Why the Dead Need Your Prayers

November is the Month of the Holy Souls and today is All Souls Day, a day on which we remember all the Holy Souls in Purgatory. It’s an especially important day to pray for our family, friends, and all those who have died.

Purgatory, for those unfamiliar with the term, is a temporary state after death where those who have been saved but are not ready to enter heaven go to have their souls purified and prepared for eternal life with God.

“What is the Biblical base for Purgatory? ‘Nothing unclean will enter the kingdom of God,’” said Fr. Joe D’Amico, priest of the Archdiocese of Newark and regular contributor to Morning Air® on Relevant Radio®. “There is a time and there is a place and there is a state where we need to be purified.”

As the Holy Souls are in the state of Purgatory, they need our prayers. “Our prayers help those in Purgatory; our prayers help everyone get to heaven. Which is why, for me, devotion to the Souls in Purgatory is a very powerful devotion,” said Fr. D’Amico.

In our Catholic culture today, fewer people are having proper funeral Masses when they die and fewer are having Masses offered for the dead. When our loved one dies, we cannot tell ourselves, ‘alright they’re in heaven now’, and move on with our lives. We do them a great disservice by assuming their place in eternity and neglecting to care for their souls.

Offering funeral Masses and Mass intentions for the dead is “one of the best ways for us to be united and connected with our loved ones who have gone before us and assure them and assist them in a place in the kingdom of heaven where we will all be united one day,” Fr. D’Amico explained.

During the Month of the Holy Souls, call your local parish to have Masses offered for your loved ones during the coming months. Pray each day for the repose of their souls. Consider visiting their gravesites to pray for them, and walk around to pray for each of the dead in the cemetery by name. Those in Purgatory need our prayers because they cannot pray for themselves.

Eternal Rest Prayer

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.

During this month of the Holy Souls, Relevant Radio will celebrate a Novena of Masses for the Holy Souls in Purgatory from November 16-24. If you would like us to remember your departed loved ones in our Mass intentions, send us their names at relevantradio.com/souls.


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Lindsey Kettner serves as a Digital Media Producer at Relevant Radio®. She is a wife, mother, and graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she studied journalism and advertising. She writes daily at relevantradio.com and on the free Relevant Radio mobile app.