The month of November begins with the special remembrance of the Holy Souls who were attached to our families and called upon to Eternal rest. Most of the Catholics around the world visit the cemetery on the 2nd of November to pay homage to their departed loved ones with the mist at dawn. Catholics are involved in this customary act with the liturgical guidance provided. Throughout the month of November, most of us are involved with several liturgical acts in remembrance of the departed souls. Generally, South East Asian devotees offer alms to the less privileged communities in their localities in the belief of generating sufficient merits for the departed soul to receive the gift of Heaven. These devotees solemnly believe that most of the souls spend a considerable amount of time at the purgatory before proceeding to Heaven or hell. Hence, the most powerful prayers and alms by the loved ones are needed in a multitude for the departed souls to be blessed enough to obtain infinite happiness at heaven.
Prayer is the most promising conversation we have with God. It is an act of love that connects us with anyone anywhere in and out of this world. As we deeply reminisce the memories of the departed souls of our families, a feeling of void occupies our hearts as their physical presence has already faded away from our lives. However, prayer is one of the most powerful acts that continue the everlasting spiritual connection with our departed loved ones, as death is only an end of the bodily structure and not of the soul. Our prayers reach the departed souls through God as we express our feelings of love and sorrow of their absence. They in return respond to us through God again in the greatest form of blessings. The prayers curated from the bottom of our hearts, inculcating the combination of low and high feelings are adequately potent to connect with our beloveds, wherever they are, in either form. Prayers could be pre-structured or impromptu. What God value the most are the impromptu prayers that derive from the deepest ends of our hearts. However, during the month of November, it is important to recite pre-structured prayers specifically for souls suffering in purgatory.
Acts of Charity
Generally, mankind possesses humane qualities that deliver blessings to another person’s life, especially for less privileged individuals. The corporal works of mercy such as feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked and giving water to the thirsty are some of the key acts of charity we were taught since early childhood catechism times. Human beings are involved with various acts of charity over and beyond the specified set of activities. During the Holy Souls month, we could offer these acts to our departed souls, being offered as a sacrifice that delivers greater merits to souls. As mentioned above, acts of almsgiving are dominant features that generate reverberating positive consequences off charitable work.
Visit a cemetery to pray
Cemeteries are one of the least visited places by devotees due to the loneliness and sympathetic impressions attached to the place. However, it is a dwelling place of happiness as it symbolizes the instance where the departed souls are taken towards eternal rest and hence they remain with God in utmost happiness. The beautify of visiting a cemetery to pray for the deceased in the month of Holy Souls is that it reassures your thoughts and prayers are still with your loved one.
Offering a mass
Requesting a Mass to be dedicated to a departed soul has direct jubilation in heaven as the soul is being enlightened with many prayers from the loved ones on earth. As the communion is offered, certain devotees adamantly believe that they participate in the mass overlooking us from heaven. Especially for the souls that are suffering in the purgatory, prayers of their loved ones here on earth massively support to obtain a providence to be called upon to heaven. These prayers are of massive benefit especially for souls who could not live a life full of merits.
Make and share their favourite food
One of the most beautiful and benevolent ways to show respect and love to your departed members of the family are cooking their favorite meal/dishes and sharing it with a less privileged person specifically. This act of kindness provides greater peace and contentment for us and for the departed souls. Remembering them especially during our family meals retrospect the beautiful memories they created whilst they were amongst us physically. Sharing of food is a common sign in Catholicism as Jesus reinstated the act by breaking bread and sharing wine symbolizing his unfailing sacrifice for all sinners. Hence, sharing a meal with another has a deepened connection attached to brotherhood and love.
The beauty of dedicating acts of kindness to a departed soul is the humble connection we reciprocate for the eternal blessings they have rerouted towards us from God by their everlasting dwelling in Heaven. Moreover, we Catholics believe that death is the beginning of a beautiful eternal life closely with God above, hence remembering the departed souls who are always in our heavy hearts is a beautiful path to converse with our Lord. In the month dedicated for the Holy Souls, let us reflect and reminisce the delightful memories we had with them, whilst being thankful to God for the gift of their life and for calling them upon to eternal rest. Catholics firmly believe that God picks the most beautiful flowers from his garden first, hence the departed souls were the most beautiful flowers who were blessed over and above us to be the first to reside in God’s dwelling place. As we request them to pray to God on behalf of us from Heaven, we too must pray for their eternal happiness expressing our deepened love towards them through small yet powerful liturgical and charitable activities.