All Souls Day - Church Cemetery - Bangladesh - Wikimedia CC
The words "in memorium" often grace the cards they hand out at wakes in New England. When I was a child, we called them Holy Cards and collected them much like the way some people collect baseball cards.
Collecting them served two purposes, although I am not sure any of us kids were really aware of them. First, having a cared that memorialized someone assured the family that this person would not be forgotten. Second, the cards often displayed classic religious paintings and poetry, both of which we ended up memorizing after so many times of staring at the cards.
One of my favorite pictures was that of a Guardian Angel guarding over two children as the crossed a rickety bridge of a swollen stream. This was a card from the funeral of a child who died of pneumonia before we had penicillin.
Today is all Soul's Day - a day of remembrance - a day to offer a prayer or light a candle for those who have died this year and in the past. Many cultures celebrate by going to graveyards with picnics and music. They clean the graves of their ancestors and celebrate the memories they have of them in story and song. Other cultures are much more somber, leaving flowers or going to church to pray for their loved one's soul.
I will light a candle for my immediate family, all of whom have passed through the veil. I will offer a prayer of thanksgiving for their being in my life and for all they taught me. I will not be too sad, knowing that they all suffered greatly while here on Earth. I know they do not suffer now. Also, I will remember all my friends and colleagues who have also traveled on ahead of us all. They, too, taught me lessons for which I am grateful.
May we all remember with love and joy those we love and who loved us on this All Soul's Day. Blessings!!