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Region: England, Wales and Northern Ireland

RE:QUEST

A space for resources to help RE teachers and their students explore the Christian faith

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Festivals: All Saints' Day

Why is All Saints' Day celebrated?

 

All Saints' Day is when Christians celebrate the lives of Saints - or Christians - whose example is inspirational or important. They think about the good things that they said and did.

All Saints' Day falls on 1st November and is a ‘Holy Day of Obligation’ in the Catholic Church. This means that on this day all Catholics should attend Mass.

This annual celebration began in 609AD when Pope Boniface IV consecrated the Pantheon in Rome, to the Blessed Virgin and all the Martyrs. The Pantheon was a Roman temple dedicated to all the gods of Rome but Boniface wanted it to be a place where Christian saints could be remembered.

It is followed by All Souls' Day. This is a celebration of the lives of all Christians who have died and a time to think about heaven. In Catholic and Anglican churches the priest will wear red robes - the colour of blood - to remember the Christians who have died because of their faith (martyrs).

Reflect:

  • Who do you admire?
  • Why do you admire them?
Did you know? The word ‘Saint’ comes from the Latin word ‘sanctus’ meaning holy. The Bible uses the word 'saints' to refer to all Christians.