The custom of observing a moment of silence for the dead, has always appeared to me to be silly and useless, but now that I know that it was practiced by my Irish ancestors and that it has a real meaning and purpose, (offering silent prayers to God for the relief of the Holy Souls in Purgatory), I am ashamed of myself for thinking that.
The explanation of the practice is helpful, but a lot of people will still stand for the moment of silence with some vague thoughts of the deceased, which will accomplish nothing except to make them feel emotional and also many people don’t believe in the doctrine of Purgatory. Not believing in something that is real, does not make it go away.
A devotion to the Holy Souls in Purgatory should be part of the life of every Catholic. If you don’t want to go there after death, you should do what you can now, for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. From what I have read based on visions of saints and holy people, when souls are being released from Purgatory, the ones who were devoted to the Holy Souls in Purgatory, when they were living on this earth are usually released before the souls who did not have this devotion.
This is a link to the teaching of St Therese of the Child Jesus on how to avoid Purgatory and go straight to heaven.
People have told me how grateful they were to get to read this information. For those of us who take Purgatory seriously, there can be considerable worry about spending time there. There needn’t be. The teachings at the link provided will explain why.
Purgatory is real and is alluded to in the bible
When we die we can no longer pray for ourselves, but others can pray for us. That there is a place which we call Purgatory is alluded to in the bible in these words: “It is a holy and wholesome thing to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from their sins.” (II Macab. XII., 46)