top of page

How To Do All Saints' Day

All Hallow's Eve is the evening of October 31st. All Saints is November 1st. It commemorates all those who have died before us, ran the race successfully, and enjoy a vision of God before the General Resurrection. It also goes by Hallowmas or All Hallows'. It's Vigil was All Hallow's Evening. Hallow's Evening was shortened to Hallow E'en, then Halloween.

Feasting for Christ has been a practice since the earliest days of Christianity. This was extended to martyrs who died in Christ around the 4th c. A Cathedral was set apart for Mary and All Martyrs in the 600's, "All Saints" was setup in the 700's, and it was moved to November 1st and made universal for The Church in the 800's. If we're heading for a heavenly feast, we should practice for it today.

What The Church says we should do

  • Mass

  • Solemnities as the highest days ought bring out the best music, vestments, and homilies

  • All Saints is a "day of obligation," but you should more importantly think of it as a great feast day.

  • Matins and/or Evensong

  • St. Aelred has Evensong at 6pm at St. Joseph Catholic Church, a rich part of our Anglican Heritage

  • "You cannot pray from home as from church, where voices cry out to God as if from one heart." St. John Chrysostom; The Catechism #2719

  • In the Medieval Era, all Solemnities in Catholic England were spent going to Matins, Mass, & Evensong.

  • Vatican II envisioned this practice of gathering even for The Church's Prayer returning, "the chief hours, especially Vespers, are celebrated in common in church on Sundays and the more solemn feasts [e.g. All Saints]." (Sancrosanctum Concilium; #100).

Fitting Personal Practices of Piety

  • Read Scriptures about the Saints

  • If you can't make it to Mass, Matins, or Vespers here are the readings:

  • Mass: Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14; Psalm 24:1-6; 1 John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12

  • Morning Prayer: Wisdom 3:1-9; Revelation 19:6-10

  • Evening Prayers: Isaiah 65:17-end; Hebrews 11:32-12:2, 18-24; Sirach 44:1-15

  • Say or Chant the Litany of Saints

  • It can be found here

  • It also teaches the Orders of Saints, e.g. Mary, Angels, Patriarchs, Prophets, Martyrs, Bishops, Doctors of the Church, Priests, Religious, Hermits, Disciples, Virgins, etc. etc.

  • Pray with your Patron Saint

  • Spend some time in personal prayer asking your patron for guidance.

  • If you have a book by them, spend some time reading it.

  • Offer incense up with your prayers

  • If you have a home shrine you can offer incense by an icon(s) of saints (see Revelation 5:8)

  • Sing Hymns and Chant Psalms

  • ♫ For All the Saints - Vaughan Williams; #126 in the 1940 Hymnal

  • Mr. Vaughn Williams studied at the Royal School of Music at Cambridge. He studied Tudor and English Folk music. He is known for his work on The English Hymnal (considered the best hymnal ever made by Anglicans), the Oxford Book of Carols. He is a major contributor to the Anglican Heritage of music. He died an agnostic in the Church of England. Pray for his soul on All Souls'!

  • "The LORD has given us wine to gladden our hearts" (Psalm 104:15). In moderation, this helps greatly with joy while singing!

  • Play Games

  • Baseball, Football, Catch, Board Games, have some fun!

  • Soccer was largely developed out of a medieval forerunner that was played on Solemnities

  • Get the day off work if you can

  • After Matins and Mass it was typical to play games, feast, see friends and other family, returning to the parish at evening for Vespers

  • All Solemnities in the English Catholic world were days off work. The Church defended laity in the Medieval Era against employers trying to make people work during Solemnities!

  • Feast

  • Invite the poor (Luke 14:13), those who do the will of God, friends, family, etc.

  • Bring out the fine china, cook the best you have, make a drink, and give thanks to God for the communion of Saints who we hope to join

bottom of page