In the Catholic Church, November is dedicated to the Holy Souls. So I thought I\’d share a few simple and meaningful activities you can do with your kids.
Before I talk about what we can do for the souls in purgatory, I want to talk about who these souls are and why it\’s important for us to help them.
Purgatory is filled with the souls of people who have died with God\’s Grace on them but they are not yet holy (aka: sanctified) enough to enter into Heaven. They are in a middle spot between heaven and hell. In Purgatory these souls are meant to be purified so they can enter into eternal life in heaven. Our prayers and good works are the key that they need to enter heaven.
There are countless ways to help the souls through prayer and sacrifice. I\’m going to share just a few that you can do with your kids so they can see how they can help, too:
1. Take a trip to the cemetery to pray:
Take a trip to your parish cemetery to pray a Rosary. This is a great visual reminder of who we are praying for. It helps to make an imprint in a child\’s head and it makes the reality of who they are praying for more real. This trip can be made at anytime, but we like to go on the feast of All Souls (Nov. 2). Feel free to go several times during the month of November – remember the entire month is dedicated to the Holy Souls. (Not that you can\’t pray for them after November – they ALWAYS need prayer.)
Don\’t let bad or cold weather bother you. If you plan to go an a specific day and it ends-up being cold or rainy, go anyway. You can pray in your vehicle while you are parked at the cemetery. Its better to go and stay in the car than not go at all. Also, going on an extra cool and windy day is an extra special sacrifice! 🙂
2. Take time each day to say an extra prayer:
Make a list of your family and friends who have died and be sure to add \”all the other souls in purgatory\” or \”for the least prayed for souls\” to your list. Then each night, say an extra prayer for them.
I highly recommend that you pray the St. Gertrude prayer. Our Lord told St. Gertrude that this prayer would release 1000 souls from purgatory each time it is said. The prayer was extended to include living sinners as well.
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 sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.
3. Light a candle in November for the Holy Souls:
Take a few minutes after Mass to light a candle for the Holy Souls. You can do this each weekend during November. You can also decorate around a special candle at home or school for the souls. Add some pictures of your deceased relatives and friends around it. If you don\’t have pictures, just make a list to set beside your candle.
4. Offer it up!
Don\’t forget to offer up your bad days, your difficult events, or your painful or uncomfortable times. These may be sad times, but you can use these sad times for good. The souls in purgatory need our help. If you offer these bad things as a prayerful sacrifice to Jesus, He can turn them into good. So remember to \”offer it up.\” each time you have something bad to deal with.
You can also go to Mass and offer that as a sacrifice for these souls. The Mass is the most perfect prayer and a wonderful way to help the souls in purgatory! So make a special trip to Mass for these souls.
5. Give it up!
Another way to sacrifice is to give up something you love. For example, don\’t take a desert and offer that up as a sacrifice for the souls in purgatory. Or give up your seat for someone. Let your brother or sister have your turn to pick a movie. These are just a few ways you can give something up to help the souls in purgatory.
**Do to others as you would what want them to do for you.**
I\’m sure that if you were in purgatory you would want the help of those who could help you, so please try to help these poor souls who need your help so desperately!
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