Sunday, November 2, 2014

Prayers for the Dead on All Souls' Day: "a place of refreshment, light and peace"


In Ancient Rome families would honor, remember and reach out to the dead through the celebration of the 'refrigerium', a picnic at the tomb which included a ritual pouring of wine as a libation offered to refresh those who had gone before them into the mystery of the afterlife.


How much more awesome that we are refreshed already now by the Body and Blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who has taken our human flesh with Him beyond the grave and opened heaven to us! This is the refrigerium of God, our Eucharist offered to us here and now in this world from our heavenly habitation which awaits us in Christ who is now seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us.

When the priest prays the Roman Canon at Mass, listen for the Church's reference to this lesson from her Roman past, as we beg that through our faithful prayers in Christ the dead may enjoy a place of "refreshment, light and peace".

A holy All Souls' Day to all of you.

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