Why you should pray for the dead
It is a spiritual work of mercy, to pray for the living and the dead. The Catholic Church teaches that not only does Purgatory exist but praying for the souls who are being purified of their sins benefits them and hastens their journey to Heaven.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “All who die in God’s grace, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven” (1030). Father Daren Zehnle explains that we are called to pray for the dead because our loved one could be in Purgatory.