History Of All Soul’s Day
In Christianity, All Souls’ Day commemorates All Souls, the Holy Souls, or the Faithful Departed; that is, the souls of Christians who have died. Observing Christians typically remember deceased relatives on the day.In Western Christianity the annual celebration is now held on 2 November and is associated with the three days of All hallow tide, including All Saints’ Day (1 November) and its vigil, Halloween (31 October).
In the Catholic Church, “the faithful” refers specifically to baptized Catholics; “all souls” commemorates the church penitent of souls in Purgatory, whereas “all saints” commemorates the church triumphant of saints in Heaven. In the liturgical books of the western Catholic Church it is called the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed , and is celebrated annually on 2 November.
What People Do At All Souls’ Day?
Some churches, including the Catholic Church, hold special services with music and prayers focused on All Souls’ Day on or around November 2 each year. It is a time for some Christians, including those who attend these special All Souls’ Day services, to remember and pray for deceased family members and friends.Some people visit the graves of dead family or friends on All Souls’ Day. All Souls’ Day is closely associated with All Saints’ Day (November 1),
as both are known collectively as Hallow tide.
Praying for the dead is a Christian obligation. In the modern world, when many have come to doubt the Church’s teaching on Purgatory,the need for such prayers has only increased. The Church devotes the month of November to prayer for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and participation in the Mass of All Souls Day is a good way to begin the month.