All Souls’ Day is widely observed across the Christian community on November 2 as a day to pray for the dead believed to be in purgatory. The day is marked right after Halloween on October 31 and All Saints’ Day on November 1.
The Roman Catholics commemorate the day by praying for all the departed souls of baptized Christians who passed away with sins on their beings. Here’s the history and significance of All Souls’ Day.
Why is it Observed on November 2?
All Souls’ Day has been observed on November 2 since the 11th century. The day was established by Abbot Odilo, who was the Benedictine Abbot of Cluny for 54 years until he died in 1048 AD.
In the earlier period, All Souls’ Day was observed on various dates.
Some denominations, like the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Easter Catholic Church, and the Eastern Lutheran Church, observe All Souls’ Day during the Easter Season. Similarly, the East Syriac Rite observed the day on the Friday before the Great Feast.
Significance of All Souls’ Day
All Souls’ Day is the last of the Allhallowtide triduum celebrated in the Western Christian, which begins on All Saints’ Eve on October 31. The church and priests across the globe organize a mass by wearing vestments of different colours, with each colour signifying something distinct:
Black – Mourning
Violet – Penance
White – Hope of Resurrection
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All churches around the world read out The Office of the Dead; a 7th-century AD prayer.
When was All Souls’ Day started?
All Souls’ Day was standardized for observance on November 2 in the 11th century.
- Source: The Economic Times
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