Today is All Souls Day, a day when we commemorate all the faithful departed. While yesterday’s celebration of All Saints Day commemorated those souls in heaven, today’s feast day focuses on those souls who are still in purgatory, awaiting the Beatific Vision. While this is a day when we pray in a special way for our loved ones who have died, praying for the dead is an important aspect of our faith life that we should remember year-round.
As we pray for the dead today, some may be thinking of their own death, and the hope that their loved ones will pray and offer Masses for them after they have passed. But those whose family has fallen away from the Church, or those who are converts and have no family members who are Catholic may wonder how they can have Masses said for them if they can’t rely on their family to arrange that.
This was the issue that Fr. Richard Simon recently tackled on Father Simon Says™ when a listener called and said:
Unfortunately, none of my children are in the Church. And I’m thinking after I die they’ll never have Masses said. How can I arrange for that before I die?
“If you’ve got a good lawyer make it a codicil in your will. Get a lawyer and say, ‘on this condition they inherit, that they have regular Masses said for the repose of my soul.’ Or there are religious orders that will do that, monasteries and that sort of thing. That’s what I would do.
It might be a good thing to put it in your will, that they inherit on the condition that they have Masses said for you. It might make them think how important this was to you.
I will be praying for you Mary. And by the way, pray for your priests! They also don’t have children who will pray for them, so offer Masses for the priests who have blessed you.”
Listen to the conversation below: