History Of All Saint’s Day
All Saints’ Day, also known as All Hallows’ Day, Hallow mas, Feast of All Saints, or Solemnity of All Saints,is a Christian festival celebrated in honor of all the saints, known and unknown. In Western Christianity, it is celebrated on 1 November by the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion,the Methodist Church, the Lutheran Church, and other Protestant churches.
Christian celebration of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day stems from a belief that there is a powerful spiritual bond between those in heaven (the “Church triumphant”), and the living (the “Church militant”). In Catholic theology,the day commemorates all those who have attained the beatific vision in Heaven. It is a national holiday in many historically Catholic countries. In Methodist theology, All Saints Day revolves around “giving God solemn thanks for the lives and deaths of his saints”,including those who are “famous or obscure”. As such, individuals throughout the Church Universal are honored, such as Paul the Apostle, Augustine of Hippo and John Wesley, in addition to individuals who have personally led one to faith in Jesus, such as one’s grandmother or friend.
In the Western Christian practice, the liturgical celebration begins at Vespers on the evening of 31 October, All Hallows’ Eve (All Saints’ Eve), and ends at the close of 1 November.It is thus the day before All Souls’ Day, which commemorates the faithful departed. In many traditions, All Saints’ Day is part of the tradition of All Hallows which lasts three days from 31 October to 2 November inclusive.
What People Do At All Saints’ Day ?
All Saints’ Day is a chance for people to remember the saints and martyrs who dedicated or sacrificed their lives to Christianity. Some people attend special church services on this feast day. Some Christian schools may offer certain activities to students prior to or on All Saints’ Day. These activities focus on the theme of various saints’ lives and their role in the history of Christianity.
The vigil of the Feast (the eve) has grown up in the English speaking countries as a festival in itself, All Hallows Eve, or Halloween.While some Christians refuse to observe the holiday, considering it “pagan,” as far as the Church is concerned, the date is simply the eve of the feast of All Saints.
In fact, many customs of Halloween reflect the Christian belief that on the feast’s vigils we mock evil, because as Christians, it has no real power over us.David Morrison explains the proper relationship between Christians and Halloween.
Various customs have developed related to Halloween. In the Middle Ages, poor people in the community begged for “soul cakes,” and upon receiving these doughnuts,they would agree to pray for departed souls. This is the root of our modern day “trick-or-treat.” The custom of masks and costumes developed to mock evil and perhaps confuse the evil spirits by dressing as one of their own. Some Christians visit cemeteries on Halloween, not to practice evil, but to commemorate departed relatives and friends, with picnics and the last flowers of the year. The day after All Saints day is called All Soul’s Day, a day to remember and offer prayers up on behalf of all of the faithful departed.