Category Archives: Catholic Traditions

20 Ways to Pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory

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Prayers for the faithful departed pleases God, who makes use of our prayers to help purify these souls that He loves. It is an act of charity that we can give for those we have known and loved, for our ancestors who gave us life, for those souls whose memory is lost, and for those who have no one else to pray for them.

Here are some ideas for praying for these suffering (and often neglected) souls, especially during the month of November dedicated to their memory: Continue reading


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Prayer for the Holy Souls in Purgatory by St. Gertrude the Great

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Tradition holds that St. Gertrude the Great was told by Our Lord that the following prayer, when piously recited, would release 1,000 souls from purgatory. Continue reading


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Pray a Novena for the Holy Souls in Purgatory

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St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) was a bishop, founder of the Redemptorists, Doctor of the Church, and patron saint of moral theologians. He composted the following novena (9 days of prayer for a particular intention) for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

The Holy Souls in Purgatory are members of the Church who await the purification of their souls before joining the saints in heaven for all eternity. The souls in purgatory cannot pray for themselves, they cannot do anything to hasten their entrance into heaven. But we can pray for them Continue reading


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How to Celebrate Advent like a Catholic

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Does it seem to you that each year the holiday season gets busier and busier, and we get further and further away from the true meaning of the Advent and Christmas season?

The best way to combat this tendency is to adopt or renew Advent traditions in the home. Whether you are single, a busy parent with kids, or empty-nesters, you can celebrate Advent like you are actually anticipating the coming of Christ—which is the whole point. It’s a spiritual journey! Continue reading


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Holy Smokes: Why Catholics Use Incense in Worship

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At Mass and other liturgical services we see the altar servers and priests swinging censers, sending clouds of incense wafting through the air. In Catholic liturgy, everything symbolizes a theological truth.

So, what does incense symbolize?

Incense has been used in Christian liturgy from its earliest centuries. In fact, it was a part of the Jewish tradition that came before it, a use that was commanded by God himself and recorded in Sacred Scripture. Continue reading


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8 Ways to use Holy Water

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When we read this quote from St. Teresa of Avila, we should be reminded of the importance of holy water. As a recalling of our baptism and our baptismal promises, Catholics dip their fingers in the holy water and make the sign of the cross when entering the church. Our baptismal promises included renouncing Satan and disdaining sin. However, I think that most of the time we take holy water for granted. Because we use it so regularly, it’s any easy thing to do. Continue reading


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A Lenten Tradition: Veiling the Cross

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Towards the end of Lent you may notice purple cloths draped over crucifixes, statues, and images of saints in your church. In some churches, these items are actually removed from the sanctuary altogether. Continue reading


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How to Make a Catholic Easter Basket for Kids

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The average Easter basket – the thing that really gets children excited on Easter Sunday – doesn’t always reflect the significance of the holiday or call to mind Christ’s Resurrection. But this doesn’t have to be the case! Continue reading


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Bambinelli Sunday: A Christmas Book & Craft Idea

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Bambinelli Sunday: A Christmas Blessing is a great children’s book out for the Christmas holiday season written by Amy Welborn. It’s a story about a boy, Alessandro, whose grandparents run a business that makes figurines for nativity scenes.

While spending time with his grandparents, Alessandro’s grandfather encourages him to craft his own baby Jesus figurine in order to bring it to St. Peter’s Square for the annual blessing by the Holy Father, called Bambinelli Sunday. Continue reading


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Prayer for America by John Carroll, First U.S. Bishop

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Pope Pius VI named John Carroll the first bishop of the United States of America in 1789. His cousin, Charles Carroll, was one of America’s Founding Fathers and the only Catholic to sign the Declaration of Independence. Archbishop Carroll wrote the following prayer for our newly formed government on November 10, 1791, to be recited in parishes throughout his diocese. Continue reading


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