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Official Website of the
Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
Published: October 27, 2021
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord. And let the perpetual light shine upon them.
And may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Bishop Anthony B. Taylor will celebrate the annual All Souls Day Mass at Calvary Cemetery at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 2. It is located at the corner of Wright Avenue and South Woodrow Street in Little Rock. Get driving directions from your location. The main entrance is off of Charles Bussey Avenue. If it rains, the Mass will be celebrated at the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Little Rock at 10 a.m. For more information, contact Tricia Gentry, office manager for Calvary Cemetery, at (501) 664-0340, ext. 418.
The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, or All Souls Day, is the feast day dedicated to praying for all those who have died and are in purgatory. Souls in purgatory "have not yet been purified" in order to enter heaven. That said, the Church teaches those in purgatory will get to heaven eventually and our prayers help them get there.
"All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1030) Our prayers can help them "atone for their sins and enter into heaven." That is why Catholic parishes celebrate All Souls Day Masses, hold special prayer services and adoration times, bless graves, have rosary processions at cemeteries and place the photos of deceased loved ones near the altar in church.
Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and related health and safety measures, the Vatican’s Apostolic Penitentiary is once again extending opportunities to gain indulgences for the benefit of the faithful departed throughout the entire month of November.
"It allows the faithful to gain plenary indulgences for the souls in purgatory by visiting a cemetery on every day in November and praying for those who have died; normally, the indulgence is limited to the first eight days of the month," according to Vatican News. "The present decree, like the one issued last year in the midst of the pandemic, is intended to meet the need to avoid gatherings, a potential cause of the spread of Covid-19, which still affects the world's population to varying degrees."
All Souls Day should not be confused with All Saints Day, which is celebrated on Sunday, Nov. 1. All Saints Day celebrates the saints who have already entered heaven and we ask them to pray for us so we can follow their example. To learn more about the Church's teaching on purgatory, including biblical references, what saints have said about it and more, read Arkansas Catholic, or see Why we pray for all souls today, 20 ways to pray for the holy souls in purgatory or Day of the Dead: A Celebration of Life.