May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.  Amen.

When I was a child, certain family friends always added the above prayer on to the typical Catholic meal time grace, “Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts, which we are about to receive from thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.” Eventually we adopted the practice also, and it was fun to “surprise” guests who were not expecting this extra phrase after the usual grace.  I brought the custom into our marriage, so our children have grown up with it as well.  For most of my life I said it by rote, but including prayer for the dead at meal time has taken on real significance over the past few years, particularly since my mother-in-law’s death in 2010 and then my dad’s in 2013.  Whenever someone dies — whether close to us, an acquaintance, or someone prominent — having this built-in remembrance provides a type of solace.  We don’t have to think about it or plan anything; the words are already there, habitual.  And so tonight I made this small offering of prayer for Brogan Dulle, the young Cincinnati man found dead after having been missing for 8 days.  Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.