We all have someone whom we loved and have now passed on and today, the Catholic Church gives us the opportunity to pray for them. According to church teachings, when we all die, we must enter Purgatory which is a place of cleansing before we are admitted to heaven. We are told in 2 Maccabees 12:46 that our responsibility is to "pray for the dead that they may be loosed from sins". So our duty on earth is to pray for our loved ones who have gone before us so that their time in Purgatory may fasten so that they can come face to face with Jesus in heaven. One of the most powerful ways for us to pray for the dead is by offering a mass for them. According to the doctrines of the Church, "the mass is the highest form of prayer" and the more masses we offer up for a dearly departed, the faster they are admitted to heaven. So, ideally, our prayers for the dead is for them to leave Purgatory as quickly as possible so that they can enter heaven.
If people die in mortal sin, that is, they do not confess their sins before the death, they can be admitted to hell where, once a soul enters there, they cannot leave. That is why, it is important, as Catholics, for us to recognize the power in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
On this day of All Souls, we pray for all our loved ones who have gone before us and hope that they will see Jesus in all his Glory when they come into his presence in heaven. Eternal rest grant unto them Oh Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.
--B. Durham, 2014