Catholic Culture: Remembering All Souls’ Day

This year All Souls’ Day has a heightened presences in our household: my father-in-law passed away this summer and we want to make sure to especially mark his passing this year. We’ve never really celebrated All Souls’ Day much besides remembering the dead but my husband and I are trying to incorporate catholic culture into our daily lives more.

So here are some ideas for marking All Souls’ Day this year:

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Make Souls Cakes

I had never made these before but they turned out really well; I grabbed the recipe from The Simple Things. Took a while to put together, but hey that’s what holiday baking is all about right!?

All Souls' Day, Ferdinand Georg Waldmuller, 1839
All Souls’ Day, Ferdinand Georg Waldmuller, 1839 from the National Gallery of Art in Berlin, Germany

Read more on the blog Becoming Italian Word by Word: Remembering the Dead in the Italian Language

The Book of the Dead

Add your loved one’s name(s) to the Book of the Dead that is put on display to commemorate and pray for all the fallen souls of the past year. Most churches have their book available a few weeks before All Souls’ Day after or before Mass.

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This photo is from our trip to Salem.

Visit a Cemetery

Most people think cemeteries are creepy places but I find them quite beautiful and calming. They just reinforce the march of time and a connection to the past. All Souls’ Day is a great opportunity to visit a cemetery and pray for the dead there. It doesn’t matter that you don’t know the people buried, even strangers can use prayers!

This is a great prayer to recite on All Souls’:

“Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord. And let the perpetual light shine upon them. And may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.”

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Light Votive Candles

Lighting candles in your home is a great way to remember the individuals you personally miss. I love candles for the glow they give in the darkness. This helps me to think of the dead in purgatory as they move on towards the light of heaven.  Lighting a candle and saying the Eternal Rest prayer above is a great way to connect to the loved ones you may be missing at this time of year.

JMF

How do you remember the dead during All Souls’ Day?


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