Today we commemorate those who have gone before us in faith. Although we on earth cannot know whether our loved ones have been found worthy of the joy of Heaven, we hope and pray that this will be the case. It is our belief that each worthy soul will be perfected by purgation (yes, we are talking about Purgatory) which is a purification that we undertake in order to cleanse us of whatever remains in us that is unpleasing to God.
The souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
they shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the LORD shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.
There are two plenary indulgences associated with All Souls Day, one for visiting a church and another for visiting a cemetery. The indulgence gained is not for our own sake, but for the benefit of those souls needing purification.
Pray the following prayer for your loved ones that have died.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.