this precise reality. Floating through space Dr. Ryan Stone (Bullock) comes to the terrible realization that ‘this is it’, that she will not be rescued and that she will die in space. What’s interesting to see is what consumes her thoughts at this particular moment as she considers the end of her life. For her, the most important thing is … to know that others will pray for her! Consider what she says:
“No one will mourn for me. No one will pray for my soul. Will you mourn for me? Will you pray for me? I mean I’d pray for myself, but I’ve never prayed—nobody ever taught me how.”
This is something to consider. Maybe an important thing for those who are dying is to know that they will be mourned and that others will pray for them when they are gone.
During this month of November, pray for the dead. Pray for those who have died from your own family. And say a prayer for those who have no one to pray for them.
Prayer for the Dead
Eternal rest, grant unto him/her O Lord
and let perpetual light shine upon him/her.
May s/he rest in peace. Amen.
May his/her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Requiem Aeternam dona eis, Domine
R. et lux perpetua luceat eis:
Requiescant in pace. R. Amen.