All Souls’ Day is not a time for reunions but for families to pray together – bishop

Published November 1, 2019, 4:17 PM

by Rica Arevalo

By Christina Hermoso

As the Roman Catholic Church marks the solemnity of All Souls’ Day on November 2, a Church leader urged families to regard the day “not as a time for family reunions but as a time for families to pray together.”

Bishop Ruperto Santos (CBCP / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Observing All Souls’ Day is not a day for a family reunion but a day for the family to pray together for their loved ones. Remembering their goodness, appreciating their sacrifices, ever grateful for what they left behind,” said Balanga Bishop Ruperto C. Santos.

“To make All Souls’ Day more meaningful, let us in our hearts, ask forgiveness from those we have wronged and grant the same to those who have wronged us. Let us vow to pray for both the living and dead not only on November 1 and 2, but all throughout our lives,” he added,

The head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People, likewise, reminded the faithful “that our life comes from God and it has an end.”

“On All Souls’ Day, we are also reminded that our life comes from God and has an end, and one day, we will face Him. As we live our lives, let us always do what is right and moral, what is good and fair so that we have so much to show to God, who will reward us to be with Him in Heaven our true home,” Santos said.

The bishop, likewise, reminded the public that today is the proper day to remember our faithful departed.

“Ironically, we go to the cemeteries and remember our faithful departed on Nov. 1, when on that day, we should remember all the saints. We offer flowers, we light candles, and we partake food but more importantly, we should pray more and offer holy masses for the dead, visit them more often not just on this day. We should remember and relive their good deeds,” Santos added.

Meanwhile, in Catholic churches today, three Requiem Masses (mass for the souls of the departed) will be offered for the holy souls in purgatory: One for the celebrant, one for the departed, and one for the Holy Father, Pope Francis. According to tradition, the Office of the Dead will be recited by the clergy as well as novena prayers for all those who have passed on.

The Church encourages the faithful to hear mass today and to pray the Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary, and the Glory Be repeatedly six times for the intentions of the pope in order to receive a plenary indulgence for a soul in purgatory.

Also known as the Feast of All Souls and in some countries, the Day of the Dead or Memorial Day, “The souls of the faithful which at death have not been cleansed from venial sins or have not fully atoned for mortal sins and therefore, have not attained the beatific vision in heaven, may be helped to do so by praying, alms-giving, and by the holy sacrifice of the mass offered in their memory.” Church officials said.

All Souls’ Day is an acknowledgment of human frailty. It reminds the faithful to live holy lives and of the need to pray and offer masses for the eternal repose of the souls of the departed

All Souls’ Day was first established by St. Odilo, abbot of Cluny, France during the 11th century and began to be widely celebrated during the 13th century.