2022 Sun Nov 6

So How is All Saints Day (Nov. 1) related to All Souls Day (Nov. 2) ?

As the Western Church spread into northern Europe, it encountered pagan festivals held in late autumn to appease the evil spirits associated with the first killing frosts and the coming of winter, darkness and death.

The Catholic Church had a long-standing policy of incorporating non-Christian traditions into its holidays in order to bring people into the Catholic faith.

In any case, when All Saints’ Day moved to November 1, the church did begin to incorporate supernatural traditions into the holy day’s activities, ideas that don’t have much of a place in Christianity.

Many supernatural ideas persisted in All Saints’ Day Eve celebrations, making the occasion a remarkable combination of Christian and pagan beliefs. At the end of the 10th century, the church tried to give these traditions a little more direction by establishing All Souls’ Day, an occasion to recognize all Christian dead.

Thus, All Souls began with the emphasis on remembering those who had died, broader than just the martyrs. In addition it was cast wide into Catholic theology. In that tradition , the church commemorated all of those who have died and now are in Purgatory, being cleansed of their venial (forgiven) sins and the temporal punishments for the mortal sins that they had confessed and atoning before entering fully into Heaven.

Read more about All Souls…

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