November - Month of the Holy Souls in Purgatory - The Catholic Church dedicates the entire month of November to praying in a special way for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. The Holy Souls (also called the Faithful Departed) are members of the Church who await the purification of their souls before joining the saints in heaven for all eternity. Specifically, they are called the Church Suffering (the saints in heaven are the Church Triumphant, and the saints on earth are the Church Militant ).The poor souls in purgatory cannot pray for themselves or do anything to hasten their entrance into heaven, but we can pray for them as an act of charity.The feast of the Holy Souls is November 2nd.
A good article by Jim Behan, our 6th grade religious education teacher to his students:
Starting November 1st, there is a great opportunity to create long lasting family memory. But before we go into that, let's start you parents off with a great, brief video. It is all good, but the second half has a true and thought provoking ghost story. https://www.goodstream
November starts off very strong with the sobering mysteries of the life after this one, and a special affection our deceased loved ones.
- November 1st through the 8th, the Church offers a special grace calledPlenary Indulgence. During this window of time, this indulgence is transferable to any single soul each of your family members might name, to grant them complete remission of all temporal punishment. Yes. This gets them completely out of Purgatory, and into Heaven. Forever.
The conditions of a Plenary Indulgence are as follows:
- Intend to receive an indulgence (easy-peasy).
- Go to Confession** with firm purpose of amendment (achievable)
- Receive the Eucharist** in a state of grace. (made much easier by going to Mass soon after Confession)
- Prayers for the intentions of the Pope (also easy-peasy, but sometimes easy to forget)
- Pray inside a cemetery each day from Nov 1-8, even if only mentally and for a moment.
** There is even a 20 day grace period from the date(s) of indulgences for the reception of Confession and Eucharist!
If this is not possible to do every day, the soul will benefit from receiving a Partial Indulgence, which can lop huge percentages of time and suffering for a named soul in Purgatory, and them bring tremendous, tremendous relief. This does not have to be a cemetery where you have a loved one. It can really be any cemetery.
Bringing your children to a cemetery at an earlier age - apart from the time of an immediate loss like a funeral - can benefit their development, their formation, their future decision making, their 'purposefulness', and their faith in many profound ways. But as parents, they would need you to be part of this experience - to teach them respect, to teach them that these are holy grounds, to walk thoughtfully, to speak of memories with them, and to pray together as a family. Your children are at an age where they cannot drive themselves, and would benefit from your presence as parents in many ways as well. Indeed, I believe you can even drive through most all of your Catholic cemeteries. Perhaps even consider visiting some of the smaller under-visited Catholic cemeteries or even the rural and city cemeteries. Visit here to learn of more indulgences and prayers you can offer during this season. https://onepeterfive.
Not only would this create a good and lasting memory for your children, but it may end up benefiting our own souls in the future as well! I might recommend having your family watch the video above together, and then tell them what you're thinking of doing as a family. I think it will wake up their youthful excitement about the idea.