All Saints’ Day

In several Christian Churches, All Saints’ Day is a day commemorating all the saints of the church, both known and unknown is celebrated on November 1 in the Western churches and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in the Eastern churches.

Pope Boniface IV

Pope Boniface IV (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Its origin can traced with certainty, and it has been observed on various days in different places. A feast of all martyrs was kept on May 13 in the  Eastern Church according to Ephraem Syrus (died c. 373), which may have determined the choice of May 13 by Pope Boniface IV when he dedicated the Pantheon in Rome as a church in honour of the Blessed Virgin and all martyrs in 609.

The first evidence for the November 1 date of celebration and of the broadening of the festival to include all saints as well as all martyrs occurred during the reign of Pope Gregory III (731-741), who dedicated a chapel in St. Peter’s, Rome, on November 1 in honour of all saints.

In 800 All Saints’ Day was kept by Alcuin on November 1, and it also appeared in a 9th-century En­glish calendar on that day. In 837 Pope Greg­ory IV ordered its general observance.

In medieval England, the festival was known as All Hallows, and its eve is still known as Halloween.

– After entry in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Micropaedia, Volume I, p. 259-260

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  • ‘Venerable, aged Simeon’ (catholicheritage.blogspot.com)
    I was surprised to see that the entries for the saints of October 8 begin in The Martyrology of Gorman, with this lovely verse in praise of Saint Simeon
  • The spooky truth about Halloween (teehunter.com)
    Halloween came to the United States when European immigrants “brought their varied Halloween customs with them”. In the second half of the nineteenth century, America was flooded with new immigrants including the Irish fleeing from the potato famine in Ireland in 1846. By combining Irish and English traditions, Americans began the “trick-or-treat” tradition. In the later 1800’s the holiday became more centered on community and in the 1920’s and 1930’s, Halloween became “a secular, but community-centered holiday”. In the 1950’s leaders changed Halloween as a holiday aimed at the young to limit vandalism. This all led to what Halloween actually is like today.
  • Relics (the12.perspectivesjournal.org)
    What I can’t help but notice, almost daily, is that I’m running low on holy water. Truth is, this Protestant has never opened this elegant little bottle, never sprinkled its contents on anything, never tried out its holy potential. It stands atop my file now with a gaggle of other memorables, the blest water within dissipating to wherever sealed holy water goes when it disappears.
  • 5 Halloween Myths and Folklore Explained (lakeside.com)
    As the idea of the world between the living and dead is bridged on Halloween, according to Samhain tradition, on that day there were fears about running into “lost souls.” To avoid wrath of the evil, misdirected souls, people would dress up as ghosts hoping to blend in with the spirits. Ghosts came in many forms: 1) Goblins were demons who looked for trouble and caused harm to humans (gnomes and gremlins fall into the category of goblin). 2) Ghouls were also demons who set out to harm humans, but they also preyed on the dead and were thought to be grave robbers.
  • 9 Totally Inappropriate Halloween Costumes You Don’t Want To Be Caught Dead In (huffingtonpost.co.uk)
    Here comes Halloween – and along with the usual array of clever, nay ingenious get ups – comes a smorgasbord of bad taste crap.Ebola hazmat suit anyone? Charming blood-stained cheerleader outfit for your nine-year-old perhaps?Or will you be opting for the triple-breasted hoaxer Jasmine Tridevil?
  • Wesleyan/Anglican: Halloween: What’s a Christian to Do? (methoblog.com)
    to hallow is to make or to declare something or someone to be holy. We are saying to God, “Your name is holy.” – And Halloween is a form of All Hallow’s Evening, or All Hallow’s Eve; Hallowe-‘en. In other words it is the evening before All Hallow’s Day, or All Holy One’s Day, which we know as . . . All Saints’ Day. All Saints’ Day is celebrated on November 1st or the first Sunday, thereafter. – All Saints, by the way, was one of John Wesley’s favorite days.Now, since that is the case, it should at least make Christians stop and consider a bit before we simply declare Halloween to be evil and Satanic. – But, of course there is more to the story. – So, how did Halloween come about with all of our costumes and customs?
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9 thoughts on “All Saints’ Day

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