Origins of Halloween
All Saints' Day (also called All Hallows or Hallowmas), often shortened to All Saints,'s
a feast celebrated on November 1 in Western Christianity, and on the first Sunday
after Pentecost in Eastern Christianity in honour of all the saints, known and unknown.
In terms of Western Christian theology, the feast commemorates all those who've
attained the beatific vision in heaven. Specifically, in the Roman Catholic Church,
the next day, All Souls' Day, commemorates the departed faithful who haven't yet
been purified and reached heaven.

In the East
Among Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholics, All Saints Sunday (Greek: Αγίων
Πάντων, Agiōn Pantōn), follows the ancient tradition of commemorating all saints
collectively on the first Sunday after Pentecost.

The feast of All Saints achieved great prominence in the ninth century, in the reign
of the Byzantine Emperor, Leo VI "the Wise" (886–911). His wife, Empress Theophano—
commemorated on December 16—lived a devout life. After her death, her husband
built a church, intending to dedicate it to her. When he was forbidden to do so, he
decided to dedicate it to "All Saints," so that if his wife were in fact one of the
righteous, she'd also be honoured whenever the feast was celebrated. According
to tradition, it was Leo who expanded the feast from a commemoration of All
Martyrs to a general commemoration of All Saints, whether martyrs or not.
This Sunday marks the close of the Paschal season. To the normal Sunday services
are added special scriptural readings and hymns to all the saints (known and
unknown) from the
Pentecostarion.

The Sunday following All Saints Sunday—the second Sunday after Pentecost—is set
aside as a commemoration of all locally venerated saints, such as "All Saints of
America", "All Saints of Mount Athos", etc. The third Sunday after Pentecost may be
observed for even more localised saints, such as "All Saints of St. Petersburg", or for
saints of a particular type, such as "New Martyrs of the Turkish Yoke."

In addition to the Sundays mentioned above, Saturdays throughout the year are
days for general commemoration of all saints, and special hymns to all saints are
chanted from the
Octoechos.

In the West
The Western Christian holiday of
All Saints Day falls on November 1, followed by All
Souls' Day on November 2, and's a Holy Day of Obligation in the Latin Rite Roman
Catholic Church.

The origin of the festival of
All Saints as celebrated in the West dates to May 13, 609
or 610, when Pope Boniface IV consecrated the Pantheon at Rome to the Blessed
Virgin and all the martyrs; the feast of the dedicatio Sanctae Mariae ad Martyres
has been celebrated at Rome ever since. The chosen day, May 13, was a pagan
observation of great antiquity, the culmination of three days of the Feast of the
Lemures, in which the malevolent and restless spirits of the dead were propitiated.
Liturgiologists of the Middle Ages based the idea that this Lemuria festival was the
origin of that of All Saints on their identical dates and on the similar theme of "all the
dead".

The feast of
All Saints, on its current date,'s traced to the foundation by Pope
Gregory III (731–741) of an oratory in St. Peter's for the relics "of the holy apostles and
of all saints, martyrs and confessors, of all the just made perfect who're at rest
throughout the world", with the day moved to November 1.

This usually fell within a few weeks of the
Celtic holiday of Samhain, which had a
theme similar to that of Lemuria, but which was also a harvest festival. The Irish,
whose holiday Samhain had been, didn't celebrate All Hallows Day on this
November 1 date, as extant historical documents attest that the celebration in
Ireland took place in the spring: "...the Felire of Oengus and the Martyrology of
Tallaght prove that the early medieval churches [inIreland] celebrated the feast of
All Saints on April 20."

A November festival of all the saints was already widely celebrated on November 1
in the days of
Charlemagne. It was made a day of obligation throughout the Frankish
empire in 835, by a decree of Louis the Pious, issued "at the instance of
Pope
Gregory IV and with the assent of all the bishops", which confirmed its celebration
on November 1. The octave was added by Pope Sixtus IV (1471—1484).
The festival was retained after the Reformation in the calendar of the Anglican
Church and in many Lutheran churches. In the Lutheran churches, such as the Church
of Sweden, it assumes a role of general commemoration of the dead. In the Swedish
calendar, the observance takes place on the Saturday between October 31 and
November 6. In many Lutheran Churches, it's moved to the first Sunday of
November. It's also celebrated by other Protestants of the English tradition, such as
the United Church of Canada and the Wesleyan Church. In the United Methodist
Church, All Saints' Day's on the first Sunday in November. It's held, not only to
remember Saints, but also to remember all those that have died from the local
church congregation. A candle is lit by the Acolyte as each person's name's called
out. Then, a liturgical prayer's offered for each soul in Heaven.

Roman Catholic Obligation
In the Roman Catholic Church All Saints Day's a Holy Day of Obligation, meaning
going to Mass on the date's required. However, All Saints Day isn't considered a Holy
Day of Obligation when it falls on Monday or Saturday, as well as having no
obligation at all in Hawaii.

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