In the southern hemisphere we have blazing sunshine and roses out in profusion, but all the same we are coming to The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed which this year falls on a Sunday.
In the middle of the 11th century, St. Odilo, abbot of Cluny, France, decreed that all Cluniac monasteries offer special prayers and sing the Office for the Dead on November 2, the day after the feast of All Saints. The custom spread from Cluny and was finally adopted throughout the Roman Church.
The theological underpinning of the feast is the acknowledgment of human frailty. Since few people achieve perfection in this life but, rather, go to the grave still scarred with traces of sinfulness, some period of purification seems necessary before a soul comes face-to-face with God. The Council of Trent affirmed this purgatory state and insisted that the prayers of the living can speed the process of purification.
A special prayer this year for my old Latin teacher Miss TL who first lent me books on Catholic teachings and the lives of the saints. She died last month and is greatly missed.
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.
In Paradisum Deducant Te Angeli