November is the month Holy Souls during which we are encouraged to pray for those we have known who have died.
In our home this month, we’ve cleared off our family altar to create a prayer table with photos of some of our family members who have died:
Following Jessica’s lead over at Catholic Cuisine, I created a hands-on tool for our daily prayers for the faithful departed. We have a calendar on which every day this month we are recording the name of a relative for whom we are praying.
Each child has a bag to which I’ve affixed a copy of the “Ora Pro Nobis” prayer, thanks to Jessica’s free printable.
I wasn’t familiar with the Ora Pro Nobis prayer before seeing Jessica’s post, but I believe it’s prayed in the Divine Mercy chaplet? Anywoo, we are praying it, because we have the printable and it’s a lovely prayer:
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.
I especially like that we are praying for sinners everywhere and even in our own home. At the end of the prayer, we are inserting the name of the family member we are praying for in particular on that day.
Here is another “Prayer for the Holy Souls in Purgatory”:
O Lord, who art ever merciful and bounteous with Thy gifts, look down upon the suffering souls in purgatory. Remember not their offenses and negligence, but be mindful of Thy loving mercy, which is from all eternity. Cleanse them of their sins and fulfill their ardent desires that they may be made worthy to behold Thee face to face in Thy glory. May they soon be united with Thee and hear those blessed words which will call them to their heavenly home: “Come, blessed of My Father, take possession of the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
Jessica suggested putting 30 pieces of candy in the bag and allowing the child to have a piece of candy each day of family prayer. However, I prefer not to give token rewards for things like this (activities that I think are inherently valuable), so instead I have a pot of pebbles that will be used for a project at the end of the month. If a child participates in our family prayer for the faithful departed, I will place a pebble in their Ora Pro Nobis bag. At the end of the month, I plan to put a new plant on our family altar (we had one for a few years, but it finally got tired of my neglect and died). I’ll invite the children to place their pebbles in the planter as a reminder the whole year of our collective prayers for the faithful departed.
In addition to the Ora Pro Nobis, we will be adding the “Requiem Eternam” to our dinner time prayer:
Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts, Which we are about to receive, from Thy bounty, through Christ, our Lord, Amen. And may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
You can add the Requiem Eternam in between decades of the Rosary this month, too.
Sharing some wonderful old family photos
Among my Great Aunt Irene’s photos I came across this very old photo of my Great-Great Aunt Hanna Storfelt Anderson (I’m super duper Swedish, eh?):
And this photo that must be from the late-1800s or very early 1900s given the wedding gown. I thought it was my paternal great grandparents (Verner and Emmy Johnson — yup, more Swedes!), but my Aunt Linda has not confirmed this:
On my husband’s side, we have several treasures, but this one is especially charming and shows where the “Cameron-Smith” in our last name comes from. Here you see Philip’s father’s grandfather, Fred Smith, at St. Andrews in Scotland in the 1890s surrounded by three (of the four) beautiful Cameron sisters (the Camerons are descended from Rob Roy!). He married the sister on far right, Allie (short for Alexandrina). The sister on the far left is Aunt Flo. She never married and was a nurse to a wealthy American woman. Of note, Flo is buried in the churchyard at Balquidder near Rob Roy.
And here are two gratuitous photos of cute Kim and cute Philip! I came across this photo of me when I was about 4 with my father who died in 2004.
And this little darling boy is my husband Philip with his grandfather Norman Smith (son of Fred and Allie Smith above) who died around 2002, if my memory serves.