In the Catholic Church the month of November begins with the Solemnity of All Saints’ (1st November), followed by the ‘Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed – All Souls’ Day’ on the 2nd November. Together these days mark the start of a ‘Month of the Holy Souls’, (commonly known as the ‘month of the dead’) which ends either at the end of November, or the start of the season of Advent, depending on which comes first each year.
As this article explains, we as Christians have hope in the resurrection and therefore praying for those who have died is an important part of our faith:
All human civilizations have their own careful prescriptions regarding the dead — how to honour or pacify them, how to be kept apart from their physical corruption. For Christians, though, extending charity beyond the grave is an imitation of Christ’s mercy, which reached out to us even when we were spiritually dead.
Burying the dead is one of the seven corporal works of mercy, but it is also a sign of hope in Christ’s promise. The bodies of the dead are not discarded vessels, but integral parts of a human being that will be reunited on the last day. The separation is temporary, and they are still worthy of our respect and our love.
At this time during the pandemic it seems as important as ever to focus on this season of remembrance and prayer for those who have died.
Each week during November we have events or resources to help you to pray and reflect on the themes of this special month. Click the links below to go to these pages!
Holiness – Tues 2nd November
To mark the first week of this special month, the OLoL Chaplains have prepared a live streamed Liturgy which will take place at 9:30am on Tuesday 2nd November – All Souls’ Day. The 15 minute Liturgy will also invite you to take part in some follow up activities after the Liturgy and these will take place in your very own classroom!
The start of this special month will be marked by a 20 minute live streamed Liturgy at 10:30am on Tuesday 2nd November to mark All Souls’ Day. This will be followed by 30 minutes of follow up activities which will take place immediately after the Liturgy.
Throughout the month of November your usual daily Prayer Resources will reflect upon the Month of the Holy Souls. Resources for each of our 4 secondary schools can be found by clicking on the name of your school below:
A selection of prayers created by CAFOD for use throughout the Month of the Holy Souls.
These resources, created by the Diocesan Director of Adult Formation for Mission, Joe Hopkins, have been designed to support Parishes but there are many useful resources including an Order of Service for a Remembrance Liturgy that can be led by Lay people, hymn suggestions and scripture suggestions too.