PORTLAND — Many Maine parishes are planning special Masses, services, and commemorations for All Souls’ Day (Tuesday, Nov. 2) as Catholics pray for the souls of those who have died and are still in purgatory, being prepared for eternal life in heaven. 

In the 11th century, St. Odilo, the abbot at the Benedictine Monastery in Cluny, France, encouraged all the monks to pray for the souls of those who had died, those waiting the joys of heaven. He instituted this commemoration on the day after All Saints’ Day, and soon other religious orders and churches began, on that same date, to annually remember all who had died. Catholics believe that by praying for them, we are inspired to lead purer lives. Praying for the dead is one of the spiritual works of mercy.

Here is a list of the special commemorations confirmed for Nov. 2:

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Portland

The Consoling Hearts Ministry invites you to an All Souls’ Day Mass in remembrance of our loved ones who passed away during the past year. The Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Robert Deeley at 6 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on 307 Congress Street in Portland. During the Mass, members of the Consoling Hearts Ministry will read the names of all the individuals who had funeral Masses celebrated at one of the Portland Peninsula & Island Parishes during the past year. Prior to Mass, the Book of Remembrance will be available at the entrance to the church for family members to write names of loved ones who had prayers offered at a funeral home or at committal. This book will be brought to the foot of the altar before Mass begins. Though these names will not be read aloud, they will be remembered during the Prayers of the Faithful.

St. Martin of Tours Church, Millinocket

During a Mass celebrated at 5 p.m. at St. Martin of Tours Church (19 Colby Street in Millinocket), the names of deceased parishioners will be read, and candles will be lit in their memory and in celebration of their lives. Special invitations are being extended to anyone who lost a loved one at the parish during the past year. There will also be a book of the deceased at the church, as well as at St. Peter Church in East Millinocket, in which people may place the names of loved ones who have passed away. Prayers will be offered for them during the All Souls’ Day Mass as well as at Masses throughout the month of November.

St. Hyacinth Church and Cemetery, Westbrook

Evening prayer and the Office of the Dead will be held at St. Hyacinth Cemetery, located on 296 Stroudwater Street in Westbrook, at 5 p.m. A Solemn Latin Requiem Mass will be celebrated at 6:30 p.m. at St. Hyacinth Church on 268 Brown Street, followed by evening prayer in the cemetery.

Here is a list of All Souls’ Day Masses at Maine parishes (alphabetically by city/town):

St. Augustine Church, 75 Northern Avenue, Augusta – Mass at 7:30 a.m.

St. Mary Church, 768 Ohio Street, Bangor – Mass at 8:30 a.m.

St. Benedict Church, 1063 Benedicta Road, Benedicta – Mass at 9 a.m. 

Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, 82 Atlantic Avenue, Boothbay Harbor – Mass at noon

St. John the Baptist Church, 39 Pleasant Street, Brunswick – Mass at 8 a.m.

Holy Rosary Church, 34 Vaughn Street, Caribou – Mass at 8:30 a.m.

St. Mary Church, 3443 Aroostook Road, Eagle Lake – Mass at 1 p.m.

St. Joseph Church, 231 Main Street, Ellsworth – Masses at 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

St. Joseph Church, 133 Middle Street, Farmington – Mass at 8:30 a.m. 

St. Denis Church, 143 Main Street, Fort Fairfield – Mass at 8:30 a.m.

Holy Family Church, 145 Pritham Avenue, Greenville – Masses at noon and 6 p.m. 

St. Matthew Church, 70 Western Avenue, Hampden – Mass at 5:30 p.m.

St. Mary of the Visitation Church, 110 Military Street, Houlton – Mass at 7:30 a.m.

St. Faustina Church, 370 Main Street, Jackman – Mass at 8:30 a.m.

St. Rose of Lima Church, 1 Church Street, Jay – Eucharistic adoration from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Mass at 6 p.m.  

Basilica of Ss. Peter & Paul, 122 Ash Street, Lewiston – Mass at 7 a.m. 

Holy Trinity Church, 67 Frost Hill Avenue, Lisbon Falls – Mass at 8:30 a.m.

St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 337 St. Thomas Street, Madawaska – Mass at 6 p.m.

St. Catherine of Sienna Church, 32 Paris Street, Norway – Mass at 8 a.m.

Holy Family Church, 429 Main Street, Old Town – A Mass of Remembrance will be held at 6 p.m.

St. Pius X Church, 492 Ocean Avenue, Portland – Mass at 9 a.m.

St. Luke Church, 19 Lake Street, Rangeley – Mass at 9 a.m.

St. Athanasius & St. John Church, 126 Maine Avenue, Rumford – Mass at 8:15 a.m.

Holy Family Church, 66 North Avenue, Sanford – Mass at 6 p.m.

St. Joseph Church, 413 Shore Road, Sinclair – Mass at 8:30 a.m.

Notre Dame de Lourdes Church, 273 Water Street, Skowhegan – Mass at 8 a.m.

St. Mary Star of the Sea Church, 8 Granite Street, Stonington – Mass at 8:30 a.m.

St. John Church, 76 Main Street, Stratton – Mass at 6 p.m.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 919 Roosevelt Trail, Windham – Mass at 8 a.m.

In addition, a Votive Mass will be held at St. Bruno-St. Remi Church (174 Main Street in Van Buren) on Wednesday, Nov. 3, at 6 p.m.; a Mass of Remembrance for deceased loved ones will be held at St. John Church (217 York Street in Bangor) on Saturday, Nov. 6, at 9 a.m.; and a Mass in Commemoration of the Dead will be held at Holy Name of Jesus Church (8 Free Street in Machias) on Saturday, Nov. 6, at 10 a.m.