All Saints Day – What is it?

On November 1 of each year, many Roman Catholics and other Christians around the world celebrate All Saints Day which is in honour of all saints of the church that have reached heaven.

The current celebration on November 1 was settled by Pope Gregory III during his reigning years, it began solemnly in Rome but after many years Pope Gregory IV decided it would be celebrated by the entire Church.

All Saints Day recognises the Saints that have successfully reached heaven but only God knows of their sainthood. Within the Catholic Church, All Saints’ Day is normally considered a Holy Day of Obligation, all Catholics must attend Mass unless they have a valid excuse like illness.

The day is mainly celebrated in France and Germany where they take the day off work and businesses close as it is seen as a bank holiday. The Philippines know All Saints Day as ‘Undas’ and is for honouring the deceased with prayers, flowers and many traditional acts. However, the US does not class this as a bank holiday, therefore, doesn’t have the day off.

Remember to respect people’s holidays and beliefs, if you ask you will learn something new and exciting.

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