The Catholics are observing November 2 as All Souls’ Day, the day of giving prayers for their departed dear ones.
The All Souls’ Day had been the yearly Christian feast day, in which the Roman Catholics commemorated those who had died but were believed to stay in purgatory. The observance on November 2 in the Western Christians tradition since the era of the 11th century, the All Souls’ Day had been devoted to the prayer for the souls that are believed as marked by the lesser sins, just in order to clean them for heaven.
The All Souls’ Day had been considered as the final day of Allhallowtide, the Western Christian season that starts at the All Saints’ Eve on October 31. About 1030 AD, the 5th Abbot Odilo of Cluny founded the latest date of the All Souls’ Day. From the many Catholic customs, it still remains as an occasion to give respect to the deceased people.
Below are the eight facts about the All Souls’ Day
1. The All Souls’ Day following All Saints’ Day
The All Souls’ Day is happening on the day right after the All Saints’ Day that takes place every 1st of November. Where in the All Souls’ Day reminisce the souls of the dead people who were baptized but did not confess their sins, the All Saints’ Day remembers the church members who were dead and were believed to be in heaven. Both of the days are piece of Western Christian time of Allhallowtide.
2. The Soul Cakes were the early Halloween Treats
This trick-or-treating custom during Halloween can be tracked back up to the fifteenth century, when the poorer Christians will submit prayers for the deceased people in exchange for food or money from the wealthier neighbors.
People then would go ‘souling’ all throughout Allhallowtide, which also include All Souls’ Day. The Soul Cakes were tiny small cakes that were baked specifically for the people going ‘souling’, and also to be laid in their graves and being offered at the funerals.
3. Requiem Masses were held on the All Souls’ Day
The All Souls’ Day usually involves Requiem Masses. According to the Catholic doctrine, the prayers of the church members may cleanse the departed souls and will prepare them for heaven. The prayer called an Office of the Dead coming from the seventh or the eighth century AD had been read out in the churches on the All Souls’ Day.
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4. The Day of those Dead is celebrated both on All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day
The day of those who are dead is a festive celebrated on All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day or on 1st and 2nd of November, and mostly in Mexico, wherein it originated. The festive is much less somber than the certified Catholic celebrations. Although it involved friends and family members giving respect to their family member who just died, the celebration may be humorous or joyous.
This Day of the Dead has similarities with the European customs of Danse Macabre, which called out the universal death, and the pre-Columbian festive like Aztec celebration giving honor to Mixcóatl, a god of war.
This Day of the Dead had been generally abided in Mexico with the custom of constructing private altars that have their most favorite foods, drinks and the related memorabilia of their departed ones.
5. Purgatory is a process or a place of purification and punishment
The All Soul’s Day had been dedicated to those souls that are in purgatory. Base on Roman Catholicism, purgatory had been the process or the place where the souls encounter temporary punishment or purification before they can enter to heaven. An English word for purgatory came from the Latin word purgatorium, which taken from the word purgare, “to purge”.
6. The All Souls’ Day had been standardized during 11th century
The All Souls’ Day date had been standardized as November 2 since the tenth or eleventh century, because of the efforts of the Abbot Odilo of Cluny. But before this, the Catholic congregations commemorated the All Souls’ Day through the Easter period on diverse dates. This had still been the case in most of the Eastern Orthodox Churches that are commemorating the faithful dear ones on the Friday just before Lent.
Starting from the Cluniac monastery, the custom and date of sacrifices, alms, and prayers spread to the remaining of the Western Churches. Alms-giving was connected with prayer and fasting for the dead people through Odilo when he ruled that those requesting for the Mass be given should make a present for the poor. A standardized date had been adopted in Rome in 13th century.
7. All Souls’ Day was associated with the Saturday of the Souls
In the Eastern Christianity, the associated custom is the Saturday of Souls. It is the day being set aside to commemorate the dead, connected with Saturday that Jesus lay dead on his tomb. Saturdays are dedicated to prayer for our departed relatives.
Byzantine and Orthodox Catholic communities observed the Soul Saturdays on specific dates before and even during Great Lent, and also before Pentecost. The Other Orthodox churches commemorated the dead during the other Saturdays, like the Saturday before a feast of St. Michael the Archangel every 8th of November, and also a Saturday closest to Conception of Saint John the Baptist every 23rd of September.
8. WWI – World War 1 led the Pope in granting more Masses on the All Souls’ Day
Churches that were destructed and the great quantity of war dead when the WWI happened, headed Pope Benedict XV in expanding how many Masses that the priests may offer. The permission that still stands up to this date allowed every priest the pleasure to give three Masses every All Souls Day. The permission had been customary amid the Catholic orders of the Dominicans of the fifteenth century.
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