All Souls Day Meditation

November 2 is All Souls Day or the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed. The Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos), recognized primarily (though not only) in Mexico where it originated, is celebrated October 31 through November 2. November 2 is a day on which  Catholics pray that their deceased loved ones and all of those who have been lost rest in peace.

While this particular day is part of a particular religion, having a yearly day of remembrance for all those who have died is, I believe, important in acknowledging the role death plays in life. Especially during a pandemic, when hundreds of thousands of people have lost their lives and millions have lost loved ones, it is important for us to show solidarity with those families regardless of our religious background.

Loss is loss; it is not denominational. Grief is grief; it does not follow a specific religious path. Hurt is hurt and healing is healing.

We would do well to remember all of our family and friends who have passed, all those who have passed because of the Coronavirus, and all those who have been lost over the year to other causes. Whether we know the deceased or not is irrelevant; grievers are grievers and we know the deep pain and sorrow that accompanies loss.

I am a bit behind in my acknowledgment of All Souls Day (and of Dia de los Muertos), but I wanted to offer a prayer on which to meditate as a way of remembering those who have left us.

Photo by Adonyi Gu00e1bor on

All Souls Day Prayer

Merciful Father,

On this day, we are called to remember those who have died,

Particularly those who have died in the past year,

And pray for their joyful reunion with you, their loving creator.

As your son taught us to call the stranger 

neighbor, our fallen are many—

Names we will never know,

Voices we have never heard,

In lands we may never visit,

Yet brothers and sisters all.

And so we pray.

For victims of war, caught in the crossfires of

conflicts we could not quell,

for soldiersand civilians,

adults and children, we pray …

Grant eternal rest, O Lord.

For those migrants who have died seeking a

haven where they hoped to find safety

and opportunity for themselves and for their families, we pray …

Grant eternal rest, O Lord.

For victims of hunger, denied their share in the

bounty you have placed before us, we pray …

Grant eternal rest, O Lord.

For victims of AIDS, Malaria, Ebola, [COVID-19,] and other infectious diseases,

who died before adequate care could reach them, we pray …

Grant eternal rest, O Lord.

For those refugees seeking asylum from war,

who died in a land that was not their home, we pray …

Grant eternal rest, O Lord.

For victims of emergencies and calamities everywhere,

who died amid chaos and confusion, we pray …

Grant eternal rest, O Lord.

Lord, as you command, we reach out to the fallen.

We call on you on behalf of those we could not reach this year.

You raised your son from the dead

that all may share in his joyful resurrection.

In Jesus’ name, we pray …

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,

Et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Requiescant in pace.


From <>
Photo by Fernando Capetillo on

Dia de los Muertos Prayer

November 2

God of the living and the dead, Today we remember our ancestors who have gone before us in death. Their lives added to the richness of ours. Their gifts were gifts to us. Grateful for the enduring treasures of our memories and Mindful that our love and relationships continue into the next life, Draw us near to our ancestors in faith and love. Let us remember them with sweetness and happiness this night. Keep from our hearts the bitterness of our parting and Replace it with the joy of anticipating eternal life with you and all your saints.


From <dia-de-los-muertos-prayer.pdf (>

Published by ancarroll

Alexandra N. Carroll is an author, grief advocate, crafter, mother, and partner. She writes on grief and self-care from her home in Vermont. Her forthcoming book concerns how to untangle life-after-loss through the creation of a strong self-care plan.

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