Prayers for the Dead


In my litany of deceased souls that I pray for, what becomes of the prayers that are said for the souls, unbenonst to me that are in hell? I possibly knew some people who were on that road to hell before they died, but I don’t know for sure where they wound up and so pray for their souls in good faith.
Truly it can’t be in vain?


IMHO, there are not wasted prayers in this regard. No one can presume to know the depths of God’s mercy, even for those who appear to have a date with the devil. If indeed the person you were praying for was in Hell, perhaps God would apply your prayer to someone who needed it in Purgatory. It would certainly seem to show an work of charity on your part to pray for all souls, especially the ones in most need of God’s mercy…even if their fate may have already been determined.


What you say makes sense and eases my mind. I thank you.


a priest preaching a mission in my former parish cited St. Thomas Aquinas in telling us that the graces of all the prayers & Masses for the dead, no matter when they are offered, are available to the person at the moment of their particular judgement, because after death they are no longer in time, but in eternity.


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