All Souls Day… Pray for the Souls in Purgatory

All Souls Day… Pray for the Souls in Purgatory

Editor writes…

November, traditionally the Month of the Holy Souls, is the period of mourning, so to speak, as we remember, and pray especially for, our deceased relatives and friends who may be suffering in Purgatory.  Apart from the saints canonised using the Church’s traditional and highly rigorous process, Catholics have never assumed that anyone is in Heaven. Rather, we are encouraged to always pray for the dead believing that they may still be suffering the purifying pains of Purgatory.

Discuss relevant issues, find out how to gain indulgences for the Holy Souls and share your favourite prayers and hymns.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them,
may they rest in peace.  Amen.  

Comments (12)

  • Laura Reply

    I’ve just said the St Gertrude prayer and will continue to use it during this month of the Holy Souls.

    I thought I’d post this hymn – I haven’t heard it for years, it’s mournful and fitting for today’s feast, IMO.

    November 2, 2022 at 10:22 am
    • editor Reply

      Thanks for that hymn, Laura – it’s not one that I know, personally but it is certain a lament in keeping with today’s solemn remembrance of the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

      November 2, 2022 at 11:00 am
    • Fidelis Reply


      I like that – it’s beautiful, very touching.

      November 2, 2022 at 5:23 pm
  • Josephine Reply

    Praying for the souls in Purgatory today. Thanks for the St Gertrude prayer. I think I’m right in saying that she is the only female saint with “Great” in her title – St Gertrude the Great”.

    November 2, 2022 at 3:29 pm
    • Fidelis Reply


      That is also my understanding, St Gertrude the Great is the only female saint with “Great” in her title. Correct.

      November 2, 2022 at 5:23 pm
  • Margaret Mary Reply

    I tried to find one of my own old favourites among the hymns on YouTube but can’t find it – “They are waiting for our petitions”, a beautiful hymn for the Holy Souls.

    I also appreciate the St Gertrude Prayer.

    November 2, 2022 at 5:11 pm
    • editor Reply


      They are Waiting for our Petitions is one of my all-time favourites, as well. There just isn’t a video of it online. We were invited to record it this year – one of our some-time bloggers who is also very musical, unearthed the music and lyrics for us but we just have not had the time. Pity.

      November 2, 2022 at 11:12 pm
  • Fidelis Reply

    It’s not easy to find hymns for the Holy Soul online so I picked this one which is about being sorry for sins, which I think could be sung on behalf of the souls in Purgatory. It’s a favourite of mine.

    November 2, 2022 at 5:22 pm
    • editor Reply


      I agree; it’s not easy to find hymns for the Holy Souls online. I associate God of Mercy & Compassion with Lent more than with the Holy Souls, but needs must when the devil drives (so to speak 😀 )

      November 2, 2022 at 11:10 pm
  • Nicky Reply

    This is such an important day, All Soul. In my youth we were encouraged to attend all three Masses which priests would offer for the Holy Souls. These days, you’re lucky if you can find one.

    The Prayer before a Crucifix can gain a partial indulgence (I think) if said right after Holy Communion. I’ve copied it to post here.

    Behold, O good and sweetest Jesus,
    I cast myself upon my knees in Thy sight,
    and with the most fervent desire of my soul
    I pray and beseech Thee to impress upon my heart
    lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity,
    with true repentance for my sins
    and a most firm desire of amendment.
    Whilst with deep affection and grief of soul
    I consider within myself and mentally contemplate
    Thy five most precious wounds,
    having before mine eyes that which David,
    the prophet, long ago spoke concerning Thee,
    “They have pierced My hands and My feet,
    they have numbered all My bones.”

    November 2, 2022 at 5:31 pm
    • editor Reply


      Thank you for posting the beautiful Prayer before a Crucifix. Hugely appreciated.

      November 2, 2022 at 11:14 pm
  • editor Reply

    Last November, I was given a gift of a little book entitled Thirty Days Devotion to The Holy Souls: Forget-Me-Nots from Many Gardens” – compiled from various sources by a member of the Ursuline Community in Sligo (Ireland). I’ve tried to find an outlet online to post a link if anyone wants to order a copy, but I can’t find one anywhere. Not even Amazon!

    It came too late for me to use it for the 30 days of November last year, but I’ve started to read it daily this year and I thought I would post the extract below – food for thought, not to say prayer and penance!

    It is related of a religious of St Dominic that, finding himself at the point of death, he earnestly begged a friend who was a priest to have the goodness, as soon as he was dead, to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for the repose of his soul. He had scarcely expired when the priest went to the church and celebrated Mass with devotion for this intention. The Holy Sacrifice being over, he had scarcely taken off the sacred vestments when the deceased religious presented himself to him and rebuked him severely for his hardness of heart in leaving him in the most cruel fire of Purgatory for the long space of thirty years. “How thirty years?” asked the good priest, in amazement. “Why, it is not yet an hour since you departed this life, so that your corpse is, so to say, still warm.” To this the poor soul replied: “Learn, hence, my friend, how tormenting is the fire of Purgatory when scarcely an hour seems to be thirty years, and learn too, to have pity on us.”

    Sobering reminder of the importance of praying for the Holy Souls and worth some reflection – not least on ways to avoid Purgatory altogether!

    November 6, 2022 at 9:13 pm

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