All Souls' Day
Reverence for the dead has always been a part of humanity, although it has been expressed in a multitude of different ways. People of all the world's cultures have always had respect for the dead - from apprehension of them or fear that they will walk again. For this reason, people would go to visit their deceased relatives, in order to ensure their goodwill and keep them from bringing bad fortune on their living relations.
In the year 998, this custom was introduced to the second of November by the Benedictine abbot, Oddilo of Cluna, and it quickly spread to all the Christian countries.
Since this time, 18 countries in Europe celebrate the first of November as
All Saints' Day and the day after as
All Souls' Day.
All-Saints' Day (1868)
Never to weary more, nor suffer sorrow,
Their strife all over, and their work all done:
At peace and only waiting for the morrow;
Heaven's rest and rapture even now begun.
So tired once! long fetter'd, sorely burden'd,
Ye struggled hard and well for your release;
Ye fought in faith and love and ye are guerdon'd,
O happy souls! for now ye are at peace.
No more of pain, no more of bitter weeping!
For us a darkness and an empty place,
Somewhere a little dust in angels' keeping
A blessèd memory of a vanish'd face