O God, the Creater and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant to the souls of thy servants and handmaids departed, the remission of all their sins; that through pious supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired. Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen
Today is the feast day of All Souls. It is a day to remember those loved ones who have passed on before us. A day to share their stories with our children. A day to pray for them.
Before my conversion to Catholocism, praying for the dead was something that my Protestant family did not do. But people I knew would say "God rest his soul", "May he rest in peace" and things along those lines. To me, even as a young child, I thought these things sounded like a prayer. I never quite understood the double standard that was applied here. The "we say these things but never pray for anyone after their death."
I find comfort in knowing that my prayers may aid others on their way to heaven. And also in asking those who have stepped into the next world to pray for me.
The following is an excerpt from Fisheaters.com:
Today is a good day to not only remember the dead spiritually, but to tell your children about their ancestors. Bring out those old photo albums and family trees! Write down your family's stories for your children and grandchildren! Impress upon them the importance of their ancestors! Bring to their minds these words from Ecclesiasticus:
Ecclesiasticus 44:1-15 Let us now praise men of renown, and our fathers in their generation. The Lord hath wrought great glory through his magnificence from the beginning. Such as have borne rule in their dominions, men of great power, and endued with their wisdom, shewing forth in the prophets the dignity of prophets, And ruling over the present people, and by the strength of wisdom instructing the people in most holy words. Such as by their skill sought out musical tunes, and published canticles of the scriptures. Rich men in virtue, studying beautifulness: living at peace in their houses. All these have gained glory in their generations, and were praised in their days. They that were born of them have left a name behind them, that their praises might be related:
And there are some, of whom there is no memorial: who are perished, as if they had never been: and are become as if they had never been born, and their children with them. But these were men of mercy, whose godly deeds have not failed: Good things continue with their seed, Their posterity are a holy inheritance, and their seed hath stood in the covenants. And their children for their sakes remain for ever: their seed and their glory shall not be forsaken. Their bodies are buried in peace, and their name liveth unto generation and generation. Let the people shew forth their wisdom, and the Church declare their praise.
Celebrate your family, your history, your faith.