All Saints Day History
For Roman Catholic and Orthodox faiths, All Saints Day honors exemplary Christians who achieved sainthood. This includes unknown Christians and Martyrs who have attained beatific vision (a form of direct knowledge and communication with God).
For many Christian denominations, all Saints Day is a remembrance of departed Christian people of any time and place. Many churches remember the persons in their congregations that have died during the previous year. Churches also celebrate Holy Communion in honor of the Christians who lived before them.
All Saints Day Facts
- In the early church, each martyr was celebrated on the anniversary on his or her death. Over time, churches began combining these observances and ultimately ended up with one day to honor all of them.
- The celebration of All Saints Day began in the 7th Century in Rome when Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon.
- All Saints Day is an observation held by both Protestant and Roman Catholic churches on November 1. A similar holy day, called the Sunday of All Saints, occurs in the Orthodox Church on the first Sunday after the Feast of Holy Pentecost.
- In the Lutheran and some other Protestant churches, All Saints Day is celebrated with Reformation Day, which marks the beginning of the Protestant movement to reform the Roman Catholic Church. The Protestants eventually split from Catholicism.
- Roman Catholics also celebrate All Soul's day, which occurs the day after All Saints. It commemorates those who have died that haven't yet reached heaven, referring to the Roman Catholic belief in purgatory. Purgatory is a state after death in which those destined for heaven are purified.
All Saints Day Top Events and Things to Do
- It is popular for Mexican Christians to celebrate All Saints Day by creating shrines in their homes featuring the favorite things of their loved ones. Families often go to the cemetery and hold picnics near the graves of loved ones to celebrate their lives.
- Go to church and light a candle for your departed loved ones. This is common for All Saints Day as a way to commemorate relatives and loved ones who have died during the previous year.
- Some families meet on All Saints Day after church to repair and spruce up the graves of their loved ones. Tend to your family's last resting place.
- All Saints Day also commemorates saints that are unknown to us. Honor a deceased person that may have contributed positively to society or your life.