Transitioning to November
Transitioning to November
Posted by Richard on UTC 2015-10-28 10:11.
This website considers the 'celebration' of Halloween to be an abomination; a sign of the social degeneracy and the rapidly advancing infantilisation of the western world.
All Saints' Day, 1 November
In response we want to consider the Catholic feast day that gave Halloween – All Hallows' Eve – its name: All Saints' Day, celebrated since 835 on 1 November. It celebrates the saints of the Church, both those known and officially sanctified – most of them with unknown dates of birth and death but the obligatory two miracles each to their credit – and those whose lives were saintly but who remain unknown — unknown unknowns, as it were.
All Saints' Day is a major feast day and is a public holiday or observed in some way in most Catholic countries. Although an important day in the Catholic calendar, its focus on the saints of the Church makes it a heavily institutional feast day.
All Souls' Day, 2 November
About a century after the formal establishment of All Saints' Day the feast of All Souls' Day was added. All Souls, as its name implies, is a commemoration of 'all the Faithful Departed' that falls on the very next day, 2 November. Here no distant, aloof saints from a thousand years of legend and history are celebrated, rather the everyday dead and much missed: parents, children, relatives and friends.
Liturgically All Souls' Day is less important than All Saints' Day, but emotionally and psychologically it is much more important. It offers an act of familial piety. It offers the faithful an important ritualised moment to remember loved ones who have gone before. Families and individuals visit graves, tend and decorate them and generally leave a candle burning in a small glass container. Whether we are religiously inclined or not, the sight of cemeteries with flickering lights on every grave glowing across the dark November night cannot fail to move.
Putting the two together
Candles in the cemetery of the great Catholic pilgrimage site of Mariazell in Austria. This is an example of the two adjacent feast days being merged together for all practical purposes. Allerheiligen und Allerseelen im Mariazellerland 2014
There isn't a strict division between the two feast days, in practice the two have merged together. The public holiday on All Saints' Day offers time for families to go together to the cemetery and decorate graves, which, strictly speaking, would be expected on the following day, All Souls. Let us just take the two days in all their compound complexity as the two sides of the same coin.