Cemeteries & All Souls

Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord; and let light perpetual shine upon them.

May their souls, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

 

The month of November is the month set aside to pray for all souls. All Soul’s Day is specifically celebrated Nov. 2nd and then we continue to pray for all the departed the rest of the month. One way to pray for all souls is to visit a cemetery.

Cemeteries are oftentimes depicted in movies as spooky, scary or haunted places. This is not the case. Cemeteries are a place of prayer. A place to pray for the souls of the deceased, even if you have no one buried there. Cemeteries are a wonderful blessing for those still living. They are a way to encounter a life that was lived and visually see names, dates, young, old, military and sometimes family lineage.

St. Monica, the mother of St. Augustine, was said to go with friends for picnics at the cemetery. What a wonderful way to celebrate a life and teach her family that a cemetery is a beautiful place to pray. You might even place small remembrances at a loved one’s grave or plant special flowers if the cemetery allows.

This month, we should also offer a ‘thank you’ to all the workers that upkeep the cemeteries. Thank you for maintaining a beautiful place to pray.

So, I ask you, “When was the last time you were in a cemetery outside of a burial?” My challenge and encouragement are for you to go and visit a cemetery this month and pray for all those souls. Take time to see just how wonderful a cemetery can be and then return, as often as you get a chance.