All Souls or Saints or Halloween?-A A +A
Questions that Matter
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
AS I went over my past articles, one title struck me most about the incoming celebration. Allow me to share it once again.
When are we celebrating the “All Saints’ day and the All Souls’ Day?” Are they the same? “Pista Minatay” and “Todos los Santos?” Many Catholics are not cleared on the matter. I will try to make some clarification in this article.
“All Saints' Day (in the Roman Catholic Church officially the Solemnity of All Saints and also called All Hallows or Hallowmas), often shortened to All Saints, is a solemnity celebrated on November 1 by in the Catholic Liturgical Calendar to honor all the saints, known and unknown. In the Western calendar, it is the day after Halloween and the day before All Souls' Day. Although being one calendar day after Halloween, they are in no way related.
All Souls' Day commemorates the faithful departed. In Western Christianity, this day is observed principally in the Catholic Church, although some churches of Anglican Communion and the Old Catholic Churches also celebrate it. The Roman Catholic celebration is associated with the doctrine that the souls of the faithful who at death have not been cleansed from the temporal punishment due to venial sins and from attachment to mortal sins cannot immediately attain the beatific vision in heaven, and that they may be helped to do so by prayer and by the sacrifice of the Mass. In other words, when they died, they had not yet attained full sanctification and moral perfection, a requirement for entrance into Heaven. This sanctification is carried out posthumously in Purgatory.
The official name of the celebration in the Roman Rite liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church is "The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed." Another popular name in English is Feast of All Souls. In some other languages the celebration, not necessarily on the same date, is known as Day of the Dead.
Halloween (a shortening of All Hallows’ Evening), also known as Halloween or All Hallows' Eve, is a yearly holiday observed around the world on October 31, the night before All Saints' Day. Much like Day of the Dead celebrations, the Christian feast of All Hallows' Eve, according to some scholars, incorporates traditions from pagan harvest festivals and festivals honoring the dead, particularly the Celtic Samhain; other scholars maintain that the feast originated entirely independently of Samhain. Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (also known as "guising"), attending costume parties, carving jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, watching horror films, as well as the religious observances of praying, fasting and attending vigils or church services.” (Wikipedia)
Hopefully, these descriptions will now give us the full picture of the celebrations. Many good capitalists and businessmen had made the celebrations more of a business opportunity and thus, the religious significance of the feasts was lost.
November 1 is a time of the year where we are reminded of our passage in this world, and it speaks of the reality that we all pass through the process of death. It is also a reminder for us that we are only passing by. The Faithful departed are known for their acts and deeds while they were passing by. Their deeds are those to be remembered and to be learned a lesson from.
November 2 tells us that we are all called to “sainthood.” It means that we have to live our lives to the fullest. We are “saints” by right of our baptism. However, our sainthood depends on how we live our lives. It is not only the canonization that makes us “Saints” but we become “saints” through the way we live our lives as models of faith.
So, the next time we celebrate All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, we understand well the meaning and significance of the celebrations.
My best wishes to my hijado Michael and hijada Katkat Yana Yu. Belated birthday greetings to Adrian Samillano. Advance birthday greetings to Cheressa Sanchez and Donson John Sadava of the UNO-R DSA office.
Saints Ezekiel Moreno, Pedro Calungsod and Lorenzo Ruiz; Blessed John Paul II and Sir Faraon Lopez, pray for us.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on October 30, 2012.