All Souls' Day can come off as the ugly stepsister of All Saints' Day. All Saints' Day: there's that great Litany of the Saints, kids dress up, maybe score some extra Halloween candy, - it's a Party Day!
All Souls' Day: you contemplate the Four Last Things, and not one of them is Tootsie Rolls. You think of all the dead people you know. You probably hear mournful chant running through your head all day. And for real excitement, someone suggests a visit to a graveyard. It is Not a Party Day.
I probably haven't mentioned this before but I have a real devotion to the souls in Purgatory. I say the Prayer for the Dead twice a day (luckily it's a short prayer, otherwise those Holy Souls would probably get short shrift from me), and I offer up two specific things year 'round for their souls. Two things I hate doing: pumping gas, and blow-drying my hair.
Oh, and visits to the dentist. I cannot tell you how much I hate going to the dentist. I figure I've cleared Purgatory a couple of times now.
I mean, I have to fill the gas tank. I have to dry my hair. And I want to keep my teeth. I hate, hate, hate doing the tasks those goals require, so I might as well put them to good use, right?
And it's all for a good cause. Souls that are freed from purgatory are grateful souls. They will be your friends forever. And face it, you need all friends you can get.
At least I do.