November Traditions

In November, Catholics around the world remember, and pray for, the poor souls who have died and are suffering in Purgatory. The Institute of Christ the King issued this brief directive last year:

Visit a cemetery this week!

From November 1-8, a plenary indulgence, applicable to the souls in Purgatory, may be obtained each day by visiting a cemetery (Coemeterii visitatio) and praying, even if only mentally, for the departed. The indulgence is plenary each day from the 1st to the 8th of November; on other days of the year it is partial.

This month, we might visit our Catholic cemeteries to pray for the dead, our Catholic ancestors. We might use the following prayer, which is attributed to St. Gertrude, on our cemetery visits (details of this prayer in link below*):

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood Of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the Universal Church, those in my own home and within my own family. Amen.

A short poem by G.K. Chesterton is fitting for this month; it is called The Skeleton. Thinking of the smiling face of our skeletons, Chesterton wrote this, a very Christian death-themed poem (Christian in that we know that Christ has conquered death, happily so):

Chattering finch and water-fly
Are not merrier than I;
Here among the flowers I lie
Laughing everlastingly.
No; I may not tell the best;
Surely, friends, I might have guessed
Death was but the good King’s jest,
It was hid so carefully.

Those few lines give us much to think about it!

But for now, I must conclude with the traditional Catholic prayer for our deceased: Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.  May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.  Amen.*

May you have a good day.


~Image: Our Lady of Sorrows, Hopewell Township, PA., 2020 by SCF.