The difference between All Saintsf’ Day and All Souls’ Day
While All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day are connected, it is important to note that they are celebrated on difference dates. And although on both days we can remember our loved ones who have passed, there are important differences between All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, which are celebrated on November 1st and November 2nd, respectively.
Both dates are of great significance for the church, as they are a way of perpetuating the lives of saints, by commemorating and remembering those who were not canonised, as well as the souls of the faithful who may be in purgatory to be cleansed of their sins and sorrows. On this day, prayers focus on ascension to the kingdom of Jesus.
All Saints’ Day
All Saints’ Day is a national holiday in Spain, and begins on the eve of November 1st. This day commemorates all saints of the church in heaven, both those who have and have not yet been canonised, according to the Catholic Church. On this day, Christians are invited to unite in prayer to commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
One of the main differences between All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day is that on the former, people visit graveyards and places of holy rest of their loved ones, to offer flowers. The most common flowers are chrysanthemums, as they are associated with eternity.
Traditional gastronomy is also part of this annual celebration, where you can enjoy traditional roasted chestnuts and fried Spanish fritters, among other treats.
All Souls’ Day
On All Souls’ Day, also known as Day of the Dead, is a Eucharistic celebration of union and prayer for all the faithful departed, who, according to religious belief, are thought to be in purgatory, due to their venial sins.
Through prayer, the faithful help to cleanse them of their sins, as for the church, this is a way to receive the light of the creator.
Mass and Eucharistic celebrations are a frequent occurrence on All Souls’ Day. It is also customary and traditional for groups of people to gather together and say the rosary in memory of the faithful departed, and to pray for their eternal rest.
Just like on All Saints’ Day, the visiting of graveyards is customary, and people bring flowers to decorate the tombs and places of rest of the faithful departed.
Now that you understand the difference between All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day, let’s look at some very famous words spoken by Pope Francis himself.
Words of Pope Francis
On November 2nd 2014, during the Angelus, Pope Francis said that both days were ‘intimately linked to each other’, and called on the church’s followers to recall and remember our loved ones. ‘Church Tradition has always urged prayer for the deceased, in particular by offering the Eucharistic Celebration for them: it is the best spiritual help that we can give to their souls, particularly to those who are the most forsaken’.
What do you think of his words, and the difference between All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day?