Sunday, November 2, 2008

All Soul's Day


All Souls' Day by William Bouguereau

All Soul's Day (sometimes called the "Day of the Dead") is always November 2 (November 3rd if the 2nd falls on a Sunday). In Western Christianity, All Souls' Day commemorates the faithful departed. This day is observed in the Roman Catholic Church, churches of the Anglican Communion, Old Catholic Churches, and to some extent among Protestants. The Eastern Orthodox Church observes several All Souls' Days during the year.

My beloved grandmother Annie Casey Niland died on All Soul's Day in 1981. Tradition has it that if you die on this day you go directly to heaven. I still miss her terribly.


My beloved Grandmother Annie Niland
(she was in a play called The Girl of the Golden West)


The Roman Catholic celebration is based on the doctrine that the souls of the faithful which at death have not been cleansed from venial sins, or have not fully atoned for mortal sins, cannot attain the beatific vision in heaven yet, and that they may be helped to do so by prayer and by the sacrifice of the Mass (see Purgatory).

All Souls' Day is also known as the Feast of All Souls, Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed. The day purposely follows All Saint's Day in order to shift the focus from those in heaven to those in purgatory. It is celebrated with masses and festivities in honor of the dead. While the Feast of All Saints is a day to remember the glories of Heaven and those there, the Feast of All Souls reminds us of our obligations to live holy lives and that there will be purification of the souls of those destined for Heaven.


Traditions and Customs
Visiting a Graveyard for a Picnic
Decorating Relatives' Graves
Remembering and Praying for Departed Souls
Giving Orphans Food, Clothing, and Toys
Leaving Doors & Windows Open on All Souls Night

Symbols
Any Symbol of Death
Any Symbol of Fire
Old Testament Typology Foreshadowing All Souls Day
All Old Testament Examples of Fire
All Old Testament Examples of Purification

The official Latin designation Commemoratio omnium Fidelium Defunctorum, on which this last name is based, is rendered more literally in Portuguese Comemoração de todos os Fiéis Defuntos and many other languages. Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos or de los Difuntos) is used in Spanish-speaking countries, and Thursday of the Dead (Yom el Maouta) in Lebanon, Palestine and Syria.

info from...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Souls_Day
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01315b.htm
http://www.churchyear.net/allsouls.html

2 comments:

qualcosa di bello said...

i am so glad you did these postings for all saint's & all soul's days. i only wish we had a more grounded sense of tradition in the area where i now live. i miss these celebrations of my childhood.

see you there! said...

These holidays are most strongly celebrated by the Latin community in our area. I love the color and the tradition - and the real feeling of connection with ancestors.

Darla

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