Twelve Days of Prayer for the Holy Souls

Immortal God, Holy Lord, Father and Protector of all You have created, we raise our hearts to You today for those who have passed out of this mortal life.

In Your loving mercy, Father, be pleased to receive them in Your heavenly company, and forgive the failings and faults they may have done from human frailty.

Your only Son, Christ, our Savior, suffered so cruelly that He might deliver them from the second death. By His merits may they share in the glory of His victory over sin and death.

For all the faithful who have died we pray, but in particular for those dear to us, parents, relatives, and friends. Nor do we forget all who did good to us while on earth, who helped us by their prayers, sacrifices, and example. We pray also for any who may have done us harm, and stand in special need of Your forgiveness.

May the merits and prayers of our Virgin Mother, Mary, and those of all Your angels and saints, speak for us and assist them now. We ask this in Christ’s name. Amen.


Day 1

Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted. – Matthew 5:5

REFLECTION: The pain of loss and separation at death is hard to bear. Let us turn to God, the Author of Life, for comfort and consolation in sorrow. God sends us every trial for a greater good. For love of us, remember, He did not spare His only Son.

PRAYER: O Lord, God, have pity on us and the departed souls so dear to us, and relieve our pain and grief. By the suffering of Christ, our Savior, in His Agony and Passion have mercy on all our beloved dead. Assist us, too, to greater faith in Your goodness. Amen.

May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.
Day 2

Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord! Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication. – Psalm 130:1-2

REFLECTION: Let us think often of those souls suffering as they are purified of their earthly faults and failings. They endure the pain of separation from God, and yet are consoled by the certainty of their salvation. God’s beauty attracts them even as the weight of their unworthiness holds them. They need and cry to us for help.

PRAYER: Have pity, O Lord, our God, on all who patiently await the joy of Your presence. Forgive their sins and failings, and in Your goodness summon them soon to You. Amen.

May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.
Day 3

Have pity on me, have pity on me, O you, my friends, for the hand of God has touched me. – Job 19:21

REFLECTION: By our offering of Mass, and our faithfulness in prayer and good works, we help those dear to us who may still remain in purgatory. Those we aid on the last stage of their journey home to God will never forget us for our help in their hour of need.

PRAYER: Lord, our God, may the merits of Jesus Christ, of His virgin Mother, and of all the saints intercede for us and assist those who still patiently await the vision of Your glory. Amen.

May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.
Day 4

We want you to be quite certain about those who have died, to make sure that you do not grieve about them, like the other people who have no hope. – 1 Thessalonians 4:12

REFLECTION: We can always be close to those we love who have died when we, ourselves, draw closer to Christ. We help them best by a useful and devout life, by the offering of Mass for them, and by constant prayer and good deeds done in their memory.

PRAYER: Help us, Lord, our God, to honor and help our beloved dead by doing Your Will faithfully each day. May the merits of our Lady and the saints aid us to do so. Amen.

May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.
Day 5

It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be freed from their sins. – 2 Machabees 12:45

REFLECTION: How easy and human it is to forget with the passing of time those we loved so dearly while they lived! We should pray for them often in gratitude for their kindness to us, and the good example they gave us in times past.

PRAYER: Come to our aid, O God, and help us to pray faithfully for our dear dead. By Your grace enable us to honor their memory by a good Christian life so that we may one day happily join them in Your Holy presence. Amen.

May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.
Day 6

In the eyes of the unwise they seemed to die, but they are at peace. – Wisdom 3:3

REFLECTION: God loves our dear departed much more than we ever can. He called them home to Himself at the time He did because it was then best for them and for us. Be consoled, then, that they are now safe in His hands where no malice or torment can touch them.

PRAYER: O Lord, our God, teach us to see Your good and gracious purpose working in all our trials and bereavement. Have mercy on our dear departed whom we commend to You, forgive them their sins and failings, and give them rest everlasting. Amen.

May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.
Day 7

Open to me the gates of righteousness that I may enter through them, and give thanks to the Lord. – Psalm 118:19

REFLECTION: Those whom we loved in life are closer to us now with God than they ever were on earth. Only a thin veil separates us from the unseen world in which they now live. Faith pierces that veil though our bodily eyes cannot. We should pray as constantly for our dear dead as they never fail to pray for us.

PRAYER: O Lord, our God, show us the reality of Your divine life, and help us to pray often in faith for and to those we love who are now with You. Please help us by the merit our Blessed Lady gained beneath Christ’s cross to be patient, faithful, and loving. Amen.

May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.
Day 8

Our feet are now standing inside your gates, O Jerusalem. Since the Lord, our God, dwells here, I pray for your happiness. – Psalm 122:2, 9

REFLECTION: Those we love, who have gone before us into life, are as concerned for our welfare as we should be for theirs. Now, they see the world for what it is, a preparation for the unending bliss they enjoy. They intercede for us always.

PRAYER: O Lord, our God, by the prayers of our beloved dead may we be spared sin and trouble on our earthly journey, and may we ever be ready by obeying Your commandments to follow them home. Amen.
May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.
Day 9

When the Lord brought Zion’s captives home, at first it seemed like a dream; then our mouths filled with laughter and our lips with song. – Psalm 126:1-2

REFLECTION: We should be comforted often by recalling the joy of our departed as they entered God’s presence. They have gained their heart’s desire and with Him everlasting happiness. They wait for us to join them there.

PRAYER: O Lord, our God, increase our faith. Inspire us to pray often for the faithful departed still being purified, and to pray to those already in the glory of Your presence. Amen.

May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.
Day 10

For we know that when the tent that we live in on earth is folded up, there is a house built by God for us in heaven, an everlasting home not made by human hands. – 2 Corinthians 5:1

REFLECTION: As we think and pray for those now dead who were close to us here below, we should remember how certain it is that we will one day join them. Now is our time to make ready.

Be with us, Lord, our God, on our earthly journey. Please guide us safely to the eternal home You have prepared for us. When our way is hard, give us a vision in faith of the splendor of that heavenly home. Amen.

May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.
Day 11

For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. – Philippians 1:21

REFLECTION: When we are ever intent on God’s Will, and eager for His Kingdom to come, we are living worthy of the promises of Christ. When God calls us home, our work will be finished here, and He will give us Himself as our eternal reward.

PRAYER: Help us each day, O Lord, our God, to meet our daily tasks in the spirit of Christ whether our work seems important in the eyes of the world or not. Preserve us from every evil, and confirm us in doing good so that death, when it comes, will be for us the door to perpetual life with You. Amen.

May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.
Day 12

When this perishable nature has put on imperishability, and when this mortal nature has put on immortality, then the scripture will come true: Death is swallowed up in victory. Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting? – 1 Corinthians 15:55

REFLECTION: Christ’s Easter victory over sin and death is our assurance of our own future life of unfading glory when “death shall be no more.”

PRAYER: May Your Holy Spirit ever remain with us, O Lord, our God, to keep us faithful to Your Word, and always ready by enduring with Christ to share His victory over sin and death. Amen.

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