The Archdiocese of Birmingham - The Parish of the Immaculate Conception

Praying for the Faithful Departed

The custom of remembering the dead goes back to the early days of the Church. Tertullian writing in the third century spoke of an intermediate place of rest where that faithful waited until the final judgement. In the same century there seems to have been some idea of deceased Christians who need some form of purification before seeing God. From the eleventh to the thirteenth centuries, the feast spread throughout Europe and was finally adopted in Rome. The feast involves several beliefs: that some Christians, while dying in peace with Christ, might still need some purification; that the prayers and good deeds of the living help those who have died; and that there is an intermediate place between heaven and hell. 
 
The choice of the 2nd of November as the Feast of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls) is thought to come from a decree of St. Odilo (c. 962 – 1048), the abbot of Cluny, where he instructed that it should be observed as a day of prayer throughout the Clunaic foundations. He chose the date precisely because it followed the Solemnity of All Saints, and his instructions were to pray for the souls of deceased monks. What he did was not entirely new as at the time of St. Isidore of Seville (c. 560 – 636) the Monday after Pentecost was kept as a day of prayer for the dead. The custom of having three Masses on that day seems to have begun with the Spanish Dominicans in the fifteenth century, and, after papal approval in 1748 was extended to countries under Spanish or Portuguese influence. Its extension to the universal Church came about because of the First World War and the Apostolic Constitution granted by Pope Benedict XV (1914 – 1922) on the 10th of August 1915. One Mass is celebrated for a particular person or group, one fo

r all the faithful departed and the third for the intentions of the Holy Father. The liturgy of the day is perhaps the best guide to the meaning of the feast: the readings point to Christ as the hope of the living and the dead and the liturgical prayers see new life in Christ as God’s promise that enables Christians to face death with faith and hope.
 
November traditionally is the month when Catholics remember the souls of the faithful departed in Purgatory through the celebration of additional Masses, announced on the Mass times page, and also through vespers of the dead and the blessing of graves in The Foynes Memorial Garden, Bicester Cemetery and at St. Mary's Church in Ambrosden.
 

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Your prayers are requested for all those whose anniversaries occur during the month of December

Jim Aspell (1977), Autum Beavers (2015), Patrick Beggs (1993), Charles Bell (1987), John Bonnici (1973), Joan Bridle (2013), Donald Burton (1998), Paul Laurence Campbell (2014), Agnes Cawley (1987), James Cawley (1988), Bridget Chambers, Jόzef Chodyniecki (2007) Edward Clarke (1983), Pat Clarke (1949), Paul Cook, Bertha Molly Cowley (2014), James Crowson, William Davies, Marie Davis, Charles Devereux-Cooke, Mortimore Duggan, William Dunn (1989), Michael Drury, (2008), Robert Edgar (1988), Marie Edmans (2007), Anastasia Elliott (2014), Helen Evans (1998), Christopher Fitzpatrick (1994), Nigel James Flanagan (2002), Nora Lucy Foracre (2012), Alice Galligan (1957), Christine Gaughan, Grace Harrington (1971), Gwendoline Mary Hawke (1992), Richard John Hawkins (1989), Rosemary Healy (2008), Bridget Hewitt, Elizabeth Hill (1946), Theodor Hodowany (1991),  Michael John Holliman (2010), Annie Holly (2010), Alban Jesse Hurst (1980), Archbishop Edward Ilsley (1926), Joyce Jenner (1993), Alfred Edwin Johnson (2012), Rudolf Juza (1974), Josef Karnick, Thomas Joseph Keane (2003), John Keraney (1992), Hannah Kelly (1992), Daisy Isobel Knibbs (1976), Geoffrey Lansdale (1979), Winifred Leadbeater (1973), Joseph Lebhien (1943), Charles Leonard (1996), Thomas Linehan, Katica Ljucovich (2000), Doreen Lobo (1982), Lewis Patrick Lower (1983), Sr. Mary Brendan Lynch (2005), Patrick Joseph MacSweeney (2005), James Francis McAleer (2010), Arthur Gerald McCambridge (2016), Patrick James McCartan (2005), Brian McClaren (2011), Francis McCourt, Stanley McDermott (2002), Joseph McGarry, Florence McGovern (2004), Mary McMahon (1984), Patrick Joseph MacSweeney (2005), Denis Joseph Madden (1978), John Clement David Malone (1990), John Martin (1987), Agnes Nelson (2016), George Nicholls, Sheelagh Dolores O’Callaghan (2009),  J. J. O’Donnell (1976), Margaret O’Dwyer (1986), Francis O’Neill (1964), Michael O’Reilly (1971), Maria Ockenden (2003), Phyllis Parkinson, Ronald Arthur Pool-Gray (2007), Julia Quinn (1972), Stanley Rapson (2001), Gavin Robinson, Jack Rodgers (1978), Albert Rowland Romanowski (2008), Michael Ryan (2006), Kathleen Helen Sawala (1990), Monica Skinner (1980), Winifred Agnes Smart (1963), Jude Sonon (2007), Ellen Starrett, Harry Thackery (1973), Margaret Trant, Evelyn Trinder (1974), Joan Tomkins (1990), Florence Voke (2009), Frederick Wall, Neil Ward (1991), Elizabeth Watkins (1996), Mr. Webster (1980), John (Jack) Wenger (2009), Edith Wilcoxson, Margaret Florence Wilson (2006), William John Wiltshire (1981), Cesare Zanin (2005), Robert Ziwillowicz.

O gentlest Heart of Jesus, ever present in the Blessed Sacrament, ever consumed with burning love for the poor captive souls in Purgatory, have mercy on the souls of thy servants. Be not severe in Thy judgement, but let some drops of Thy Precious Blood fall upon our beloved departed, and do Thou, O merciful Saviour, send Thy angels to conduct the souls of Thy servants to a place of refresment and peace. Amen