Praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory
Have you lost a loved one who passed away? Prayers for souls in purgatory can help them! While we can derive great comfort from the hope that our loved ones are enjoying Eternal Life with God, it never hurts to pray for their souls in any case. In purgatory, the souls of many of those who have died in God’s grace undergo purification so they may enter heaven.
The Prayer of St. Gertrude, below, is one of the most famous of the prayers for souls in purgatory. St. Gertrude the Great was a Benedictine nun who lived in the 13th century. According to tradition, our Lord promised her 1000 souls would be released from purgatory each time it is said devoutly.
“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 family. Amen.”
Mass Intentions for the Holy Souls in Purgatory
The offering of Mass for the repose of the soul of a departed loved one is linked with our belief in Purgatory. We believe that if a person has died believing in God but with venial sins and the hurt caused by sin, then God in His divine love and mercy will first purify the soul. After this purification has been completed, the soul will have the holiness and purity needed to share in the beatific vision in heaven. Therefore, just as we pray for each other and share each other’s burdens now, the faithful on earth can offer prayers and sacrifices to help the departed souls undergoing purification, and no better prayer could be offered than that of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
The Holy Mass transcends time and space, uniting the faithful in heaven, on earth, and in purgatory into a Holy Communion. Therefore, the offering of Mass and other prayers or sacrifices for the intentions of the faithful departed are good and holy acts. The practice of offering a Mass for a departed loved one is not new. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “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” (No. 1032).
If you would like to offer a Mass for a departed loved one, you may contact the parish office for assistance.