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All Souls Vigil Service – Novena and Chaplet for the Dead and Ancestors – Nov. 2-10, 2023

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Nine-day vigil, novena, and Chaplet for the Dead service.

Have lights set and worked on my altar in a nine-day community altar  service beginning the night of November 2nd, All Souls Day. There is some wiggle room and you can join up after the work starts as long as you see that there are still spots left and it doesn’t say “sold out.”

Along with setting and working lights in the name of your loved one, I will perform a nine-day novena and daily recitation of the Chaplet of the Dead, with appropriate offerings, incense, and other materials.

The Chaplet of the Dead is a four-decade rosary that includes prayers such as the De Profundis (Psalm 130) and prayers for the repose of the departed soul and the comfort of the bereaved. 

In Catholic tradition, the prayers of the living faithful can benefit the souls of those who are in Purgatory, being purified of sin that’s been forgiven but not yet atoned for, so that they can ultimately join the company of heaven. The dead can no longer engage in works or deeds on their own behalf, of course, but just as saints and ancestors can pray for us and thus help us on this plane, so we can pray for the dead. We can even dedicate our own works and deeds for the benefit of the departed, thus helping them leave Purgatory to enter the presence of God and the saints.

Even if you don’t believe in purgatory in the most literal sense, these prayers and offerings at their core focus on the peace and rest of the departed, on their ultimate reunion with God, the source of light and life. Thus this service can serve as comfort for both the dead and their loved ones who are grieving.

It’s completely appropriate to perform such a service for ancestors whose names are unknown, as well, or for the souls of the departed who have no one living to pray for them, whether you’re praying to elevate ancestors, that your beloved dead are joining the light or finding their way, that your ancestors who are “stuck” get “unstuck,” or for God to have mercy on, or the Blessed Mother to give comfort to, the poor souls with no living loved ones to pray for them. 

You can also use this service as an opportunity to thank those departed, known or unknown, from whom you’ve received help or comfort yourself.

Learn more or book your spot now at Seraphin Station.

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