Father Steve Grunow shares his homily for All Souls Day, a day in which we pray for the dead. These prayers serve a mighty purpose, for they are our pipeline to those purgatory, and part of their journey to heaven. This isn't a "here" vs. "there" relationship, but one that draws us all into the divine life of Jesus Christ.
The feast of All Souls, or the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed, is the day on which Masses offered are intended for the benefit of the dead.
This particular practice seems to have originated with the monasteries associated with the Cluniac reform, and quickly gained momentum in terms of popular piety.
The theological reasoning that undergirds the practice of offering Masses for the dead is inextricably linked to the Church’s understanding of Purgatory, but perhaps more importantly, to the Communion of Saints. The Communion of Saints insists that the dead remain in a relationship with the living, and both can intercede for one another. This prayerful rapport is to the benefit of both.
The Communion of Saints also means that the Church is simultaneously a reality of earth and of heaven and the two co-inhere with each other in tangible ways...