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Allhallowtide, Hallowtide, Allsaintstide, or the Hallowmas season, is the triduum encompassing the Western Christian observances of All Saints' Eve (Halloween), All Saints' Day (All Hallows') and All Souls' Day, which last from October 31 to November 2 annually. Allhallowtide is a "time to remember the dead, including martyrs, saints, and all faithful departed Christians." The present date of Hallowmas (All Saints' Day) and thus also of its vigil (Hallowe'en) was established for Rome perhaps by Pope Gregory III (731–741) and was made of obligation throughout the Frankish Empire by Louis the Pious in 835. Elsewhere, other dates were observed even later, with the date in Ireland being 20 April. In the early 11th century, the modern date of All Souls' Day was popularized, after Abbot Odilo established it as a day for the monks of Cluny and associated monasteries to pray for the dead.
The word Allhallowtide was first used in 1471, and is derived from two words: the Old English word halig, meaning saint, and the word tide, meaning time or season (cf. Christmastide, Eastertide). The latter part of the word Hallowmas is derived from the word Mass. The words hallow and saint are synonyms.
The Christian attitude towards the death of martyrs is first exemplified in the New Testament, which records that after the beheading of St. John the Baptist, his disciples respectfully buried him. Stephen was likewise "given a Christian burial by his fellow-Christians after he had been stoned to death by a mob." Two of the Ante-Nicene Church Fathers, Ephrem the Syrian, as well as John Chrysostom, both wrote about the importance of honoring the dead; the theologian Herman Heuser writes that in the early Church, the feast days of the martyrs were local observances, with churches being built on those sites where their blood was shed. Frances Stewart Mossier explains that this changed during the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire, saying that:
This arrangement worked very well at first, but soon there were more martyrs than there were days in the year, and so one day was set apart in honor of them all, and called All Saints' Day. This took place about the year A.D. 610. The day of the year on which the festival first occurred was the first of May, and it was not till two hundred years after that it was changed to Nov. 1, the day we now observe. The Christians of those times were in the habit of sending the night before All Saints' Day in thinking over the good and helpful lives of those in whose honor the day was kept and in praying that they might be like them. Services were held in the churches, and candles and incense burned before the pictures and statues of the saints. It was to them one of the holiest, most significant days of all the year.
Following the establishment of All Hallows' Day and its vigil, All Hallows' Eve in the 8th century A.D., Odilo of Cluny popularized the day to pray for All Souls, forming the third day of the triduum of Allhallowtide. The octave of Allhallowtide, lasting "eight days was established by Pope Sixtus IV in 1430 for the whole Western Church." The octave, however was eliminated in the 1955 reforms of the Catholic Church, although it continues to be observed by many Anglicans. The faithful may still obtain a Plenary Indulgence by visiting a cemetery and praying for the dead during the octave of All Hallows. In the United Kingdom, the Church of England, mother church of the Anglican Communion, extended All Saints-tide to include Remembrance Sunday in the 20th century.
All Hallows' Eve, often contracted as Halloween, is the eve of All Hallows (All Saints' Day), and the first day of the Allhallowtide. According to some scholars, the Christian Church absorbed some Celtic practices associated with Samhain and Christianised the celebration in order to ease the Celts' conversion to Christianity; other scholars maintain that the Christian observance of All Hallows' Eve arose completely independent of Samhain. On All Hallows' Eve, Christians traditionally believed that the veil between the material world and the afterlife thinned. In order to prevent recognition by a soul, "people would don masks or costumes to disguise their identities"; in North America, this tradition is perpetuated through the practice of trick or treating. In medieval Poland, believers were taught to pray out loud as they walk through the forests in order that the souls of the dead might find comfort; in Spain, Christian priests tolled their church bells in order to allow their congregants to remember the dead on All Hallows' Eve. The Christian Church traditionally observed Hallowe'en through a vigil "when worshippers would prepare themselves with prayers and fasting prior to the feast day itself." This church service is known as the Vigil of All Hallows or the Vigil of All Saints; an initiative known as Night of Light seeks to further spread the Vigil of All Hallows throughout Christendom. After the service, "suitable festivities and entertainments" often follow, as well as a visit to the graveyard or cemetery, where flowers and candles are often placed in preparation for All Saints' Day (All Hallows).
The second day of Allhallowtide is known as All Saints' Day, All Hallows, or Hallowmas. Occurring on November 1, it is a "principal feast of the church year, and one of the four days recommended for the administration of baptism" in Anglicanism. In some Christian denominations, All Saints' Day may be "celebrated on the Sunday following November 1." All Saints' Day is a holy day to honour all the saints and martyrs, both known and unknown. All Hallows is "a universal Christian holy day," but it has a special importance in the Anglican Church, Catholic Church, and Lutheran Church. The liturgical colour of All Saints' Day is white, which is "symbolic of victory and life." While honouring the Church Triumphant, All Hallows seeks to especially "honour the blessed who have not been canonized and who have no special feast day." On All Saints' Day, many Christians visit graveyards and cemeteries in order to place flowers and candles on the graves of their loved ones. This is a common practice in countries such as Spain, Poland, the Philippines, as well as certain parts of the United States, such as Louisiana. For Roman Catholic Christians, attending mass is compulsory, as All Saints' Day (All Hallows) is a holy day of obligation; for members of other Christian denominations, such as Methodist Christians, though not mandatory, attendance at worship services is encouraged.
The final day of Allhallowtide is known as All Souls' Day, and is also called the Commemoration of All Faithful Departed. All Souls' Day focuses on honouring all faithful Christians "who are unknown in the wider fellowship of the church, especially family members and friends." However, today, All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day have become conflated, and many Christians remember all the dead souls or "saints" on All Saints' Day.' The observance of All Souls' Day "was spread throughout Europe" by Saint Odilo of Cluny in the late 13th century. Like All Hallows' Eve and All Saints' Day, family members often attend mass and visit the graves of their deceased loved ones, placing flowers and lighted candles there. In many Anglican and Roman Catholic Christian services, a 7th-century AD prayer The Office of the Dead is read out in churches on All Souls' Day." In England, a popular tradition associated with All Souls' Day is souling, in which "bands of children, or of poor men, went round to the houses of the well-to-do on Souling Day, as they called it, begging money, apples, ale, or doles of cake. In some parts specially baked cakes were prepared in readiness to give away; they were called soul-cakes." The individuals who go souling often chant rhymes as they go door to door; for example, an old saying goes: "A Soule-cake, a soule-cake, have mercy on all Christian souls for a soule-cake." Historically, in France, on All Souls' Day, "the burial fraternities were especially active in decorating the churchyard, and everywhere priests led a procession around the graveyard and blessed the graves."
Just as the term "Eastertide" expresses for us the whole of the church services and ancient customs attached to the festival of Easter, from Palm Sunday until Easter Monday, so does All-hallowtide include for us all the various customs, obsolete and still observed, of Halloween, All Saints' and All Souls' Days. From the 31st of October until the morning of the 3d of November, this period of three days, known as All-hallowtide, is full of traditional and legendary lore.
Hallowtide covers the three days – 31 October (All-Hallows Eve or Hallowe'en), 1 November (All Saints) and 2 November (All Souls).
Together, the three celebrations-the eve of All Saints' Eve, All Saints' Day, and All Souls' Day-were called Hallowmas.
The relics related to departed saints were placed on display during the Hallowmas season and special blessings were often promised for the veneration of these relics. In those towns and villages that were too small or poor to host a display of relics, a tradition arose which honored the lives of devoted believers by dressing like and impersonating them. Among some contemporary Christians, similar efforts have been used for the sake of appreciation rather than veneration or worship.
All Saints' Day is the centerpiece of an autumn triduum. In the carnival celebrations of All Hallows' Eve our ancestors used the most powerful weapon in the human arsenal, the power of humor and ridicule to confront the power of death. The following day, in the commemoration of All Saints, we gave witness to the victory of incarnate goodness embodied in remarkable deeds and doers triumphing over the misantrhopy of darkness and devils. And in the commemoration of All Souls we proclaimed the hope of common mortality expressed in our aspirations and expectations of a shared eternity.
The custom of visiting and cleaning the graves of one's ancestors is still practiced in Poland today on All Hallows (All Saints) Day, 1st November, part of a triduum in the Catholic Church of commemorations of the dead.
The celebrations on the eve of All Saints, All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day (the three were referred to as Hallowmas) spread throughout Europe. From the British Isles to France to Poland and Italy, the religious remembrance of the ancestral dead became an annual celebration of major importance.
Thus Pope Boniface IV created All Saints Day, known as "All Hallomas" in old English, which was celebrated on November 1. Since Samhain was the day before, it became known as "All Hallows Eve," the origin of the word, "Halloween." The Church furthered its control of All Hallows Eve in the year 1000 A.D. by designating November 2 as All Souls' Day, which was celebrated very similarly to Samhain, with bonfires, parades and costumes. Soon all three holidays became one celebration known as Hallowmas.
Halloween or Hallowe'en, is the yearly celebration on October 31st that signifies the first day of Allhallowtide, being the time to remember the dead, including martyrs, saints and all faithful departed Christians.
the Felire of Oengus and the Martyrology of Tallaght prove that the early medieval churches [in Ireland] celebrated the feast of All Saints on April 20
tide combining form denoting a time or season (usu attached to a church festival, as in Christmas-tide, Easter-tide)
November 1st. All Hallows' Day, or All Saints' Day. The word hallow was simply another word for saint. The feast was dedicated to all the truly holy people in the history of Christianity. The traditional color for this festival was white.
Other signs found in the catacombs include the anchor, a Christian symbol for hope and the dove, which is representative of true believers: those who are saved. Also within the complex are crypts, which are small underground churches that were decorated with religious paintings, statues, or other symbols. Many of them were originally also adorned with relics of saints or Christians martyrs, and some of them had tombs dug into the floors called formae that housed the remains of martyrs, saints, or other important Christians.
After the deaths of John and of Jesus, well-disposed persons request the bodies of the victims of Herod and of Pilate in turn to give them respectful burial (29; 15, 45-46).
We also are told that, when the ungodly King Herod had beheaded John the Baptist, his disciples came and buried him. Also Stephen, the first Christian martyr, was given a Christian burial by his fellow-Christians after he had been stoned to death by a mob.
He also wrote on Repentance, on the Dead, and on Martyrs.
Honoring the Dead by St. John Chrysostom: Will you honor the dead? ... Let us help and commemorate them. If Job's sons were purified by their Father's sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.
Apart from Sunday, early Christianity celebrated feast days. Their origin may be seen in the celebration of the anniversaries of the martyrs. In the beginning feast days were purely local observances. The earliest evidence of such anniversaries is found in a letter of the Church of Smyrna, telling of the martyrdom of its bishop, St. Polycarp. Soon this custom of celebrating a martyr's anniversary became a permanent institution.
Many ancient churches were built over early Christian meetings places and sites of martyrdom, and the city abounds with artifacts, representatives and images of the early Christian period. --Amanda Claridge, author of Rome: An Oxford Achaeological Guide
Halloween and All Saints’ Day are followed on November 2 by a third, lesser known day: All Souls Day. The combined three-day observance is called Allhallowtide.
Allhallowtide, i-e., the octave of All Saints.
On March 23, 1955, a decree of the S.C.R. abolished all octaves except those of Christmas, Easter and Whitsun.
The festival of All Saints is kept by many churches with an octave.
For many twentieth-century Christians the All Saints-tide period is extended to include Remembrance Sunday. In the Calendar and Lectionary we have sought to make it easier to observe this without cutting across a developing lectionary pattern, and we have reprinted the form of service approved ecumenically for use on that day.
All Hallows' Eve. The evening of Oct. 31, which precedes the church's celebration of All Saints' Day on Nov. 1.
The term Halloween (and its alternative rendering Hallowe'en) is shortened from All-hallow-even, as it is the eve of "All Hallows' Day", which is now also known as All Saints' Day.
Later, in AD 1000, the church declared Nov. 2 as All Souls Day and the three days collectively are called Hallowmas.
It is widely believed that many Hallowe'en traditions have evolved from an ancient Celtic festival called Samhain which was Christianised by the early Church. Pronounced sow-in, Samhain is a Gaelic word meaning 'end of the summer'. This festival is believed to have been a celebration of the end of the harvest, and a time of preparation for the coming winter. It is widely accepted that the early church missionaries chose to hold a festival at this time of year in order to absorb existing native Pagan practices into Christianity, thereby smoothing the conversion process.
Halloween and the Day of the Dead share a common origin in the Christian commemoration of the dead on All Saints' and All Souls' Day. But both are thought to embody strong pre-Christian beliefs. In the case of Halloween, the Celtic celebration of Samhain is critical to its pagan legacy, a claim that has been foregrounded in recent years by both new-age enthusiasts and the evangelical Right.
The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions also claims that Hallowe'en "absorbed and adopted the Celtic new year festival, the eve and day of Samhain". However, there are supporters of the view that Hallowe'en, as the eve of All Saints' Day, originated entirely independently of Samhain and some question the existence of a specific pan-Celtic religious festival which took place on 31st October/1st November.
The famous magician Harry Houdini promised to communicate from the place of the dead if at all possible; after years of seances, usually held at Halloween-traditionally said to be the time when the veil between this world and the next is stretched the thinnest-his wife finally gave up in despair.
It was traditionally believed that the souls of the departed wandered the earth until All Saints' Day, and All Hallow's Eve provided one last chance for the dead to gain vengeance on their enemies before moving to the next world. In order to avoid being recognized by any soul that might be seeking such vengeance, people would don masks or costumes to disguise their identities. Today most North American and British children perpetuate the custom by dressing in costume and going door to door in search of treats.
Polish Catholics taught their children to pray out loud as they walked through the woods so that the souls of the dead could hear them and be comforted. Priests in tiny Spanish villages still ring their church bells to remind parishioners to honor the dead on All Hallows Eve.
All Hallows' Eve falls on 31st October each year, and is the day before All Hallows' Day, also known as All Saints' Day in the Christian calendar. The Church traditionally held a vigil on All Hallows' Eve when worshippers would prepare themselves with prayers and fasting prior to the feast day itself.
"The vigil of the hallows" refers to the prayer service the evening before the celebration of All Hallows or Saints Day. Or "Halloween" for short -- a fixture on the liturgical calendar of the Christian West since the seventh century.
The Vigil is based on the monastic office of Vigils (or Matins), when the monks would arise in the middle of the night to pray. On major feast days, they would have an extended service of readings (scriptural, patristic, and from lives of the saints) in addition to chanting the psalms. This all would be done in the dark, of course, and was an opportunity to listen carefully to the Word of God as well as the words of the Church Fathers and great saints. The Vigil of All Saints is an adaptation of this ancient practice, using the canonical office of Compline at the end.
In its first year - 2000 AD - over 1000 people participated from several countries. This included special All Saints Vigil masses, extended periods of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and parties for children. In our second year 10,000 participated. Since these modest beginnings, the Night of Light has been adopted in many countries around the world with vast numbers involved each year from a Cathedral in India to a convent in New Zealand; from Churches in the USA and Europe to Africa; in Schools, churches, homes and church halls all ages have got involved. Although it began in the Catholic Church it has been taken up be other Christians who while keeping its essentials have adapted it to suit their own traditions.
One that has grown over the past decade is the so-called Night of Light, on All Hallows’ Eve, October 31. It was invented in 2000, in leafy Chertsey, Surrey, when perhaps 1,000 people took part. Now it is a worldwide movement, popular in Africa and the United States. The heart of the Night of Light is an all-night vigil of prayer, but there is room for children’s fun too: sweets, perhaps a bonfire and dressing up as St George or St Lucy. The minimum gesture is to put a lighted candle in the window, which is in itself too exciting for some proponents of health and safety. The inventor of the Night of Light is Damian Stayne, the founder of a year-round religious community called Cor et Lumen Christi – heart and light of Christ. This new movement is Catholic, orthodox and charismatic – emphasising the work of the Holy Spirit.
The BOS notes that "suitable festivities and entertainments" may precede of follow the service, and there may be a visit to a cemetery or burial place.
My folks are Polish and they celebrate Halloween in a different way. It is time to remember your dead and visit the cemetery and graves of your loved ones.
All Saints' Day (also known as All Hallows' Day or Hallowmas) is the day after All Hallows' Eve (Hallowe'en). It is a feast day celebrated on 1st November by Anglicans and Roman Catholics. It is an opportunity for believers to remember all saints and martyrs, known and unknown, throughout Christian history. As part of this day of obligation, believers are required to attend church and try not to do any servile work.
All Saints' Day. Commemorates all saints, known and unknown, on Nov. 1. All Saints' Day is one of the seven principal feasts of the church year, and one of the four days recommended for the administration of baptism. All Saints' day may also be celebrated on the Sunday following Nov. 1.
All Saints' Day is a universal Christian holy day to honor all saints—known and unknown—on November 1.
For Catholics, All Saints Day is a day of obligation, meaning that the faithful should attend a Mass and refrain from activities that distract from the atmosphere of worship. After the Reformation, Anglicans and Lutherans continued to observe All Saints Day, but it was discarded by the churches in the Reformed church tradition such as the Presbyterians It has regained some prominence in the atmosphere of the 20th-century ecumenical movements, but is often shifted to the Sunday nearest to November 1.
The color is white, symbolic of victory and life.
The feast commemorates all the blessed in heaven, but is especially designed to honour the blessed who have not been canonized and who have no special feast day.
In Spain, the 1st November is a public holiday so shops and banks will be closed. People will use it as a day to visit cemeteries to honour the dead. There is often a Mass, held in the local cemetery, which may include silent processions. people take flowers to the cemeteries.
On All Saints' Day, November first, cemeteries throughout the State are turned into flower gardens as tombs and graves are bedecked with bouquets and wreaths. The chrysanthemum is the favorite flower. In the Cajun parishes the evening assumes an eerie aspect as hundreds of candles are lighted in the graveyards.
All Saints' Day is a Holy Day of Obligation, meaning that the faithful are obliged to participate in a Mass.
We also recognize and celebrate All Saints' Day (Nov. 1) and "all the saints who from their labors rest." All Saints' Day is a time to remember Christians of every time and place, honoring those who lived faithfully and shared their faith with us. On All Saints' Day, many churches read the names of their members who died in the past year.
All Faithful Departed, Commemoration of. This optional observance is an extension of All Saints' Day. While All Saints' is to remember all the saints, popular piety felt the need to distinguish between outstanding saints and those who are unknown in the wider fellowship of the church, especially family members and friends. It is also known as All Souls' Day. Many churches now commemorate all the faithful departed in the context of the All Saints' Day celebration.
In recent practice, All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day have become conflated, and many Christians remember all of the dead souls or "saints" on All Saints' Day.
All Souls' Day is said to have its origins in an ancient festival of the dead and was spread through Europe by St. Odilo of France in the eleventh century. It was celebrated on November 2 with masses and celebrations in honor of the dead. It is a time when families fondly remember their deceased members and pray for their souls. Many people also visit their loved ones' graves bearing flowers.
A 7/8th century AD prayer The Office of the Dead is read out in churches on All Souls' Day. Other rituals include the offering of Requiem Mass for the dead, visiting family graves and reflecting on lost loved ones.
But bands of children, or of poor men, went round to the houses of the well-to-do on Souling Day, as they called it, begging money, apples, ale, or doles of cake. In some parts specially baked cakes were prepared in readiness to give away; they were called soul-cakes. The begging was performed by the aid of quaint ditties.
There is another old rhyme or saying, 'A soule-cake, a soule-cake, have mercy on all Christians souls for a soule-cake.'
All Souls was one of the busiest days of the year for lay confraternities and private chantries who provided for the dead. In France, for example, the burial fraternities were especially active in decorating the churchyard, and everywhere priests led a procession around the graveyard and blessed the graves.