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All Souls’ Day is a day to commemorate and pray for the souls of baptized Christians who have died and are in purgatory. It is observed by Christians every November 2nd. It is also called “The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed”, “Feast of All Souls”, or “Day of the Dead”.
See the fact file below for more information on the All Souls’ Day or alternatively, you can download our 23-page All Souls’ Day worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Up until the tenth century, the commemoration of the dead was observed during Easter.
- It was moved to October in the tenth century.
- In the 11th century, Saint Olido of Cluny established the observance of All Souls’ Day on November 2 throughout the monasteries of Cluny.
- The commemoration included offering prayers and alms to souls still in purgatory.
- It was then adapted in Benedictine monasteries and eventually the entire Western Church.
- Three masses were then held during All Souls’ Day, a custom which was first established by the Dominican Church in the 15th century.
- In the early 20th century, Pope Benedict XV granted priests the privilege to hold three masses, which still applies in the present day.
- One mass is for the faithful departed souls.
- One mass is for the intentions of the priest.
- One mass is for the intentions of the Holy Father.
- Now, the day is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Efforts of the Living
- People remember the dead by praying and giving alms, usually in the form of food.
- Christians also visit the graves of their loved ones and attend Mass. Both of which are plenary indulgences done on behalf of the souls suffering in purgatory.
- A plenary indulgence is able to remove temporal punishment and merit forgiveness for sins.
- Indulgences only apply to souls in the purgatory.
- Plenary indulgences are granted from November 1 to 8.
All Over The World
- In Hispanic countries, the day is called Dia de los Muertos or Dia de los Difuntos. Food is offered to the souls.
- In Austria and Bolivia, cakes – called soul cakes – are left for the departed.
- In Hungary, it is called Halottak napja.
- In Syria, Israel, and Lebanon, it is called Yom el Maouta.
- In some parts in France, people kneel at the tombs and pour holy water or milk.
- In Malta, roasted pig is a traditional dish on All Souls’ Day.
- In Linz, Austria, a musical composition called equale is played.
- Similar festivals to All Souls’ Day are Japan’s Bon Festival, China’s Ghost Festival, and India’s Pitru Paksha
- In Roman Catholicism, purgatory refers to the purification a soul has to undergo in order to proceed to heaven.
- A soul will end up in purgatory if he or she is not fully free of sin to enter heaven nor is he or she so sinful to go to hell.
- The point of All Souls’ Day is for the living to pray that the departed souls will pass purgatory and enter heaven.
- If November 2 is a Sunday, the Mass is of All Souls but the official set of prayers and psalms are of that Sunday.
- In England and Wales, if November 2 is a Sunday, the solemnity of All Saints’ Day takes place that day, then the solemnity of All Souls’ Day takes place on November 3.
- All Souls’ Day is considered optional in the Anglican Communion, but is nevertheless commemorated by most of its Churches.
- It is known as the “Commemoration of All Faithful Departed”.
- It is viewed as an extension of All Saints’ Day.
- It is considered a Lesser Festival, which is more important than a Commemoration but less important than a Principal Feast.
- In the 16th century during the Reformation, its observance became obsolete.
- It regained the dedication of Anglicans following a new theological perspective within the Church with respect to the Oxford Movement in the 19th century.
Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Churches
- Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Churches observe more than one All Souls’ Day in a year.
- They commemorate the dead on what they call “Saturday of Souls”.
- It falls on a Saturday because Jesus Christ was in the tomb on a Saturday.
- There are seven Saturdays of Souls throughout the year, six of which occur during Lent.
- Two Soul Saturdays that fall close to November 2nd are October 26 and in Orthodox Churches, November 8.
- The Lutheran Church and the Methodist Church, like the Anglican Church, consider All Souls’ Day an extension of All Saints’ Day rather than the Roman Catholic view of plenary indulgence.
- In 19th century, Prussia changed the date of All Souls’ Day to the last day of Advent. It was called Totensonntag.
All Souls’ Day Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about All Souls’ Day across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use All Souls’ Day worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the All Souls’ Day which is a day to commemorate and pray for the souls of baptized Christians who have died and are in purgatory. It is observed by Christians every November 2nd. It is also called “The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed”, “Feast of All Souls”, or “Day of the Dead”.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- All Souls’ Day Facts
- A Look at History
- All Souls or All False
- Stairway of Souls
- Penalty in Purgatory
- Efforts Around the World
- Dia de los Muertos
- All Souls Word Search
- Which Church?
- A Prayer for the Dead
- The Importance of Indulgence
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Link will appear as All Souls’ Day Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, September 9, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.