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All Souls Day 2023

By Saint Andrew's Abbey
October 14, 2023

The monks of Valyermo would like to pray with you for your beloved departed ones, that they may be blessed with the grace which flows from our daily Eucharist and Liturgy of the Hours.

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It is our faith that God has created each person for eternal life and that Jesus broke the chains of sin and
death by his saving death and resurrection. Jesus’ paschal mystery enfolds the life of the Christian person and in an ever-deeper way becomes the pattern of transformation that leads us to life without end. Our death is united with Jesus’ death and his resurrection gives us the hope of our own.

When someone dies, it is fitting that he or she be remembered at the Eucharistic table, which so profoundly celebrates this paschal mystery of Jesus and which becomes the pattern of our life in faith, leading us to the rewards of heaven. The Eucharistic sacrifice effects divine grace and provides a foretaste of all that Jesus promises to us who believe. In Jesus, death becomes the door to eternal life. It is not an ending of life but the beginning of endless life seen through the eyes of faith, the culmination of all that God intends for our good.

When we lose someone in death, it is a manifestation of our love to pray for them and to ask the Church to offer the sacrifice of praise, the Holy Eucharist, for the repose of their soul. Prayer purifies the soul and prepares it for the vision of God. Those in loss or sorrow cry out for the consolation of God and this impels family, friends, and fellow believers to provide the warmth of their human consolation through their own heartfelt prayer and offerings. Christians celebrate funeral rites for the deceased as an act of homage for that life, young or old, which was a gift from God. We naturally pray for the soul of a loved one who suffered greatly or was troubled in spirit, commending the deceased to God who is acknowledged as the Author of life and the hope of all the living.

Even after time has elapsed, it is natural to remember, to continue to pray for our beloved on important days in their lifetime and on the anniversary of their death or burial. The Church celebrates the Solemn Commemoration of the Faithful Departed on November 2nd and the whole month of November has become a time when the Church offers prayers for the departed, those known to us and those who may have been forgotten. In these days of terrorism and war in the Middle East and elsewhere, there are many who have died who need our prayers, especially those persecuted and martyred for their faith in Christ.

The monks of Valyermo invite you to entrust your beloved departed to our prayers and, united with yours, to bless them with the grace of our daily Eucharist and the monastic Liturgy of the Hours. Enclosed you will find a new prayer card for the holy souls and for those who grieve, and a card on which you can include the names of those whom you wish us to include in our community’s prayer. It will be a privilege to remember all your loved ones whose names you send to us throughout each day of November. Please send these names by mail (or email: Know that we also hold you in our hearts in the communion of faith, along with all those you love who have departed this life and whom you hold dear.

In Christ’s love,

Abbot Damien and the monks of Valyermo

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