All Souls Day is a global holiday celebrated on November 2nd, where believers read prayers for those who have passed away, in the hope that their souls will find eternal peace and move on to eternal life.
The first recorded prayer for the dead can be found in the book of Mahabi, before the birth of Jesus. During a battle led by Judas Maccabee, many soldiers were lost. Before their burial, Judas prayed for a long time that God would forgive the sins of the dead.
Many religions believe that after death, souls are sent to Purgatory, a place where they are atoned for their sins through suffering before finally being sent to the Kingdom of God. Prayers are intended to lessen the suffering endured during this process.
The holiday of All Souls Day was initially observed locally in France by monks in 998 BC, before spreading to other regions and eventually being celebrated by all Catholic churches.
- The meaning of Purgatory is to fight against bad human habits, character traits, and sins.
- A person experiences equivalent suffering in Purgatory to what they caused to others, but in a threefold amount.
- Through this pain, the soul understands the horror of their deed and is cleansed.
- Saint Catherine wrote that souls experience the joy of purification, where the soul becomes light and open to divine forces.
How to take part
Taking part in All Souls Day involves visiting the grave of a loved one, bringing flowers, cleaning up the area, and praying. You can also go to church for a service and turn to God, even if you are not a parishioner. Finally, it is important to live a life of kindness and attention to others, and to ask sincere forgiveness for any offensive actions.
When is All Souls Day celebrated in 2023?
All Souls Day is observed on November 2 each year.