Tuesday, November 02, 2021

All Souls: Commemoration of all the faithful departed - ITREALMS

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Today, 2nd November is All Souls. The commemoration is an expression of the doctrine of saints. As traditionally explained, the doctrine means each of the three divisions of the Church - the Church Triumphant (all the saints in heaven), the Church Militant (all those still alive on earth) & the Church Suffering (all the souls in purgatory) can help others by their merits & prayers.
On a day like this, we commemorate all those who have gone before us for their eternal reward, those who have died, marked with the sign of faith. We already commemorate the dead at every single period, as part of the Eucharistic prayer, & will hear these words again today.

We recognize that they are part of the mystical body in the Church.

But, today we reflect in a special way, not so much on the dead, but for those waiting for their reward at this moment.

Death is painful & can awaken feelings that are powerful, changing & compelling. The experience of death hurts us as it invites the person to imagine the afterline, the longing to be with the divine & to enter into a new experience. 

On this day, we are faced with the mystery of death & we are reminded of the promise of resurrection & eternal life. Our respect for the dead specifies our respect for all human life which comes from God.

The commemoration of All Souls is a reminder that they are members of the Communion of Saints, have been saved & will one day be in heaven. The scripture tells us that God is the final end of our lives & that death does not sever the bonds of faith & love that we have forged with others on earth. They reveal that each of us is made for eternity & for Communion.

There has always been something of a somber quality about All Souls Day. Prayers for the dead seems to have this sobering note to it. It reminds us of our mortality, that the life of each of us is limited in time & that we need to be ready to meet the Lord. Today is indeed a day of solidarity.

On a day like this, let us pray in hope & confidence for one another & for the dead. May each of us not only receive Communion but also live in Communion with Christ & with one another everyday of our lives.

We pray to Mary our Mother that through her intercession, may all Christians receive eternal life which is in her Son, & may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace.

Let us pray: Listen kindly to our prayers, O Lord, & 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.

*Contributed by Chris Uruakpa, Lagos.

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