Ora Pro Nobis Candy Boxes

by | Nov 1, 2014 | All Souls Day, Liturgical Year, Printables | 26 comments

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. As a reminder of our duty to pray for the suffering faithful in Purgatory, the Church has dedicated the month of November to the Holy Souls. The Holy Souls are those who have died in the state of grace but who are not yet free from all punishment due to their unforgiven venial sins and all other sins already forgiven for which satisfaction is still to be made. They are certain of entering Heaven, but first they must suffer in Purgatory. The Holy Souls cannot help themselves because for them the night has come, when no man can work (John 9:4). It is our great privilege of brotherhood that we can shorten their time of separation from God by our prayers, good works, and, especially, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. (source)

Ora Pro Nobis Candy Boxes make a sweet and prayerful activity for the Holy Souls in the month of November, the month dedicated to the Church Suffering.  This idea was shared by one of my blog visitors (Thank you, Kim!) and I created printable box or bag labels, a calendar, and directions to go along with the boxes. If you have any trouble downloading the printable documents over at Scribd just send me an email and I will do my best to forward them to you directly. I ended up creating Ora Pro Nobis Candy Boxes to send home with all the children who attended our annual All Hallows’ Eve party last night! My children are so excited to begin this activity today!


+ 30 pieces of candy per box (leftover All Saints candy is great for this!)

+ black treat boxes or bags  (2021 Update: Black Treat Boxes that are currently available) 

+ white foam sticker crosses or “Ora Pro Nobis” box/bag labels

+ color pencils, crayons, or another media of their choice

+ calendar (create your own or use free printable)

+ list of departed family, friends, religious

+ particular prayer(s) to be offered


Place a cross or label on the front of each box (or bag)

Fill each box or bag with 30 pieces of candy. 

Have the children prepare and decorate their calendars. Write the name of a departed soul on the calendar for each day of the month. Perhaps even include a day for the “Most Forgotten Soul.” 

Each day of the month, after the child has offered a prayer for the departed soul listed, they may take one (1) piece of candy, or they may leave it in the box as an additional sacrifice for the departed soul!

The intention is to encourage prayers and sacrifices for the Church Suffering in a sweet and tangible way!

May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace!


  1. Jennifer Gregory Miller

    Nice, Jessica! I recognize this basic idea .. My mother did our treats with admonitions to pray for the poor souls on the bag. I remember writing on so many bags for our big parties! I would have loved doing it this way!

    2014-11-01 20:32:49

  2. Lenetta

    Lovely, delightful idea! Thank you for sharing it and your printables!

    2014-11-01 20:47:03

  3. Natalie

    This is absolutely wonderful and beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing and inspiring our family to take this month to specifically pray for the Holy Souls.

    2014-11-02 02:19:07

  4. Momma Young

    This is perfect!!! Was just thinking 'what are we going to do with all this candy?'! Now I know! Thanks for all your ideas and inspiration!! 🙂

    2014-11-02 03:47:37

  5. Marie G.

    That is beautiful!

    2014-11-02 04:25:44

  6. Melody

    I love this Jessica! We are definitely putting this together tomorrow! Thank you. 🙂

    2014-11-02 06:25:24

  7. Laura

    I just set this up this morning, and my 8 and 7 y/o sons are very excited about it. Not a single complaint about bagging all the candy and putting it away. (I HAD been talking about letting them choose a few favorites and then tossing the rest, so maybe they are just relieved that they get to keep it all! 😉 ) My 5 y/o might be a tougher sell, but he should follow his brothers pretty well. I laminated the cards for the bags, and I plan to make this a part of our Novembers. Thank you!

    2014-11-02 15:51:57

  8. Laura

    I should add that they are very excited to be able to pray for their great-grandparents, too, so it's not JUST about the candy. What a simple way to inspire prayers for souls!

    2014-11-02 15:52:58

  9. Krista

    IS anyone having trouble printing these from Scribd???? I can't seem to log in as usual…

    2014-11-02 16:32:48

  10. Jessica Gordon

    I've had a couple people have difficulty with Scribd, but for them it was a printing issue from their tablets/phones. We are just getting ready to leave for Mass but I'll try and send them to you real quick before we go.Sorry about that! I would love to find a better (but still free) alternative for document hosting but I just haven't had the time to dedicate to it and the thought of moving all my files (and then updating ALL the links on the blog) is a little overwhelming… There are a lot of them! 🙂

    2014-11-02 16:47:51

  11. Krista

    Just got it fixed! It was Firefox AGAIN! I went into Safari (I'm on a MAC) and that seemed to do the trick! Thanks for offering to send them, though! Look forward to using the calendar but I'm thinking we will use some sort of sticker reward or token to then cash in at the end of the month – just in time for the Advent Lego Calendar!!!! 😉 (we're not candy people here, but do have to occasional dessert treat on special feast days!)

    2014-11-02 16:52:29

  12. Jessica Gordon

    Oh, good! I'm glad you were able to figure out the problem. We've always loved doing a calendar each November to pray for specific souls (like I posted here in 2008) but I loved the addition of the box of treats! I did include candy from the party, but I also filled my younger children's boxes with small boxes of raisins, fruit leathers/snacks, and a few other "healthy" treats in addition to some candy! 🙂

    2014-11-02 17:08:28

  13. Krista

    Just went to Sean's website, too, with your link! This will be a great way to incorporate daily prayers for specific departed and all those poor souls that have no one to pray for them! The Lego Advent Calendar will be a nice "reward" at the end of the month, especially since Advent begins on Nov. 30th this year! Thanks again, Jessica!

    2014-11-02 17:20:18

  14. Dindi

    I love this idea! Will be doing it with my toddler boys 😀 Thank you sooo much for sharing 😀

    2014-11-03 19:48:07

  15. Robin

    What a wonderful idea! It could even be modified for Advent! Love it!

    2014-11-07 19:57:34

  16. Jennifer

    So far, lots of prayers and not so many sacrifices. : ) Thanks for this great idea! I had just enough candy to fill everyone's bags.

    2014-11-09 00:06:14

  17. Cheryl A. Dulog

    Jessica, I have wanted for so long to share your lovely ideas, book baskets, Celebrations and practices of Great, Good Faith with our Parish here in Glen Allen, Virginia. Would it be possible to share your blogpost Shower of Roses on our Church Bulletin each Sunday and allow some of these young, and not-so-young families the Grace & Mercy of learning their Faith (many, I feel certain, for the very first time even as Parochial, Cradle Catholics. It is one of the largest churches in Central Virginia but coming from Ireland it is very Catholic Lite for us. We have a very small Catholic Homeschooling group here in central Virginia (maybe, maybe just twenty children in total), use Seton Home Study for our "Spine" and have similiar philosophies under the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. As a graduate of Christendom College, you may be familiar with Seton in Front Royal, Virginia. Have you ever considered becoming a speaker on the Catholic Conference tour they (Seton sponsor) offer? We attend the one outside of Washington, DC in Fredericksburg, Virginia every June. I would love for you to attend and feel certain that it would be a very positive, much needed breath of fresh, modern outlooks on our Living Church!

    2014-11-13 16:59:16

  18. Aleesa

    I love this! Thinking about using it for uor parish All Saints celebration as the last activity of the night!!! THANK YOU 🙂

    2015-10-06 17:25:09

  19. Becca

    Thank you for this! I have browsed your site for Little Flowers ideas before but this is my first time commenting. I am so grateful for your talent, and your generosity! I am printing these as we speak for my family's Halloween party. Thank you!

    2015-10-21 18:28:38

  20. Renata

    Dear, Jessica thank you for sharing your ideas and for the printable. I made 75 of the candy treats bags (instead of boxes I couldn't find them in our local store.) Jessica imagine only for what you did on your webpage actually HOW MANY SOULS are going to be saved thanks to you…. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    2015-11-07 23:32:00

  21. Lorraine

    2018-11-01 02:20:56

  22. Laura

    November is almost done. I'll have to use thus idea next year!

    2018-11-21 15:48:00

  23. Maria

    Thank you so much for this great idea!

    2019-10-30 20:48:43

  24. Julie Hahs

    Nice idea, but too much candy. I would replace the candy with coins. At the end on the month gather the coins from the entire family. I will make up the difference to offer it as a mass request for the poor souls in purgatory. Great idea!!

    2019-11-03 00:58:28

  25. lili calderon

    Thank you so much for this! I just printed the labels for our boxes

    2020-10-30 04:01:53

  26. Diana Harold

    Do you make the rest of the calendar pages besides November?


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