So yesterday was All Souls day in the Catholic church. It’s a day where we remember those who have passed and pray for their souls in purgatory — that they may be purified and rest in peace. I pray everyday for my Dad, Tom’s Dad and my grandparents — Laura and John Knowlson and Theresa and Frank Miller, as well as all other relatives and friends that have passed. On this day, I pray for those who have no one to pray for them.
Our church holds a special mass to honor the souls of the departed. This year it’s on November 5th, because of how the day fell on Saturday. This special mass is quite beautiful, and I make an effort to go every year. The mood is set as the church is dim and candlelit. I sit quietly in the back and pray for my Dad. For each departed in the past year, Sister Patricia reads their name aloud and a bell is rung. It’s perfectly quiet, except for the bell. Someone from the family goes to the front of the church and lights a candle in their honor. And this goes on until every name is read. This year we will honor 36 members of our church who have passed, as well as all the deceased members of St. Gregory and St. Matthias parishes.
And as I sit there and listen to the bells, I can’t but think of the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.” And I believe.
Always B E L I E V E.