In the beginning of November, the Church, after commemorating the Feast of All Saints, commemorates the Feast of All Souls Day. On the Feast of All Saints, we commemorate the Church Triumphant, who are all the saints in heaven. Not only does this include all those canonised saints, but all the souls who are in heaven who have no feast day of their own. We do this to thank God for the graces he gives to all the elect, to excite ourselves to imitate their virtues, to implore their intercession, and to make up for any lack on our part in honouring God in his saints on their particular feast days. All Saints this year was celebrated at the Oratory with a Low Mass in the morning, and a Solemn English Mass in the evening.
Having offered praise for all the Saints in heaven, the Church turns on All Souls Day, to pray for the Church Suffering, that is, all the faithful departed in Purgatory. Purgatory is that middle state where souls, having died in friendship with God but not yet perfect, undergo temporal punishment owed for their forgiven sins and are made free from this stain of sin so they may enter heaven. On this day we strive to help all those who still groan in purgatory by our prayers, which can help hasten their entrance into heaven. We must remember, that on entering heaven, they will certainly not forget to pray for those who prayed for them.
During this month of November let us remember to pray for the dead in a special way. November Mass Offering envelopes are available at Mary Immaculate and St John Fisher and can be placed into the weekend collections. Your friends, relatives, and benefactors will be remembered in Masses for Holy Souls throughout the coming year.