November begins with All Saints Day and All Souls Day. It is therefore fitting that the Catholic Church designates November as the month of the holy souls in Purgatory. Then we especially remember those who have died in a state of grace, but who have not yet atoned fully for their venial sins. Such souls must undergo temporal punishment to expiate any imperfections and disordered attachments that remain. The punishment is really a purification. There is material fire in Purgatory that purifies the immaterial soul. The soul's union with these flames is both the means of sanctification and a source of suffering. The principal cause of suffering for the soul in Purgatory is its longing for God.
Many Catholics who misunderstand the doctrine of Purgatory, downplay its significance. As a result, the poor souls in Purgatory suffer. Purgatory is not a final test or trial. The souls in Purgatory are assured of their salvation and will one day be in Heaven.
The Church teaches that Purgatory is an expression of God's love. The fire of Purgatory is Jesus Himself; His desire to cleanse our souls of all that might keep us from experiencing the joy of the Beatific Vision.
Many saints have claimed that the poor souls can pray for us during their time in Purgatory. We should pray for them that they may be freed from their temporal punishment and enter into Heaven. The poor souls, upon attaining Heaven, will intercede on our behalf. Below are prayers for the faithful departed including, a prayer for a deceased mother, a deceased father, forgotten souls, the most forsaken soul, the recently departed and more.
A Prayer for a Deceased Mother
O God, who hast commanded us to honor our father and our mother; in Thy mercy have pity on the soul of my mother, and forgive her her trespasses; and make me to see her again in the joy of everlasting brightness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Prayer for a Deceased Father
O God, who hast commanded us to honor our father and our mother; in Thy mercy have pity on the soul of my father, and forgive his his trespasses; and make me to see him again in the joy of everlasting brightness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Sunday Prayer for the Faithful Departed
O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood, which Thy divine Son Jesus shed in the Garden, deliver the souls in purgatory, and especially that one which is the most forsaken of all, and bring it into Thy glory, where it may praise and bless Thee for ever. Amen.
A Prayer for Forgotten Souls
O merciful God,
take pity on those souls
who have no particular friends and intercessors
to recommend them to Thee, who,
either through the negligence of those who are alive,
or through length of time are forgotten
by their friends and by all.
Spare them, O Lord,
and remember Thine own mercy,
when others forget to appeal to it.
Let not the souls which Thou hast created
be parted from thee, their Creator.
May the souls of all the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Prayer for All the Deceased
This beautiful prayer from the Byzantine Liturgy, reminds us that Christ's victory over death makes eternal rest possible for all. We pray for those who have gone before us, that they may enter into Heaven:
By Thy resurrection from the dead, O Christ, death no longer hath dominion over those who die in holiness. So, we beseech Thee, give rest to Thy servants in Thy sanctuary and in Abraham's bosom. Grant it to those, who from Adam until now have adored Thee with purity, to our fathers and brothers, to our kinsmen and friends, to all men who have lived by faith and passed on their road to Thee, by a thousand ways, and in all conditions, and make them worthy of the heavenly kingdom. Amen.
A Prayer for a Lately Deceased Person
Absolve, we beseech Thee, O Lord,
the soul of Thy servant N...,
from every bond of sin,
that being raised in the glory of the resurrection,
he/she may be refreshed among the Saints and Elect.
Through Christ our Lord.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
This prayer, used in Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, is the counterpart to the Western prayer "Eternal Rest":
Eternal memory. Eternal memory. Grant to your servant(s), O Lord, blessed repose and eternal memory. Amen.
A Prayer for the Most Forgotten Soul
O Lord God Almighty,
I beseech Thee by the Precious
Body and Blood of Thy Divine Son Jesus,
which He Himself on the night before His Passion
gave as meat and drink to His beloved Apostles
and bequeathed to His Holy Church
to be the perpetual Sacrifice
and life-giving nourishment of His faithful people,
deliver the souls in purgatory,
but most of all,
that soul which was most devoted
to this Mystery of infinite love,
in order that it may praise Thee therefor,
together with Thy Divine Son
and the Holy Spirit in Thy glory for ever.