Dear friends in Christ
November is the month in which we contemplate more keenly than we do at other times in the year, the realities of the Afterlife. The Solemnity of All Saints this Sunday moves inexorably into the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed on Monday: All Souls. As in previous years, we place the names of our departed loved-ones beneath the Altar so that they are especially taken-up into our prayers in the Mass and Offices during this month. Any offerings placed in the Holy Souls envelopes are used throughout the year for the Holy Souls Masses. Implicit in the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed is the doctrine of the purification of sin: Purgatory. Catholic Faith explains that our charity and prayer for the Departed is the means of assisting them in their final journey towards Heaven. Any faults and sins committed during life and not atoned for here, can still be purified in the Afterlife. This is an expression of the mercy of God which extends beyond life on earth. None of us would wish to appear before God in a less-than-ready state, and Purgatory exists so that this is possible.
This lived and experienced mercy of God prepares us for the Jubilee Year of Mercy which will begin on 8th December. You will find a special edition of the Magnificat book available at the back of the church (priced five pounds). This is a very helpful resource for the Jubilee Year which contains many reflections, prayers and meditations to help us encounter the God who is full of mercy. May God bless you all!
Msgr Kevin Hale