We celebrate the saints by reflecting on their steadfastness and using it to motivate our devotion to the Lord and our efficiency in his service. ‘All Saints’ Day, celebrated every November 1, also called ‘All Hallows’ Day or Hallowmas, is a Christian holiday that honors the lives of all the saints who have ever lived in the Christian tradition.
In what sense do we celebrate All Saints’ Day?
All Saints’ Day is a Christian solemnity or respectable remembrance. All Saints’ Day celebrates the lives and teachings of all saints, famous and unknown, throughout the church’s history. Annual church obligations refresh our memories of our fellowship with the church. All Saints’ Day is celebrated annually on November 1. Maybe you grew up thinking of saints as static images on church walls. The Bible, on the other hand, delivers a different message. Exactly who are the righteous ones? You do; if you consider yourself a follower of Jesus, God calls everyone who puts their faith in Christ alone for salvation a “saint” (see Acts 9:13, Acts 26:10, Romans 8:27, 1 Corinthians 1:2).
All Saints’ Day is dedicated to remembering and honoring all the saints who have ever lived. Western Christians of Roman Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, and other denominations commemorate it on November 1. All Saints’ Day is celebrated by the Eastern Orthodox Church and its Eastern Catholic offshoots on the first Sunday following Pentecost. Most Christians observe All Saints Day because they think there is a spiritual connection between the dead and the living, Hebrew 12:1. In the Catholic faith, those who have passed on are honored by this festival. Many countries with a history of Catholicism celebrate it as a national holiday. According to Methodist custom, All Saints Day is a day to celebrate the lives and deaths of God’s saints, both the famous and the unknown. People who have directly impacted a person’s faith in Jesus, whether a friend or family member, are also recognized for their role in their spiritual journey.
No central religious body decides who gets to be a saint. God bestows it on any ordinary, everyday person who puts their faith in Christ (1 Corinthians 1:2). The written word is potent. And the Lord has no interest in muddying the waters of revered biblical terminology like “saint.” The good news is that the Son of God became human, lived a perfect life, died for our sins on the cross, and then rose from the dead to prove that his sacrifice was accepted. This verse from Romans explains it (Romans 4:22-25). In contrast to the unbelievers who try to earn God’s favor via their efforts, the believers, or saints, place their trust in Christ alone. A believer is righteous in God’s eyes (2 Corinthians 5:21).
“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:” (1 Peter 3:18). In other words, we are transformed into angels. Skeptical? If God can call the worldly, immoral Christians of Corinth his saints (1 Corinthians 1:2), why not you? A person considered a saint in God’s sight is a friend who has placed their whole trust in Christ alone for salvation.
All Saints’ Day and its connection to Halloween
Youngsters throughout the United States and several other countries usually go out “trick or treating” or collecting candy from strangers while costumed as monsters. Would you believe that the first “Halloween” celebrations were held in honor of Jesus Christ? In Old English, “Hallows’ Eve” meant “the evening of holy persons.” Therefore, the name “Halloween” refers to the night before All Saints Day, which is today, November 1, on the Anglican and Catholic calendars. Christianity’s notion of martyrdom is mixed with Celtic ideas of the dead.
The History of ‘All Saints’ Day Many early Christians were killed for their faith by the Roman Empire, and the church has set aside special days to remember them. Specifically, in 607, Emperor Phocas granted the pope the magnificent Roman Pantheon. The pope smashed the statues of Jupiter and other pagan deities to devote the Pantheon to “all saints” who had died as a consequence of Roman persecution in the first three hundred years following the birth of Christ. The Pantheon church, which had been rededicated, became the last resting place for many people whose remains had been relocated from other graves. Since there were too many victims to honor individually, they were lumped into a single day. In the next century, Pope Gregory III moved All Saints Day to its date of November 1. They stood guard as they got ready for ‘All Saints’ Eve, or Halloween. This may have been because of the strong influence of the Celtic Samhain festival, which many Christians in Ireland, Britain, Scotland, and Wales still celebrate.
Even while Christians discouraged praying for the dead, many non-Christian beliefs remain. Some Christians followed the ancient pagan practice of leaving offerings for the deceased. Superstitious folk also thought that on these two days, damned spirits would reappear to torment the living in the guise of witches, toads, and demons. But in a more optimistic light, who are some of the most admirable figures in Christian history? Whose life have you been influenced by? If you can think of any Christians, famous or not, whose teachings or lives have influenced your own, why not spend All Saints Day honoring and thanking God for them all?
Observing the Feast of All Saints
According to the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, which sets the feast in the first century A.D., it represents “the unification of Christians of all times, locations, and races in Christ and the perfection of that oneness in heaven.” Around 610, the Roman Pantheon was officially converted into a Christian cathedral dedicated to all the saints. The teachings of the prayer book seem to be true.
There is no mandate in the Bible to petition the dead (Matt. 6:6). (1 Tim. 2:5). Instead, we find strength in remembering our spiritual ancestry and the testimonies of the many saints who have gone before us. Hebrews 11 provides several examples of the great cloud of witnesses whose lives attest to God’s constant love and mercy. These holy people are now chatting in hushed tones, recalling events from the distant past. (Hebrew 12:1)
“Believe in God because he can be trusted.”
“The Lord has compassion. Bet on him.”
“His grace got me through tough times, and it can get you through this one.”
The song “For All the Saints” is often performed at this time of year. Its purpose is twofold: to encourage believers both then and now to persevere in their faith as they look forward to the wonderful day when all believers will be united in heaven with Christ.
All Saints Day Traditions
The most popular activity associated with All Saints Day among Catholics is going to church. The Beatitudes are recited, and prayers are offered to the saints throughout the service. People frequently visit the graves of ancestors and other relatives who have passed on to the next life. Families in Latin American cultures often pay their respects at cemeteries with a picnic and some music.