You may have noticed that book in church this week. Most churches should have a book of the deceased names from the past year.. or you can add intentions for those who you feel need praying for.
This is something that was lost in the church in the past 50 years. For whatever stupid..idiotic reason…an attempt to be more “Hip”…our Eschatology… that is.. our understanding of who we are…and where we are going, went completely to pot.
Once we prayed for our dead. Its even commanded in Scripture – Both in the Old Testament (2 Maccabees 15: 11-16 for example), as well as in the new testament (John 11: 38-44 for example..) – In fact… one of the most overly Jewish things that carried over into Catholicism was praying for our dead.
Ironically… the Jewish people, in a so called “unenlightened” state… really have a better understanding of the Communion of Saints then most Christians. Rooted deep in Kaballah, the idea of the soul being immortal…and “wired” to return back to the Creator… but needing prayer and Supplication. We see this where Judah Macabee prayes for the fallen. We further see this where Jesus weeps over Lazarus. Even “the Rich Man And Lazarus”.. the Rich man from the abyss asks Lazarus to Tell his Brothers to repent, lest they share his faith.
Where it is true… once a soul has condemned itself (and to be clear..the only person that sends someone to hell is themselves..), it is beyond help… we as mortal beings…cannot know that state. We can only implore the Mercy and Love of God.. on that person after death. The Jewish people have done this for centuries…and it very much carried over into Christianity, even amongst the first century. There was more then security for our hiding in the catecombs. The very first Masses were offered over and for the repose of Souls.
Where once Kad’desh was chanted by the Jews.. Later it would develop into other Sequences. In the West, there was the Great “Dies Irae”… which calls to mind the Last Judgment. “Day of Wrath…oh Day of Mourning…” etc.. But, even at the end… it calls to mind “Pie Jesu Domine, Dona Eis Requiem” … Oh Good Jesus… Grant them Peace.
This sequence…along with 6 others…and alot of solid theology has all been but lost. Make no mistake… while we are all on our way.. most of us will not be properly attired for the Wedding feast without the help of our whole community and their prayers.
This month, keep in mind your Absent Brothers and Sisters. That Mom or Dad.. Or Grandparent.. or mentor who no longer is in this state.. Remember your catechism…know their soul is Immortal… and that their’s and your faith in Christ..means that we all can still pray for each other
WRITE THEIR NAME IN THE BOOK at church… so that others might also offer their suplications…. in the Words of Red Green “Remembers…Im Rooting for you..We’re all in this together”. Thats really what we can take away from this month… We are all in this together…and we need to all pray for each other… despite how “unhip” or “unmodern” it might seem.