We all want to believe that our deceased friends and loved ones are now happy and at peace with God in Heaven, and yet the Catholic Church teaches that: “All who die in God’s friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1030)
Since the 16th century, the Catholic Church has dedicated the entire month of November to commemorating all of her faithful children who have departed from this life, but have not yet attained the joys of heaven; the Holy Souls in purgatory are those who have died in the state of grace but are not yet free from all punishment due to their unforgiven venial sins and all other sins which are forgiven, but for which satisfaction is still to be made. They are certain of entering Heaven, but first they must suffer in Purgatory.
The Holy Souls cannot help themselves. For them, the night has come when no one can work (John 9:4). It is our great privilege, as brothers and sisters in Christ, to be able to shorten their time of separation from God by our prayers, good works, and especially, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Therefore, the Church has always taught us to pray for the Holy Souls in purgatory. Thus, I would like to recommend the following prayers to be said daily for the Holy Souls in Purgatory during the month of November:
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
FOR THE SOULS IN PURGATORY
O Lord, who are ever merciful and bounteous with your gifts, look down upon the suffering souls in purgatory. Remember not their offenses and negligences, but be mindful of your loving mercy, which is from all eternity. Cleanse them of their sins and fulfill their ardent desires that they may be made worthy to behold you face to face in your glory. May they soon be united with you and hear those blessed words which will call them to their heavenly home: “Come, blessed of My Father, take possession of the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be, and Eternal rest.