Our short series on the Ancestors has been quite an interesting ride! This final post is going to touch on a somewhat related concept that isn't exactly identical to ancestor veneration: the Forgotten Dead.
The Forgotten Dead have different names in different cultures and traditions, but the premise generally remains the same: these are poor souls that passed away and were forgotten by time. Perhaps they didn't have many relatives or friends; perhaps no one mourned for their death; perhaps their lives were short and brutal.
Regardless of the reason, the Forgotten Dead often remain clinging to the world and, well, haunting it.
(Hauntings aren't caused just by the Forgotten Dead; sometimes it's an all too familiar personality that's hanging around, but we'll leave that for now.)
The Forgotten Dead aren't necessarily malevolent, but they're sometimes (often) mischievous. You can think of them as having taken refuge in one another in the in-between/afterlife/other worlds. They've become each other's family and remember each other.
Put yourself in their position: how would you feel, having passed from this world into the next, if you had a sense that no one cared about your passing? If you felt you had left work undone? If you felt like there was something you never quite fulfilled?
You probably wouldn't feel too great.
Now imagine you find other people who've gone (or are going) through the same experience- the relatability would form a relationship, no?
I ask for us to pray for the Forgotten Dead. Pray for those who have passed without the needed love and holiness of this human life. Pray for those who have not been able to move on to the next chapter. Pray for those who have transitioned from the body but are unable to transition further. Pray that they receive the Light and Grace of Christ Himself.