All Souls' Day

a day of solemn prayer for all dead persons, observed by Roman Catholics and certain Anglicans, usually on November 2.
[1550-60]

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In the Roman Catholic church, a day commemorating all the Christians believed to be in purgatory.

Celebrated on November 2, it was first established by Odilo (d. 1049), abbot of Cluny, in the 11th century, and it was widely celebrated by the 13th century. The date follows All Saints' Day, with the idea that remembering the saints in heaven should be followed by remembering the souls awaiting release from purgatory. Roman Catholic doctrine holds that the prayers of the faithful on earth will help cleanse these souls in order to prepare them for heaven.

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      in the Roman Catholic church (Roman Catholicism), a day for commemoration of all the faithful departed, those baptized Christians who are believed to be in purgatory because they have died with the guilt of lesser sins on their souls. It is celebrated on November 2. Roman Catholic doctrine holds that the prayers of the faithful on earth will help cleanse these souls in order to fit them for the vision of God in heaven.

      From antiquity certain days were devoted to intercession for particular groups of the dead. The institution of a day for a general intercession on November 2 is due to Odilo, abbot of Cluny (d. 1048). The date, which became practically universal before the end of the 13th century, was chosen to follow All Saints' Day. Having celebrated the feast of all the members of the church who are believed to be in heaven, the church on earth turns, on the next day, to commemorate those souls believed to be suffering in purgatory.

      Priests celebrate mass wearing vestments of varying colour—black (for mourning), violet (symbolizing penance), or white (symbolizing the hope of resurrection).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • All Souls' Day — • The commemoration of all the faithful departed is celebrated by the Church on 2 November, or, if this be a Sunday or a solemnity, on 3 November Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. All Souls Day     All Souls Day …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • All Souls' Day — The second day of November; a feast day of the Roman Catholic church, on which supplications are made for the souls of the faithful dead. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • All Souls' Day — 2 November, when people in Christian churches pray for the souls of those who have died →↑All Saints Day …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • All Souls' Day — All′ Souls ′ Day n. rel a day of solemn prayer for all dead persons, usu. on Nov. 2 • Etymology: 1550–60 …   From formal English to slang

  • All Souls' Day — ► NOUN ▪ a Catholic festival with prayers for the souls of the dead in purgatory, held on 2 November …   English terms dictionary

  • All Souls' Day — [sōlz] n. in certain Christian churches, a day (usually Nov. 2) of services and prayer for the dead …   English World dictionary

  • All Souls' Day — This article is about the Christian religious holiday. For the Latin American holiday, see Day of the Dead. For the 2005g film, see All Souls Day (film). For the Chinese holiday, see Qingming Festival. For the Buddhist holiday, see Ghost Festival …   Wikipedia

  • All Souls' Day — (2 November)    Also called Soulmas Day, Saumas, etc. This feast was devised by Abbot Odilo of Cluny (d. 1049), to pray for all the dead who have existed from the beginning of the world to the end of time . He set it in February, but it was soon… …   A Dictionary of English folklore

  • all-souls' day — The second of November, All Souls …   New dictionary of synonyms

  • All Souls' Day — noun a day of supplication for all the souls in purgatory • Syn: ↑November 2 • Hypernyms: ↑Christian holy day • Part Holonyms: ↑November, ↑Nov …   Useful english dictionary


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