In celebrating the Eucharist, we follow the command of Christ to "do this in memory" of him (Luke 22:19), and the way in which we memorialize this experience is by "proclaiming the death of the Lord until he comes" (I Cor. 11:26).

It is precisely in this memorialization of Christ's death that we acknowledge that he has entered into the abode of the dead: "He descended into hell" (Hades–abode of the dead). By his own death he has a special access to the dead to draw them to himself and to lead them to the fullness of the life of grace and holiness (I Pet. 3:19 and 4:6).

In participating in the Eucharist we should pray that Jesus who said he has come to give us life more abundantly (John 10:10) may come to the dead, especially our dead family members to give them the abundance of eternal life.

In receiving Communion it is helpful sometimes to mention particular names of deceased persons that come to mind so as to receive communion on behalf of that person who does not have access to the abundant life of grace in the Eucharist as we do. In particular there may be a need to pray for this "abundance of life" for aborted babies whose lives have been cut short and who have been rejected from the human race by the aggressive crime of abortion and thus prevented from growing up within the family and participating in the societal benefits of the family tree.

Healing means giving a fuller, richer degree of life. That is precisely what the healing of the family tree is designed to do, for each family member, whether living or dead.

Healing Your Family Tree
John H. Hampsch, C.M.F.