All Souls Day is a solemn feast commemorating all of those who have died and now are in Purgatory. It is the final day in the Hallowmas, (also known as the Triduum of All Hallows) which includes All Hallows Eve, All Saints, and All Souls.
On All Souls Day all priests are granted the privilege of celebrating three Masses: one, for the faithful departed; one for the priest’s intentions; and one for the intentions of the Holy Father.
On All Souls Day, we not only remember the dead, but we apply our efforts, through prayer, almsgiving, and the Mass, to their release from Purgatory. There are two plenary indulgences attached to All Souls Day, one for visiting a church and another for visiting a cemetery. (The plenary indulgence for visiting a cemetery can also be obtained every day from November 1-8, and, as a partial indulgence, on any day of the year.) While the actions are performed by the living, the merits of the indulgences are applicable only to the souls in Purgatory. [i]
Praying for the dead is a Christian obligation. Sadly, today many have come to doubt the Church’s teaching on Purgatory (and even Hell). Because of this the need for praying for the faithful departed has increased.
The Church devotes the month of November to prayer for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Please pray for the souls in Purgatory.