With November comes an onslaught of holiday preparations. (Don’t tell me there’s not. I’m in all sorts of denial, but I know better.)
But let’s not forget that November is dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
If the idea of explaining purgatory to your kids strikes fear in your heart, start with this video from Fr. Mike Schmitz, where he teaches the concept of purgatory in seven minutes. This is a great refresher and you may find that it’s perfect to share with older kids.
Most of us can nod along with the concept, but how do you put it in practice?
One idea I love, that can be done with things that I already have around the house, is to make a prayer box for the souls in purgatory. During November, you can make a point of pausing to pray together for the people you’ve included in your prayer box. Maybe it will be before dinner (or after!), maybe it will be before bed, maybe it will be at another time.
If you’re more crafty, why not make an All Souls candle? It can be as easy as getting a white pillar candle and writing names of your deceased loved ones on it. Lighting the candle before or during your prayer time can help focus your attention and remind everyone why you’re praying. This can also be an opportunity to point out, the next time you’re at Mass, where the candles are in your church.
There are other ways to benefit the souls in purgatory, such as praying at the cemetery and offering up our sufferings on their behalf. This may also get us past the stress we expect during the holidays and focused on the more eternal concerns of life.
For a collection of prayers (and a guide to praying for the Holy Souls), check out our free download, “How and Why to Pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.” It also includes a brief history of St. Gertrude.
Do you have a link or resource to share? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share it in a future issue!