SOLEMNITY OF ALL SOULS: NOVEMBER 2

All Souls Day is a solemn feast in the Catholic church commemorating all of those who have died and now are in Purgatory, being cleansed of their venial sins and the temporal punishments for the mortal sins that they had confessed and atoning before entering fully into Heaven.

There is a special plenary indulgence that can be gained for the souls in Purgatory on All Souls Day. A plenary indulgence removes all temporal punishment for sin--and so, in effect, releases a soul from Purgatory. To gain this indulgence, one must visit a church, recite one Our Father and the Creed, receive Communion, and pray one additional Our Father and one Hail Mary for the intentions of the Holy Father. The final requirement is to take part in the Sacrament of Confession, which can be done up to seven days before or afterwards. Since most Catholic parishes offer Confession on Saturday, one can go to Confession on a Saturday, and then fulfill the rest of the requirements on All Souls Day itself.

The Prayer of St. Gertrude 
(Our Lord promised her that 1000 souls would be released from purgatory each time it is said devoutly)

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.

Catholic Collect from the Mass for the Dead

Merciful Father,
hear our prayer and console us.
As we renew our faith in Your Son,
whom You raised from the dead,
strengthen our hope
that all our departed brothers and sisters
will share in His resurrection,
who lives and reigns
with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen

Requiem Aeternam

Eternal Rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace. Amen.

In Latin:
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Requiescant in pace. Amen.

Benedictine Collect for All Souls Day

We suppliants, O Lord,
pour forth our prayers for the souls of Thy servants and handmaids,
that Thou wouldst mercifully pardon whatsoever they have committed
through human frailty and graciously bring their sufferings to an end.
Through Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
From the Benedictine Diurnal

Invocation for the Souls in Purgatory

My God, bestow Thy blessings and Thy mercies on all persons
and on those souls in Purgatory
for whom I am in charity, gratitude, or friendship bound
and have the desire to pray. Amen.

Prayer for Departed Parents

O God, who has commanded us to honor our father and mother:
in your mercy have pity on the souls of my father and mother
and forgive them their trespasses;
and make me to see them again in the joy of everlasting brightness. Amen.
From the Roman Missal

Prayer for a Departed Man

Incline Thine ear, O Lord, unto our prayers,
wherein we humbly pray Thee to show Thy mercy
upon the soul of Thy servant [name],
whom Thou hast commanded to pass out of this world,
that Thou wouldst place him in the region of peace and light,
and bid him be a partaker with Thy Saints.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
From the Roman Missal

Prayer for a Departed Woman

We beseech Thee, O Lord, according to Thy loving-kindness,
have mercy upon the soul of Thy handmaiden [name],
and now that she is set free from the defilements of this mortal flesh,
restore her to her heritage of everlasting salvation.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
From the Roman Missal

Prayer to Our Suffering Savior for the Holy Souls in Purgatory

O most sweet Jesus,
through the bloody sweat
which Thou didst suffer
in the Garden of Gethsemane,
have mercy on these Blessed Souls.
Have mercy on them.
R. Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus,
through the pains
which Thou didst suffer
during Thy most cruel scourging,
have mercy on them.
R. Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus,
through the pains
which Thou didst suffer
in Thy most painful crowning with thorns,
have mercy on them.
R. Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus,
through the pains
which Thou didst suffer
in carrying Thy cross to Calvary,
have mercy on them.
R. Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus,
through the pains
which Thou didst suffer
during Thy most cruel Crucifixion,
have mercy on them.
R. Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus,
through the pains
which Thou didst suffer
in Thy most bitter agony on the Cross,
have mercy on them.
R. Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus,
through the immense pain
which Thou didst suffer
in breathing forth Thy Blessed Soul,
have mercy on them.
R. Have mercy on them, O Lord.

(Recommend yourself to the Souls in Purgatory and mention your intentions here)

Blessed Souls,
I have prayed for thee;
I entreat thee, who are so dear to God,
and who are secure of never losing Him,
to pray for me a miserable sinner,
who is in danger of being damned,
and of losing God forever. Amen.
St. Alphonsus Liguori (1697-1787), from his Novena for the Holy Souls in Purgatory

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