Pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory
“All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.
The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.
“This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, mentioned in Sacred Scripture… From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God. The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead…” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1030-1032)
We on earth have the duty and privilege of praying for the souls of loved ones who have gone before us—those in Purgatory cannot pray for themselves (that’s why they are traditionally called “poor souls”), and need our prayers.
Here are a few things you can do for the poor souls in Purgatory.
Pray the Eternal Rest prayer:
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.
And let the perpetual light shine upon them.
And may the souls of all the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Say this prayer as you pass a cemetery, or when you visit the graves of your departed loved ones. This prayer carries a partial indulgence applicable to the poor souls.
Repent and go to confession: Confessing your own sins makes your prayers more effective.
Do acts of penitence: make small acts of self-denial and offer these penances up for the poor souls.
Pray before the Blessed Sacrament to make an act of reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for those in purgatory.
Offer the mass you attend for the poor souls and have Masses said for your departed loved ones, especially on the anniversary of their death.
Ask the saints in heaven to pray for you and those you love, and trust that those you have prayed for are praying for you when they attain heaven.
Know that I offer the private masses I say on Friday and Saturday this month for the holy souls in purgatory.