As we approach the feast of All Souls Day, I just wanted to mention a wonderful thing that our homeschooling group has been doing for a few years now.
Whenever one of the parents of the members of our group dies, as many people who can and want to, pool their money and they have a set of Gregorian Masses said for the deceased. This is good on so many levels.
First, of course, it is so beneficial for the deceased person. My fil died on the 13th of October and by the 24th the masses were already beginning. In case you don't know, the idea behind these came from Pope St. Gregory the Great. Apparently a monk named Justus was released from purgatory after 30 Masses were offered on his behalf. In 1884 and 1888, the Congregation of Indulgences declared this series of Masses to be "pious and reasonable" and approved of their use by the church. Therefore it is believed that this series of 30 Masses, said on 30 consecutive days, is very powerful in helping the soul in purgatory. While we cannot be certain in every case whether or not the soul is released after this time, we can be assured that it is very helpful to them.
It also is very comforting to the family of the deceased knowing that these Masses are being offered on their loved one's behalf. We usually have our Gregorian Masses said by The Seraphic Mass Association and the suggested donation is $150. One of our favorite group of priests, Miles Christi, also will say Gregorian Masses and their donation is $300, I believe. Many times a family cannot afford to pay for that themselves, so the fact that many families pitch in for this work of mercy is a great consolation.
This is such a wonderful thing to do for someone who has died. When we first found out about this a number of years ago, we arranged to have them said for all of our grandparents. As we approach this wonderful month of November and focus on those who have gone before us, why not consider setting up a tradition like this one in your family, homeschooling or church group?