The Archdiocese of Birmingham - The Parish of the Immaculate Conception

Praying for the Faithful Departed

The custom of remembering the dead goes back to the early days of the Church. Tertullian writing in the third century spoke of an intermediate place of rest where that faithful waited until the final judgement. In the same century there seems to have been some idea of deceased Christians who need some form of purification before seeing God. From the eleventh to the thirteenth centuries, the feast spread throughout Europe and was finally adopted in Rome. The feast involves several beliefs: that some Christians, while dying in peace with Christ, might still need some purification; that the prayers and good deeds of the living help those who have died; and that there is an intermediate place between heaven and hell. 
The choice of the 2nd of November as the Feast of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls) is thought to come from a decree of St. Odilo (c. 962 – 1048), the abbot of Cluny, where he instructed that it should be observed as a day of prayer throughout the Clunaic foundations. He chose the date precisely because it followed the Solemnity of All Saints, and his instructions were to pray for the souls of deceased monks. What he did was not entirely new as at the time of St. Isidore of Seville (c. 560 – 636) the Monday after Pentecost was kept as a day of prayer for the dead. The custom of having three Masses on that day seems to have begun with the Spanish Dominicans in the fifteenth century, and, after papal approval in 1748 was extended to countries under Spanish or Portuguese influence. Its extension to the universal Church came about because of the First World War and the Apostolic Constitution granted by Pope Benedict XV (1914 – 1922) on the 10th of August 1915. One Mass is celebrated for a particular person or group, one fo

r all the faithful departed and the third for the intentions of the Holy Father. The liturgy of the day is perhaps the best guide to the meaning of the feast: the readings point to Christ as the hope of the living and the dead and the liturgical prayers see new life in Christ as God’s promise that enables Christians to face death with faith and hope.
November traditionally is the month when Catholics remember the souls of the faithful departed in Purgatory through the celebration of additional Masses, announced on the Mass times page, and also through vespers of the dead and the blessing of graves in The Foynes Memorial Garden, Bicester Cemetery and at St. Mary's Church in Ambrosden.

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Your prayers are requested for all those whose anniversaries occur during the month of March

Leslie Aitcheson, Leslie Frederick Archer (1993), Angela Austin (2007), Bassin Louis Ayyar (2017), Jack Balfe, Albert Raymond Ball (2007), Ethel Mary Ball (1974), Steven Jardin Barbosa (2005), Kathleen Bayliss (1986), Sarah Ann Beattie (1962), Frances Bolton, Nina Brezet (2000), Bishop Humphrey Bright (1964), Veronica Carmel Burgess (1994), Patrick Byrne, John Cahill (1991), James Patrick Campbell (1976), Anthony Cawley (2005), Alberto Augusto Cardoso (2017), Susan Frances Condon (2015), Michael Cummiskey, Flora Daniel (1995), Margaret Davies, May Devereux-Cooke, Joseph James Dixon (1992), Aurelia Doniselli (2017), Ellie May Doran (2014), Robert Joseph Duggan (2011), Bishop Kevin Dunn (2008), Patrick Joseph Edgeworth (1994), Mary Farrell, Bridget Mary Farelly, Patrick Joseph Farelly, Margaret Farmer, Wendy Margaret, Christine Field, (2010), Joyce Fitzpatrick (2000), Magdalene Fisterol (1987), Rex Fulford, Alice Flynn (1998), Michael Galligan (1966), Paul Gamble (2014), Harry Greasly, Doreen Hackett (2007), Thomas Halford, Ann Margaret Hand (2003), Clare Hannan, George Healey (1998), Winifred Hoar (1980), Roy Houliston (2010), Helen Marie Hudson (2013), Gertrude Hurst (1978), Gordon Inshaw (1984), Samuel Jordan, Richard Joy (1976), Frederick Knighy (1984), Alice Landy (1977), Christopher Lawrence (1993), Patrick Linders, Charles Henry Long (1994), Wilhelmine Maas (2000), Alice Josephine Mahon (2006), Pauline W.Markwell (1997), Glyn Martin (1968), Reginald William Maude (2017), Martin McDonnell, Patrick McDonnell (2006), Malachy McKeon (2005), Agnes Mellet (1977), John Joseph Moran (2007), Herbert William Morpeth, Bridget Murtagh (1964), Violet Newbold (1994), Mary O’Brien (2007), Lawrence Vincent O’Callaghan (1992), Jeremiah O’Connor, George O’Donghue, Nicholas Ormond (1975), Patrick O’Rourke (1984), Dorothy O’Sullivan (2002), Michael O’Sullivan, Anna Clementina Maria Ostrowska (2013), Alfie Thomas Palmer (2008), Marija Panejko (2000), Kay May Pankhurst (2013), Florence Mary Parker (1999), William James Parker (1941), Sheila Lucy Pearce (2008), Feliksa Pisarski, Alfred Porter (1991), Ellen Przybył (1999), James Purcell (1990), Maurice Reaney, Bridget Rodewald, Antonij Sereduic (1997), Frank Siebenaler, Brian Anthony Smart (2009), Bridie Smith (2007), Bridget (Breda) Smith (2014), Iain Peter Smith (2010), Antionete Spiteri (2005) Dominic Spiteri (2015), Teodor Stadnyckyj (1994), Mary Ann Stanbridge (1945), Veronica Lillian Stanbridge (1992), Patrick Starrett, Ursula Steel (2014), Michael Stffle (1999), Daphne Stoner (2010), Daniel Sullivan (2000), Frank George Thompson (1990), Thomas Edward Thompson (1984), Andrew Clint Tims (2007), Reginald John Tomkins (2003), Bishop William Bernard Ullathorne, OSB (1889), Maria & Nicola Vetrong, Doris Wall (1979), Hilda I. Walman (1993), Elise Weaver Rawicz-Szczerbo (2015), Gladys Wilcockson, Helen Wright, Hilda Frances Mary Wright (2006), Patrick Wright, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (2002), The Most Rev. Francis Joseph Grimshaw, Fifth Archbishop of Birmingham (1965).

O gentlest Heart of Jesus, ever present in the Blessed Sacrament, ever consumed with burning love for the poor captive souls in Purgatory, have mercy on the souls of thy servants. Be not severe in Thy judgement, but let some drops of Thy Precious Blood fall upon our beloved departed, and do Thou, O merciful Saviour, send Thy angels to conduct the souls of Thy servants to a place of refresment and peace. Amen