Bishop to celebrate All Souls Mass Nov. 2

Published: October 26, 2023

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord. And let the perpetual light shine upon them.
And may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

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Bishop Anthony B. Taylor will celebrate the annual All Souls Day Mass at Calvary Cemetery at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 2. It is located at the corner of Wright Avenue and South Woodrow Street in Little Rock. Get driving directions from your location. The main entrance is off of Charles Bussey Avenue. Mass will be followed by the blessing of graves and praying the rosary. All are invited.

If it rains, the Mass will be celebrated at the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Little Rock at 10 a.m. For more information, contact Tricia Gentry, office manager for Calvary Cemetery, at (501) 664-0340, ext. 418.

The bishop will celebrate the annual Requiem Mass at the Cathedral on Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. This year, the Cathedral choir will sing the Requiem Mass, by Maurice Durufle, featuring soprano Maria Fasciano, for the souls of the faithful departed. For more information, contact Beau Baldwin, music director, at (501) 374-2794.

The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, or All Souls Day, is the feast day dedicated to praying for all those who have died and are in purgatory. Souls in purgatory "have not yet been purified" in order to enter heaven. That said, the Church teaches those in purgatory will get to heaven eventually and our prayers help them get there.

"All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1030) Our prayers can help them "atone for their sins and enter into heaven." That is why Catholic parishes celebrate All Souls Day Masses, hold special prayer services and adoration times, bless graves, have rosary processions at cemeteries and place the photos of deceased loved ones near the altar in church. 

All Souls Day should not be confused with All Saints Day, which is celebrated on Tuesday, Nov. 1. All Saints Day celebrates the saints who have already entered heaven and we ask them to pray for us so we can follow their example. To learn more about the Church's teaching on purgatory, including biblical references, what saints have said about it and more, read Arkansas Catholic, or see 20 ways to pray for the holy souls in purgatory or Day of the Dead: A Celebration of Life.