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Diocese of GalwayKilmacduagh & Kilfenora

Deoise na GaillimheChill Mac Duach & Chill Fhionnúrach

In November We Remember

Published on 03/11/2020
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Image of autumn trees and a path with the text In November We Remember

On Sunday 1 November, the eve of All Souls’ Day, Bishop Brendan joined with other bishops and priests around Ireland online at 3.00pm in leading a short service of prayer to dedicate the month of November to ‘Remembrance of the Dead and Prayer for the Bereaved’. 

November is a time for remembering and praying for our loved ones who have gone before us and whose loss we feel. It is a time when we are particularly conscious of those in our parishes who are grieving and all those families who have lost loved ones in the past year. More than most years, this November will be especially poignant as we remember all those who have died during the Covid-19 pandemic.

We mark this time of year in our parishes with events such as the blessing of graves and the celebration of remembrance services, as well as commemorating All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day. As families are not able to attend remembrance services in person this year, we offer this prayer resource for use at home throughout the month of November as a way to remember our loved ones who are no longer with us.

While much of what we would usually do together will not be possible this year, parishes are still inviting people to be part of the parish remembrance of those who have died. Many parishes will create a sacred space within the church. This is usually a suitable place in the sanctuary area which will be left in place for the whole month of November. While public worship is not possible during Level 5 restrictions, churches are open for private prayer which could focus on November intentions. Parishes will still have a November list of the dead, a remembrance tree and a remembrance candle. 

Please check in with your local parish for November remembrance initiatives.


Prayers and Reflections for the month of November

Prayers of Intercession 

On this feast of All Saints,
we pray that the Church may be blessed
by the example of goodness and holiness in its members,
from the most hidden to the most prominent.
Lord, hear us.

The saints celebrate the victory of Christ
over everything that oppresses God’s children.
May our communities be places where believers work confidently
for that victory.
Lord, hear us.

We pray for those who are in mourning.
May they find real hope in the conviction
that God is the God of the living, 
and that to him all people are alive.
Lord, hear us.

May our faithful department
find a merciful judge and cleansing of their sins.
Lord, hear us.

We pray for all young people in the parish who have died. We remember especially those who have died suddenly, those who have died in tragedy. May the Lord bring them to a place of light, peace and healing.
Lord, hear us. 

We pray for places in our world where people face death on a daily basis because of violence, hunger, war, or disease. We pray for an end to violence and injustice in our world and that God may turn our hearts in compassion towards those in need.
Lord, hear us.

For all the faithful departed,
especially those who suffered during their life
on account of their faith and their integrity.
May their courage be rewarded
and may they intercede for us from heaven. 
Lord, hear us.

For those who have died.
May they hear the Lord inviting them
to enter into the joy of their Master.
Lord, hear us.

Lord God,
whose days are without end and whose mercies beyond counting,
keep us mindful that life is short and the hour of death unknown.
Let your Spirit guide our days on earth in the ways of holiness and justice,
that we may serve you in union with the whole Church,
sure in faith, strong in hope, perfect in love.
And when our earthly journey is ended,
lead us rejoicing into your kingdom,
where you live forever and ever.

(Order of Christian Funerals, 332)

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 the 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 and help us to bring light and hope to others. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord, Amen.

Prayer for the Dead 
Into your hands, O Lord,
We humbly entrust our brothers and sisters.
In this life you embraced them with your tender love;
deliver them now from every evil
and bid them enter eternal rest.

The old order has passed away:
welcome them into paradise,
where there will be no sorrow,
no weeping nor pain,
but fullness of peace and joy
with your Son and the Holy Spirit
forever and ever.

Prayer for a father who has died
I thank you God for my father. He was
my inspiration, my strength, my teacher
and I loved him dearly.
Grant him peace and happiness
in your kingdom.

Prayer for a mother who has died
I commit my mother to your care, O Lord.
She was my inspiration, my carer, a dear friend,
and a constant source of live and affection.
Grant to her Lord, eternal rest.

A Blessing Prayer for Graves 

Let us pray:
God of Abraham and God of Moses, Lord of the living, who visited Jesus within his grave And filled him with the fullness of eternal life, Hear our prayers this day as we come to this cemetery, this holy place of burial. With reverence, we visit here where the sacred bodies of our loved ones have been placed in the womb of the earth to await the final day of glory. We pause in silence to be united with our loved one.

Lord, we have come on this pilgrimage of prayer in order to keep the flame of love alive in our hearts. As we bless these graves with our prayers and with holy water and incense, we give thanks that the names of these loved ones buried here have been written for all ages in the palm of your hand. May the breath of creation that surrounds these holy graves – the trees, the grass, the birds, the wind, and the sun – join us today in prayer. May this pilgrimage remind us of what our faith teaches us – that our souls do not die, but rather are transformed into new life through Christ. Holy are these resting places. Holy is this earth that has held in gentle embrace the bodies of all who are buried in this cemetery.

Lord, with reverence, we leave our prayers and our love at these graves, and we remember in faith the reality of that earthen Easter morning when all the holy dead shall rise in the splendour of your glory. Until that day, eternal rest be to those whose graves we visit today, and to all the holy dead. We place this prayer before you through Christ our Lord.


The Blessing of St Francis of Assisi

The Lord bless you
and keep you.
May He show His face
to you and have mercy.
May He turn His countenance
to you and give you peace.
The Lord bless you!

Autumnal Wood Wisdom
and with reverence,
the golden
autumnal woods,
and then,
its vaulted
sylvan sanctuary,
allow its
burnished beauty
bronzed leaf,
polished nut,
shining fruit
to reflect deep
eternal richness
Divine generosity,
gifting grace
in each moment,
of Heaven’s harvesting,
to breathe its blessing
through you.

accepting its
annual invitation to
you will
the slowing
heartbeat of the earth
as she moves towards
yearned for yearly
maternal meditation,
and feel her
ever deepening breaths
appear as
between branches
slowly releasing
leaf’s attachment
into wind’s wildness,
beckoning you
into the stillness
that bears
the slow fruiting
whose sweet taste

Brother Richard Hendrick Ofm Cap 

Love Lives On

Those we love remain with us
for love itself lives on,
and cherished memories never fade
because a loved one’s gone.
Those we love can never be
more than a thought apart,
far as long as there is memory,
they’ll live on in the heart.

Remember those who kept the Faith
Who always turned to pray,
who showed the Love of Jesus
In their lives from day to day.
Remember those this special time,
Who live with God above,
All Saints, all Souls and all our own
Who live with God in Love.