The Eternal Rest Prayer (there are many others)
To learn more about the beautiful Catholic Christian teaching on the Holy Souls in Purgatory, see the links at the end of this page.
For a man:
Eternal rest, grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
For a woman:
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
For multiple people:
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
This Purgatory stuff is important and so many people either never learned about it or forgot or something, because I’ve heard and read some wacky explanations. Hopefully the links below will help you understand or point you in the right direction to learn more.
“All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. The Church gives the name purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1030–1031).
There shall not enter into it any thing defiled,
or that worketh abomination or maketh a lie,
but they that are written in the book of life of the Lamb.
Rev. 21:27, Douay-Rheims Bible, public domain.
Some helpful links
- Holy Souls in Purgatory, by Fr. Robert Voigt at Catholic Culture.
- Catholic Prayer: November Devotion: The Holy Souls in Purgatory.
- For the Souls in Purgatory at The Divine Mercy.
- What the Early Church Believed: Purgatory, a tract by Catholic Answers.
- What is Purgatory, a tract by Catholic Answers.
- Why Purgatory Must Exist, a video in Fr. Chris Alar’s Explaining the Faith series.
- Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Purgatory (Intro), a video by Dr. Brant Pitre.
- Purgatory in the Bible, a video by Dr. Brant Pitre.
- What is Purgatory, a video by Fr. Mike Schmitz.
- How To Avoid Purgatory, a video by Mother Angelica. (I miss her!)
Image credit: St. Simon Stock and the Virgin interceding for souls in Purgatory, Corrado Giaquinto, via the Athenaeum, public domain. (Sadly, that marvelous site went offline in 2019 or 2020.)