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All Souls' Day: Why Is It Observed, Know All About It

All Souls’ Day Image: Christians remember the dead on this day

All Souls’ Day is observed by Christians, mainly the Roman Catholics, to pray for people who are dead. Today is All Souls’ Day, a day after All Saints’ Day on November 1. All Souls’ Day is also called the ‘Feast of All Souls’, ‘Defuncts’ Day’ in countries like Hungary, France, Italy, and Ecuador; ‘Day of the Dead’ in Mexico or ‘Commemoration of the Faithful Departed’. The day is dedicated to remembering and praying for loved ones who are dead. On this day Requiem masses are held at the church with special music composed for the ceremony. People also visit the graves of loved ones and decorate with flowers and candles.

All Soul’s Day was established by Saint Odilo of Cluny in commemoration of the dead. The practice spread fast and was soon adopted throughout the whole Western church. During the time of Saint Odilo, Cluny, a small town located in the eastern part France, became the most important monastery in Europe. It is said that Saint Odilo worked hard to reform the monastic practices not only at Cluny, but at other places across Europe.

All Souls’ Day is often observed differently among the various Christian churches. It is part of the season referred to as ‘Allhallowtide’ that includes Halloween on October 31, All Saints’ Day on November 1 and All Souls’ Day on November 2.

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