Wednesday, October 29, 2008

[high days coming] november first and second

As the well read and scholarly know, the festival of All Hallows [or All Saints] is on November 1st and that of All Souls is on November 2nd, at least in the western church.

Therefore the solemn ceremony of November 1st is preceded by All Hallows Evening, just as Christmas is preceded by Christmas Evening, the name of the former now contracted to Hallowe'en. It should be pointed out that:

It was a day of religious festivities in various northern European Pagan traditions, until Popes Gregory III and Gregory IV moved the old Christian feast of All Saints' Day from May 13 (which had itself been the date of a pagan holiday, the Feast of the Lemures) to November 1.

Naturally, Hallowe'en has overshadowed the other two days in the popular mind, through superior PR but the two days of the festival are still vital in the Christian calendar. For mine, All Souls is the more important because:

1. It encompasses the saints;
2. It can appeal to all denominations.

November 2nd is therefore a day to remember one's descendants and deceased family members, a day to pray that they are in a good, safe place, a day to pause and consider things in general.


CherryPie said...

I will bear that in mind James, it is quite prophetic regarding latest events in my life today.

James Higham said...