“To our departed brothers and sisters
and to all who were pleasing to you
at their passing from this life,
give kind admittance to your kingdom.
There we hope to enjoy for ever the fullness of your glory
through Christ our Lord,
through whom you bestow on the world all that is good.”
~ A section of Eucharistic Prayer III
Several years ago, all Catholics went through a period of pain, trepidation, and suffering. They call that period the change of wording in the liturgical texts! Seriously, for many people, it was a real struggle to see (and hear) the words that had become comfortable and familiar changed without any real understanding of why.
Sure, we heard that it was so that the text translations could be closer to the Latin from which they came. However, the translations often became stilted. There are many times that you can hear priests say that certain prayers almost sound as if Yoda is talking.
For all the “bad”, though, there is much beauty. I think one of the beautiful changes took place in Eucharistic Prayer III. In the commemoration of the dead, the prayer is so wide and open and inclusive of all souls. “To our departed brothers and sisters” helps us to focus upon our family, friends, and fellow parishioners. However, they are not the only people who matter. All people matter because they are all the family of God and, therefore, our family. That is why I love the addition of “and to all who were pleasing to you at their passing from this life.”
That is a lesson that we have to learn. There are several times in the Gospel where Jesus tells a parable about how the Kingdom of God is for everyone. That was a very foreign concept to many who heard the Lord speak. They felt that the Kingdom belonged just to them. Nothing could be farther from the truth, however.
The Kingdom of God is for all people. Anyone who is good and upright, who is “pleasing to God”, will have the opportunity to live with Him for eternity.
This day, the Feast of All Souls, reminds us to pray not just for our departed family, friends, and fellow parishioners. This day reminds us to pray for all souls because each and every one was created in God’s image and likeness and each and every one will be invited to live with God for eternity. What the soul does with life here on earth will help determine that response.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for the faithful departed and pray, as well, for all those who grieve the loss of loved ones.
Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace.
May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.