The month of November marks the noble tradition of our faith of praying for the faithful departed in a profound way.
While Catholics take time for remembrance of our dead throughout the year, in November we pray in particular way for those whom we have loved and who have gone before us to God. In parishes, ‘Lists of the Dead’ are made available so that local people have an opportunity to write down the names of their departed, and to express gratitude for the lives while commending them in prayer to the God’s infinite mercy and love.
The staff of the Bishops’ Conference, who work in the Columba Centre, Maynooth, will once again have a ‘Remembrance Tree’ placed in the foyer during the month of November. Anyone is invited to write the name of their loved ones on the Autumn “leaves”, made of blank paper, which are placed on the tree. For those who cannot attend Columba Centre in person, email requests with names of the faithful departed can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, and these names will be added to the Remembrance Tree.
According to Monsignor Joseph McGuinness (pictured), the Executive Secretary of the Bishops’ Conference, “our hearts hold special memories for all those who have left us and, in a special way, in November we remember. Our tradition at the Bishops’ Conference of providing a Remembrance Tree allows us to use Autumn “leaves” to write the names of our deceased, and to reflect on the sense of dying and letting go. At the same time, the leaves of Autumn remind us of our hope and trust in rebirth, renewal and sharing in the Resurrection of Christ. The Remembrance Tree will be a reminder to all of us to keep in our thoughts and prayers all whose names are inscribed on it.”
A Prayer of Remembrance
God, thank you for the special people in our lives whom we are remembering in a special way during the month of November.
We thank you for being a compassionate God who walks with us in our dark moments of grief and loneliness.
We are thankful for all who continue to love and support us through our grief.
Lord, continue to be a light for us, giving us hope, direction and courage.
May we now live our lives treasuring the memories of those special people we have known and loved. May they find with you eternal happiness and peace, and help us to bring light and hope to others. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord, Amen.