The month of November begins with All Saints’ Day on November 1st. On that day we celebrate those who have reached their true homeland in Heaven and invoke their intercession for those of us now on life’s journey. They include the Canonized Saints and the Unknown Saints. The tradition of reciting the Litany of the Saints on that day recalls for us the existence of that worldwide group. A few days later on November 6th we celebrate the Feast of all the Saints of Ireland, which again includes the Unknown Saints, many of whom may be our ancestors, who were once like us striving here on earth but have now reached their final goal.
On November 2nd All Souls’ Day marks the beginning of this special time of year when we as families remember our loved ones, who have died in recent times and over the years. We also remember neighbours and friends, those who have touched our lives, and the forgotten souls. In this group we especially remember the souls in Purgatory who are awaiting release from their sufferings before their entry to join the Blessed in Heaven. They cannot help themselves but are dependent on our prayers and sacrifices for them.
When we recite the Creed we express our belief in the Communion of Saints, which is the Spiritual Connection between the 3 groups – The Blessed in Heaven, the Faithful on Earth, and the Souls in Purgatory. The Mass is the highest form of prayer in the Church and the most effective prayer that could be said on behalf of those, who have gone before us. Praying for the dead is one of the ‘Spiritual Works of Mercy’.
Our remembering this November is especially poignant across the island of Ireland. It began on 1st November with a Prayer Service at 3 pm in every Church led by the Bishops and Priests to remember the dead and bereaved. During the Covid 19 Pandemic, the virus has taken the lives of mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
Out of the 23 Volumes of the Boherlahan-Dualla Historical Journal, 14 articles are devoted to recording the final resting places of those who are buried in our cemeteries, and old graveyards no longer in use. Reading through the pages of “Ardmayle: A Resting Place full of Memories” and “Our Lady’s Cemetery, Dualla” we are again given the opportunity of remembering our departed.
The following prayer was given by Our Lord to St. Gertrude the Great to release 1,000 Souls from Purgatory every time it is said:
“Eternal Father, I offer thee the most precious blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for those in the Universal Church, those in my own home and within my own family. Amen.”