Eternal Rest: Prayers for All Souls


Today is the feast of All Souls Day. Today the Catholic Church remembers all of those who have died and are now in Purgatory, being cleansed of their sins before they can enter Heaven.

Today is a good reminder to pray for all our family and friends who have passed away. It is through our prayers that we help the faithful departed to be released from Purgatory.

There is a special indulgence prayer attached to All Souls Day, for visiting a church or for visiting a cemetery. (The plenary indulgence for visiting a cemetery can also be obtained every day from November 1-8, and, as a partial indulgence, on any day of the year.)

This morning I went to visit the grave of my cousin who died last year at the age of 22. His death was very sudden and I can’t tell you the amount of sadness that we all felt at such a young death.

As I stood over his grave praying for his soul I was flooded with grief and guilt. I talked to my cousin and told him that I was sorry for the pain he felt during his life, I was sorry that I wasn’t there for him more often and that I miss him every day.

Our God is no stranger to these emotions. He felt sadness, especially when he grieved the death of his friend Lazarus. He knows the pain in our hearts: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21-23).

I ask the same questions, “Lord, why did you let him die? What good can come of such sadness?”

In the silence, I hear a quiet voice tell me: “Your brother will rise.”

I can’t imagine dealing with this grief without God and without family. But it is tragedies like this that make us cling to God and his mercy.

I share this story to help others who may be going through the same pain and to remind you that God is present and carrying the cross with you. Our family has been praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet for my cousin’s soul. I’ve been praying it every day and it brings me such consolation.

Today I encourage you to pray for all the faithful departed and if you can, visit a cemetery and pray for the Holy Father’s intentions. If you aren’t able to make a visit, then here is a simple prayer that you can offer for the Holy Souls:

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.



  1. Debra-1235383 August 13, 2015 Reply

    Thank you for the post. My prayers for the Holy souls of the departed. Especially for my brother who died of cebral palsy at the age of 31 in November of 2012. Rest in peace, Earl, through our Lord Jesus.

  2. Patrick-583270 November 5, 2012 Reply

    Dear Lord,

    May Dad had just past away this Sept. 2012 in my country Philippines, but i was not
    able to attend his funeral because i haven’t have the documents yet to travel back home.
    I’m so sad i was not able to see him for the last time and i pray to God to pls. take
    care of my Dad in Heavens, in Gods name i pray. I love u Jesus. Have mercy to all the souls
    who past away.

  3. Nigel-748943 November 3, 2012 Reply

    I possess immense devotion to the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
    The Holy Souls in Purgatory (Church Suffering) are experiencing the pain of waiting to become members of the Church Triumphant (Heaven).
    The Holy Souls are unable to pray for themselves. Instead, they depend on the Masses, prayers, and good works of us who are living on earth (Church Militant).
    Bishops and priests should allow frequent Masses to be celebrated, and frequent prayers to be recited, specifically for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory!!!
    Could you good Bishops and priests allow frequent devotion to the Holy Souls to be practiced in the Roman Catholic Church worldwide?
    THANK YOU!!!

    Nigel D’Cruz.
    Perth, Western Australia.

    • Joseph-691450 November 4, 2012 Reply

      Today I know that Mom and Dad have passed through Purgatory and are now together in Heaven. I know they are traveling. in a motor home, throughout Heaven with their friends they traveled with for years. It’s been a number of years sinced they passed, but I still miss them terribly.

  4. Brenda-74660 November 3, 2012 Reply

    Very Nice Post…thank you for sharing.

  5. Shawn-913477 November 2, 2012 Reply

    Thank you for this post.

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