All Souls’ Day . Kraków. Poland . 02 – 11 – 2011.
Day of the Dead .
For the Chinese holiday, see Qingming Festival. For the Buddhist holiday, see Ghost Festival.
Canon 40D . Canon 135 mm f/2. HAND – HELD.
This article is about the Christian religious holiday. For the Latin American holiday, see Day of the Dead. For the 2005 film, see All Souls Day (film). For the Chinese holiday, see Qingming Festival. For the Buddhist holiday, see Ghost Festival.
All Souls’ Day
All Souls’ Day by William Bouguereau
Also called Feast of All Souls; Defuncts’ Day; Commemoration of the Faithful Departed
Observed by Western liturgical churches and Eastern Christians
Liturgical Color Black
Date (West) 2 November
(East) Several times during the year
Observances Prayer for the departed (especially Requiem Masses), observances in cemeteries, special meals
Related to All Saints Day,
Day of the Dead
All Souls’ Day commemorates the faithful departed. In Western Christianity, this day is observed principally in the Catholic Church, although some churches of Anglicanism and the Old Catholic Churches also celebrate it. The Eastern Orthodox Church observes several All Souls’ Days during the year. The Roman Catholic celebration is associated with the doctrine that the souls of the faithful who at death have not been cleansed from the temporal punishment due to venial sins and from attachment to mortal sins cannot immediately attain the beatific vision in heaven, and that they may be helped to do so by prayer and by the sacrifice of the Mass.1 In other words, when they died, they had not yet attained full sanctification and moral perfection, a requirement for entrance into Heaven. This sanctification is carried out posthumously in Purgatory.
The official name of the celebration in the Roman Rite liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church is “The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed”.1
Another popular name in English is Feast of All Souls. In some other languages the celebration, not necessarily on the same date, is known as Day of the Dead.
The Western celebration of All Souls’ Day is on 2 November and follows All Saints’ Day. In the ordinary form of the Roman Rite, if 2 November falls on a Sunday, the Mass is of All Souls, but the Liturgy of the Hours is that of the Sunday. (Though Lauds and Vespers for the Dead in which the people participate may be said.) In the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite and in the Anglican Communion, All Souls Day is instead transferred, whenever 2 November falls on a Sunday, to the next day, 3 November.
The Eastern Orthodox Church dedicates several days throughout the year to the dead, mostly on Saturdays, because of Jesus’ resting in the Holy Sepulchre on that day.