When is "All Saints Day"?
All Saints Day is always on November 1st!
In the United Methodist Church, All Saint's Day is on the
first Sunday in November.
What is this Holiday for?
All Saints' Day (also called All Hallows or Hallowmas), often shortened to All Saints, is a feast celebrated on November 1 in Western Christianity, and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Christianity in honour of all the saints, known and unknown. In terms of Roman Catholic theology, the feast commemorates all those who have attained the beatific vision in heaven, while the next day, All Souls' Day, commemorates the departed faithful who have not yet been purified and reached heaven.
Origin of this Holiday
In the early Church, Christians would celebrate the anniversary of a martyr's death for Christ (known as the saint's "birth day") by serving an All-Night Vigil, and then celebrating the Eucharist over their tomb or the shrine at their place of martyrdom. In the fourth century, neighbouring dioceses began to transfer relics, and to celebrate the feast days of specific martyrs in common. Frequently, a number of Christians would suffer martyrdom on the same day, which naturally led to a joint commemoration. In the persecution of Diocletian the number of martyrs became so great that a separate day could not be assigned to each. But the Church, feeling that every martyr should be venerated, appointed a common day for all.
A commemoration of "All Martyrs" began to be celebrated as early as the year 270, although no specific month or date is mentioned in existing records. The first trace of a general celebration on a specific day is attested in Antioch on the Sunday after Pentecost. There is mention of a common day in a sermon of St. Ephrem the Syrian (373), and the custom is also referred to in the 74th Homily of St. John Chrysostom (†407), who speaks of a "feast of martyrs of the whole world." As early as 411, there is found among the Chaldean Christians a general commemoration of all Confessors (Commemoratio Confessorum), celebrated on the Friday after Easter.
We did find reference to this holiday on several ECard websites.
What type of holiday is this?
The Western Christian Holiday
The Western Christian holiday of All Saints Day falls on 1 November, followed by All Souls' Day on 2 November, and is a Holy Day of Obligation in the Latin Rite Roman Catholic Church.
The origin of the festival of All Saints as celebrated in the West dates to 13 May 609 or 610, when Pope Boniface IV consecrated the Pantheon at Rome to the Blessed Virgin and all the martyrs; the feast of the dedicatio Sanctae Mariae ad Martyres has been celebrated at Rome ever since. The chosen day, 13 May, was a pagan observation of great antiquity, the culmination of three days of the Feast of the Lemures, in which the malevolent and restless spirits of the dead were propitiated. Medieval liturgiologists based the idea that this Lemuria festival was the origin of that of All Saints on their identical dates and on the similar theme of all the dead.
The feast of All Saints, on its current date, is traced to the foundation by Pope Gregory III (731-741) of an oratory in St Peter's for the relics "of the holy apostles and of all saints, martyrs and confessors, of all the just made perfect who are at rest throughout the world", with the day moved to 1 November.
This usually fell within a few weeks of the Celtic holiday of Samhain, which had a theme similar to that of Lemuria, but which was also a harvest festival. The Irish, whose holiday Samhain had been, did not celebrate All Hallows Day on this 1 November date, as extant historical documents attest that the celebration in Ireland took place in the spring: "...the Felire of Oengus and the Martyrology of Tallaght prove that the early medieval churches [in Ireland] celebrated the feast of All Saints on 20 April."
A November festival of all the saints was already widely celebrated on 1 November in the days of Charlemagne. It was made a day of obligation throughout the Frankish empire in 835, by a decree of Louis the Pious, issued "at the instance of Pope Gregory IV and with the assent of all the bishops," which confirmed its celebration on 1 November. The octave was added by Pope Sixtus IV (1471-1484).
The festival was retained after the Reformation in the calendar of the Church of England and in many Lutheran churches. In the Lutheran churches, such as the Church of Sweden, it assumes a role of general commemoration of the dead. In the Swedish calendar, the observance takes place on the Saturday between October 31 and November 6. In many Lutheran Churches, it is moved to the first Sunday of November. It is also celebrated by other Protestants of the English tradition, such as the United Church of Canada and the Wesleyan Church.
In the United Methodist Church
All Saint's Day is on the first Sunday in November. It is held to remember all those that have passed away from the local church congregation. A candle is lit by the Acolyte as each person's name is called out. Then, a liturgical prayer is offered for each soul in Heaven.
Customs of this holiday
In Portugal, Spain and Mexico, ofrendas (offerings) are made on this day. In Spain, the play Don Juan Tenorio is traditionally performed. In Belgium, France, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain people bring flowers to the graves of dead relatives.
In Poland, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Finland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Lithuania, Croatia, Austria, Romania, Hungary and Germany, the tradition is to light candles and visit the graves of deceased relatives.
See (photo of Christmas Eve) of hundreds of candles brought to a Christian Cross at the Malmi Cemetery in Helsinki, Finland on the Christmas Eve. It is a tradition to bring candles to graves on the Christmas Eve and All Saints' Day to remember the dead.
In the Philippines, this day, called "Undas", "Todos los Santos" (lit., "All Saints"), and sometimes "Araw ng mga Namayapa" (approx.- "Day of the deceased") is observed as All Souls' Day. This day and the one before and one after it is spent visiting the graves of deceased relatives, where prayers and flowers are offered, candles are lit and the graves themselves are cleaned, repaired and repainted.
In English-speaking countries, the festival is traditionally celebrated with the hymn "For All the Saints" by William Walsham How. The most familiar tune for this hymn is Sine Nomine by Ralph Vaughan Williams.
How can I Celebrate this holiday?
- Blog with us about it! - We have a blog called "Everyday is a Holiday" so visit our pages and tell us about your favorite cleaning day or your favorite cleaner recipe.
- Send Free E-Greeting! - If your ready to get together with your friends don't forget to invite them with these fun Internet Invitations.
Resource links for more research:
Other November 1 holidays around the world
November 1 is the 305th day of the year (306th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 60 days remaining until the end of the year.
- Mexico- Day of the Dead celebrations begin.
- Roman festivals - last day of the Ludi Victoriae Sullanae.
- Antigua and Barbuda - Independence Day (from Britain, 1981)
- Ireland - Samhain the traditional first day of Winter
- United States - Start of National Novel Writing Month