« All Saints’ Day All Souls’ Day Almain, Jacques »

All Souls’ Day

ALL SOULS’ DAY (Lat. Commemoratio omnium fidelium defunctorum): The second day of November. The ancient Church distinguishes between the dead who have died for the Church (martyrs) and those who, while they have not suffered death for the Church, yet have died as believers. All Souls’ Day is dedicated to the memory of the latter. It is founded on the doctrine of the value of prayers and the Eucharist for the dead. Odilo of Cluny (d. 1049) instituted the festival for the Cluniacs (ASM, sæc. vi., i. 585); and in course of time it was extended to all who had died in the faith. The Missale Romanum prescribes a special requiem-mass for the day. Luther demanded that the festival be given up, and it soon disappeared among Protestants. It is not observed in the Church of England. The German rationalists favored a 134 commemoration of the dead (cf. G. C. Horst, Mysteriosophie, ii., Frankfort, 1817, 432). The litany of the Moravians for Easter morning is a Protestant pendant to All Souls’ Day, and the rapid rise and popularity of the festival show that it satisfies a feeling of the Christian mind which the Church would do well to recognize.

W. Caspari.

« All Saints’ Day All Souls’ Day Almain, Jacques »
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