Click here to download the All Souls’ Day Novena prayer guide
According to Catholic teaching, there are three states of the Church: the Church Militant, the Church Penitent, and the Church Triumphant. We are the Church Militant because we are still living our earthly life and are active in spiritual warfare on earth. The Church Penitent are those who in purgatory, who are being purified so as to be fit for entering heaven. The Church Triumphant are those who are already in heaven.
During All Souls’ Day, which is celebrated on November 2, we pray for the Church Penitent, for those in purgatory who are being purified, to lighten the burden of their purification and hasten their journey to heaven. While the Church has not formally stated that souls in purgatory are aware of us and can hear our petitions, it is traditionally thought that they are able to pray for us, but not for themselves. Therefore, we still ask for their intercession in this novena, trusting that even if the souls in purgatory are unable to hear our petitions, God will hear and answer us.
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About All Souls’ Day
The Bible states that “nothing impure can enter heaven” (Rev. 21:27). Because of our sinful nature, purification must take place at some point before we can enter heaven. The Church teaches us that this purification happens either on earth or in purgatory. The practice of praying for the dead as they go through this time of purification is a practice that goes back centuries, There is an example of it in 2 Maccabees: “Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be absolved from their sin” (2 Macc. 12:46).
Book of Remembrance
The Church dedicates the month of November for the commemoration of all the faithful departed. During this special time, we invite parishioners to submit the names of departed loved ones through this online form. The names will be added to our Book of Remembrance and will be remembered during Mass throughout the month of November.