All Soul’s Day

November 02 13:41 2017 Print This Article

CHRISTIANS are praying for departed loved ones to mark All Souls’ Day – a Catholic day to remember the dead – on November 2.

The religious festival comes the day after All Saints’ Day when Catholics and other Christians honour their saints.

All Souls’ Day is also two days after Halloween and coincides with the Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico.

It is a day to pray for Christians who are in purgatory in order to help cleanse them of sins so that they can reach heaven.

Candles are lit during the religious holiday and it is a time to remember dead relatives and loved ones in many Christian countries.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica entry on All Souls’ Day says: “From antiquity certain days were devoted to intercession for particular groups of the dead.

“The institution of a day for a general intercession on November 2 is due to Odilo, abbot of Cluny (d. 1048).

“The date, which became practically universal before the end of the 13th century, was chosen to follow All Saints’ Day.

“Having celebrated the feast of all the members of the church who are believed to be in heaven, the church on earth turns, on the next day, to commemorate those souls believed to the suffering in purgatory.”

All Saints’ Day is thought to have grown out of the Christian tradition of celebrating the martyrdom of saints during Roman times.

Back in the 9th Century, Pope Gregory IV ordered the general observance of the feast day on November 1 each year.

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