Monday, October 29, 2007

All Souls Decoration

Each month, we have been trying to introduce the kids to new prayers and devotions. It started back in May with our May Crowning Devotion and continued into June with our nightly decade. July was the month of the the Precious Blood and we said this prayer that we found at Aussie Annie's lovely website. August, September and October have seen the continuation of the nightly decade (with a good amount of focus on all of the mysteries in rotation) which has become our weekly rosary. We say the beginning prayers of the rosary on Sunday, one decade each day of the week and then finish with the ending prayers on Saturday. Well, I would like to focus our prayers for November on the Holy Souls in Purgatory and had an idea to help us in that task.

I was the recipient of my grandmother's holy card stash when she passed away. Inside the homemade pouch were many holy cards, some poems, but also, the Funeral Mass cards of various friends and family members. She even had one from her own mother's funeral saved in a plastic bag, separate from all the others. Some are old and faded, some are written in Czech. The ones that can be read are for people I have never met. Anyway... I wanted to use these as our inspiration to remember the Holy Souls and to pray for them throughout the month of November.

First, I painted a square 36" dowel black to blend in with my fireplace mantle. Then I took 20 gauge bead wire and cut it into varying lengths. I twisted one end into a spiral formation and folded 1 inch of the other end in half. Using the smallest drill bit, I drilled semi-evenly spaced holes in the dowel and inserted the crimped end into the hole. My smallest bit made the wires a little wobbly; that's why I folded the ends. They ended up nice and snug. I used Grandma's funeral cards and added a few pictures of my own (Pope John Paul II, my papa's grave marker, Grandpa's obituary picture). Tea lights and a pretty garland really framed it well I think.

I am posting this now on the off chance that someone might want to try it. All in only took me about an hour to put together and that includes watching the paint dry. I realize that this wouldn't be so easy for someone not comfortable with power tools, but it really wasn't very complicated. You could even do everything in advance and let hubby drill the holes.

O gentlest heart of Jesus ever present in the Blessed Sacrament, ever consumed with burning love for the poor captive souls in purgatory, have mercy on the souls of Thy departed servants. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.


  1. I love this Matilda! What a great idea. Maybe I will come up with my own version, although I don't think we have all that many mementos/prayer cards of loved ones. Still, I could come up with something. Brilliant!

    You could even change the cards/pictures with each month or season. You could use St. Nicholas, St. Lucia, Mary, etc. prayer cards during Advent. And so on. I'm sure you could think of more. Anyway, fantastic work!

  2. Matilda,

    This is really pretty -- I love it (but I don't have a fireplace, but I do have an altar that I could put this on!). Sensational idea and thanks so much for sharing it with us all.....

  3. You have such an eye for beauty, Matilda. This is lovely.

    Have a blessed month devoted to the Poor Souls'!

  4. Thanks matilda for inspiration that I intend to put to like use and Nicole...yes...why not use it for the saints and others we honor monthly!

  5. Love the wire idea and Nichole's idea to change it up according to the season. I'm not as crafty as you, so my idea centers around finding a dead tree branch. Last year we found one to hang our Jesse tree ornanments on. This year, we found a tree branch even earlier. We are going to hang saint's cards on it on November 1st for All Saints Day. Then, in a glass pumpkin jar from Target, I'm going to place cardstock leaves in autumn colors to write blessings on them and hang them on the tree to be read on Thanksgiving Day. With your idea, I'm going to add prayer cards of deceased relatives on All Soul's Day. Everything will come down the first day of Advent, when we will start using the Jesse tree ornaments. In the meantime, maybe I can try your lovely idea out. - Littlebit

  6. This is so clever - I have a bunch of cards from funerals that would be perfect for something like this. I'll have to see how I can make it toddler friendly.

  7. Great idea. I hope I can find enough funeral prayer cards to do this.

  8. This really is a lovely idea. And I couldn't help but notice the beautiful statue next to your fireplace. Where did you find it?

  9. Kristen,
    There is quite a story behind that statue which I will have to see if I can put into words someday. For now, I will tell you that we discovered it at a Catholic bookstore in San Antonio but I know for a fact that they don't carry this line of statues anymore. I will call them tomorrow and see if they can remember the name of the manufacturer since we have had so many people ask. It is hard to tell even in person that it is made out of plastic or resin. It was meant to be an outdoor statue, but I couldn't bear to put it outside. Everyone who sees it thinks its rubbed bronze.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts and yourself!