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 October

Mrs. Andrews, Dymiter Antoniw, George Hooper Ball (1961), Catherine Barrett, David Kevin Barry (2016), Taylor Behle (2005), Keith William Edward Bindloss (2006), Monica Blackley (2000), John Bonnici, William Bosher, Albert Bridle, Cherry Bridle, Eileen Cammidge (1986), Aida V. Campbell (1997), Paul Campbell (2003), James Cawley (1984), Janina Maria Cedrowska (2014), Dan Clancy, Hugh Michael Clarke (1974), Margaret Connors (2005), Ann Gabrielle Curry, Kathleen Duffy (1979), Patrick Duffy, Vincent Dunn (1991), Elizabeth Ann Earland (2003), Mrs. Egan, Archie Clarkson Gorst-Williams (2002), Leo Ferns (1975), Lillian Fisher (2008), Alfred Henry Hall (2014), Gerald Gaskins (2005), Kathleen Grealey, Michael Grealish (2008), Amalia Maria Emelia Hall (1999), Frank Henry Hall (1992), Lorraine Harrison (2014), Anna Louise Harte (2004), Eileen Henry (2008), Harriet Hillman, William John Hornby (2006), Margarita Houlihan (1993), Margaret Joyce Hughes (2006), Nathan Joynson (2005), Dorothy Keaveney (1999), Edward (Ted) Kelly (2009), Grenville Kelly (2002), Nora Kelly (1980), John Frederick Knibbs (1995), Anna Maria Kustra (2016), George Edward McCabe (2003), Henry “Tosh” McIntosh (2013), Rose McKeon (2008), James Mease (1984), Richard Mellett (1981), Maria Cristina Milia (2016), John Morgan (1991), Andrew Moffat (1973), John (Sean) Moore (2010), Mary Moore (2004), Michael Anthony Moore (2011), Margaret Patricia Moran-Salkin (1993), John Frederick Mundy (1999), Anne Murphy (1995), Josephine Murray, Richard William Neville, William Patrick Nolan, Walenty Nowak (2006), Marie Beryl Oke (2007), Alan Spencer Palmer, Lauren Natalie Pringle (2009), Wasył Pyszczuk (1990), Hugh Brendan Quinn (2007), Bethany Mae Rathband (2003), Abbot Alan Rees O.S.B. (2005), Edna Richardson (1998), Harold Ridgeway, Lawrence Brendan Roberts (2006), Mary Catherine Rodewald (2002), Mrs. Rogers (1973), Kasimier Romanowski, Erich Franz Sawala (1990) Paul Joseph John Shead (1958), Norman Henry Slatter (2015), Denise Smith (2007), Ernest Smith, (1968), James Smith (2007), Jesse Smith (2010), Joan Smith (2016), Mary Smith (1978) James D. Steel (1985), David Stockley (1998), Kathleen Veronica Sturges (2004), William Swanson (2000), Betty Thoenes (2005), Diane Tildesley (née Oak) (2007), Lady Mary Trench (2004), Charles Henry Voke (1986), Nicholas Waskin, Winifred Mary Wiltshire (2000), His Holiness Pope Pius XII (1958), the fifteen Anglo-Saxons (AD 640-770) interred in The Foynes Memorial Garden (2011). 

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