Faithful Departed

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.  Amen.

When I was a child, certain family friends always added the above prayer on to the typical Catholic meal time grace, “Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts, which we are about to receive from thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.” Eventually we adopted the practice also, and it was fun to “surprise” guests who were not expecting this extra phrase after the usual grace.  I brought the custom into our marriage, so our children have grown up with it as well.  For most of my life I said it by rote, but including prayer for the dead at meal time has taken on real significance over the past few years, particularly since my mother-in-law’s death in 2010 and then my dad’s in 2013.  Whenever someone dies — whether close to us, an acquaintance, or someone prominent — having this built-in remembrance provides a type of solace.  We don’t have to think about it or plan anything; the words are already there, habitual.  And so tonight I made this small offering of prayer for Brogan Dulle, the young Cincinnati man found dead after having been missing for 8 days.  Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. 

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3 Responses to Faithful Departed

  1. Mary-Cabrini Durkin says:

    We too grew up with this prayer. My present dining room table was inherited from my parents, and as I pray “May the souls of the faithful…” it is with a very particular remembrance of those who have sat around it, generations of family and dear friends who broke bread together and now celebrate the eternal banquet.
    Isn’t Brogan your cousin, Peg? I join in your prayer.

  2. Peg Conway says:

    Thank you for adding that lovely image! Brogan is a cousin of my cousins, but not a blood relative of mine. But we’re all one in the communion of saints, aren’t we, as you’ve noted.

  3. kate powers says:

    What a really lovely post! I’ve thought about it often this week. Met somebody yesterday who will be a birth attendant at two deliveries this week of young women clients at First Step Home, a recovery center. (She is not a trained doula. She teaches my Acqua Fit class and is on the board of First Step home. These young women may be having babies who are addicted. In any case they don’t have birth companions. She said that First Step Home is looking for more people to do this service. Thought you would be interested to know about it.) Love, Kate

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