[quote=Reformed Rob]Whats up with these purgatory stories? Sorry, but even if I believed in purgatory, even if, well,
Well, the practice of praying for the dead has been part of the Jewish faith since before Christ. We Catholic’s base our observance of this on 2 Maccabees 12:39-46. A century and a half before Christ, prayer for the dead was taken for granted. Unlike Protestantism, Catholicism has preserved this authentic element of Judeo-Christian faith.
Jews still believe in a purification (a purgation) which takes place after death. When a Jewish person’s loved one dies, it is customary to pray on his behalf for eleven months using a prayer known as the mourner’s Qaddish (derived from the Hebrew word meaning “holy”). This prayer is used to ask God to hasten the purification of the loved one’s soul. The Qaddish is prayed for only eleven months because it is thought to be an insult to imply that the loved one’s sins were so severe that he would require a full year of purification.