After two Solemn EF Masses at the Oxford Oratory for the Dead - last night for All Souls and this evening the annual one for Deceased Fathers and Brothers of the Oratory - I feel their austere and timeless beauty, together with the absolutions at the cataphalque, has got me firmly into the mood for the November concern to pray for the departed.
The Medieval Histories site had further material for this season beyond the ghost stories from Byland which I linked to on All Saints Day, and I think these are worth sharing together with some additions.
The origins and development of the regular commemoration of the departed in November are considered in Souling and the contribution of the great abbey of Cluny in the eleventh century is examined at Saints and Souls. The medieval experience of these things in Poland is discussed in Living with the Dead
The tradition of baking Soul Cakes to be given out to those who came around the houses of a community offering to pray for the departed in return is considered at Sweets for All Souls
and, complete with fourteenth century recipes at Soul Cakes
More recipes for Soul Cakes, and how to bake them, can be found on YouTube at Samhain Soul Cakes Recipie and, using a late sixteenth or early seventeenth century English recipe, from the engaging Max Miller of Tasting History at Soul Cakes & Trick-or-Treating
It would be rather nice to see a revival of such things to mark the season. Maybe, when ( if?) we return to ‘normal’ ways churches could take the lead and distribute these scone-like cakes after All Souls Day Masses.