Today is All Souls’ Day. Christians have prayed for the dead since the earliest day of Christianity. Early liturgies and inscriptions on catacomb walls attest to the practice of praying for the departed, a custom that is borrowed from Judaism.
During the seventh century Monks decided to offer the mass on the day after Pentecost for their deceased community members. By the 13th century, the November 2 feast had appeared on the calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. Customs associated with All Souls’ Day vary from culture to culture. In Ireland, families visit the graves of relatives.
Today I revisited a poem I had written To My Grandmother, published in a book of poetry in 1995. My grandmother died on the 18th November 1995.Today, I would like to share the memory of my grandmother with you.
TO MY GRANDMOTHER
Like echoing whispers in still night air
You steal softly through my thought
Waking up the warmth of you
When Sunday evening tea was a novelty
in your home – our hotel
Long before we heard of sea or sand.
Now when I come, discarded are the glasses
And the Irish News – bought to read the deaths.
We chat freely about then and now
Delicate stresses upon your brow
Reminiscing the old, surmising the new
Traditions you speak of are now but few
Yes! Many things have changed but you
Know I love your independent self
May I have half your will, your inner strength,
Your tenderness that beats at every pulse.
Like a locket’s precious contents about the neck
I wear you about my heart