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,All Soul's Day falls on the second of two Christian holy days commemorating the souls who departed this earth. Observed on November 2nd, the day following the Feast of All Saints, All Souls' Day is when Christians celebrate all of the faithful who have crossed over,, and pray for the souls who remain in Purgatory.
There is some conflict regarding the issue of purgatory. Catholics believe a soul moves on to one of three places when a person leaves this earth. One is heaven, the second is hell, and the third is purgatory - a holding place of sorts where souls can be cleansed and perfected before they enter heaven.
Because of this theology, All Souls' Day is predominantly celebrated in the Catholic and "Old Catholic" churches. The Anglican church also observes All Souls' Day, however most of the other protestant denominations do not because they do not agree with the Catholic theory behind it. Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate All Souls' Day several times throughout the year.
Other names for All Souls' Day are Day of the Dead, Feast of All Souls, Defuncts' Day, Day of Remembrance, Yorn el Maouta (Israel, Syria, Lebanon), and Halottak Napja (Hungary). It is not considered a holy day of obligation.
Celebrate All Souls' Day
Celebrations for this day are similar to other holidays and observances for the dead during this time of the year, although different nationalities mark the day in their own ways. The traditions below are practiced by different cultures on All Souls' Day. Incorporate some or all of them into your own special celebration. **For any involving a cemetery or public place, be sure to check the rules of that location and always be respectful.
Light candles and offer prayers for the departed to find peace in the afterlife.
Decorate graves of family members with flowers, photos, candles, and food offerings.
Attend mass and decorate graves with flowers or a wreath (no food).
Anoint the hollow of family gravestones with holy or cleansed water.
Make a special cake or supper to leave on the table before bedtime as an offering to the souls.