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Halloween, All Saints, All Souls Resources

All Saints

ALMIGHTIE God, whiche haste knitte together thy electe in one Communion and felowship, in the misticall body of thy sonne Christe our Lord; graunt us grace so to folow thy holy Saynctes in all virtues, and godly livyng, that we maye come to those inspeakeable joyes, whiche thou hast prepared for all them that unfaynedly love thee; through Jesus Christe. (Thomas Cranmer, 1549)

Halloween, All Saints, and All Souls forms a triduum (three days of liturgical observance). Halloween is a contraction of “All Hallows’ Eve” (the day before All Hallows – All Saints). This triduum can be a celebration of past, present, and future Eternal Life in Christ. [Día de los Muertos, literally, the Day of the Dead, is a Mexican celebration on All Hallows’ Eve spreading from Mexico through USA and beyond – including within church celebrations.]

I suggest we can begin recovering some of our All Hallows’ Eve tradition by having an All Saint’s Vigil (Halloween).

I am not in favour of the recent Church of England practice of counting from All Saints’ Day backwards to Advent: The Fourth Sunday before Advent, The Third Sunday before Advent,… Nor am I in favour of the NZ Anglican mimicking of Mummy England and making Red an optional alternative to Green at this time [“Oh – we’ve had Green long enough now – what colour haven’t we used much this year?…”] There are other ways of changing the texture of services that acknowledges a change in the weather (to Spring or Autumn).

All Saints Reflection
All Souls Resources
Halloween & All Saints
All Saints – Beatitudes
A Great Cloud of Witnesses
Kontakion of the Departed – All Souls

Please add your ideas and resources in the comments below.

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8 Responses to Halloween, All Saints, All Souls Resources

  1. I’m confused by your last comment about color use in visual liturgy. Are you saying that in England & NZ you use green during the season of Advent? And that in England & NZ you also use red if you’re tired of green?

    Here in North America, most churches that use color to celebrate seasons, use purple for Advent (as they do for Lent), as it is a quasi-penitential season. Others use a color similar to turquoise, to differentiate that Advent is less penitential than Lent. And of course, the 3rd Sunday of Advent is PINK! And everyone gets to take a break from the quasi-penitence and get out their pink frocks.

    • No, Br David. England & NZ use purple in Avent. English & NZ Anglicans use Red or Green from All Saints to Advent. I do not agree with that development. Blessings.

  2. Thank you for this. I know of parishes experimenting here in the US with a six week Advent, which means it starts before our Thanksgiving. Ugh.

    I would rather our focus be on themes of harvest and thanksgiving.

    My favorite quote on the autumn triduum: “All Saints’ Day is the centerpiece of an autumn triduum. In the carnival celebrations of All Hallows’ Eve our ancestors used the most powerful weapon in the human arsenal, the power of humor and ridicule, to confront the power of death. The following day, in the commemoration of All Saints, we gave witness to the victory of incarnate goodness embodied in the remarkable deeds and doers triumphing over the misanthropy of darkness and devils. And in the commemoration of All Souls we proclaim the hope of common mortality expressed in our aspirations and expectation of a shared eternity.” – (The Rev. Sam Portaro from “Brightest and Best”)

  3. Perhaps we need to explore more fully how an Autumn triduum can be a truly Spring triduum in the Southern Hemisphere. This would mean a true rethinking of the Holy Week triduum down-under. And as to vestments and colour – do we really need clerics dressing as Roman senators?

    • Yes, Phil. I think it is important that we continue working on a Southern-Hemisphere flavour to Northern-originated celebrations, and I regularly do such work here. What we wear and why is a study beyond this thread – why do men wear ties and trousers… Blessings.

  4. Love that accent, New Zealand, or Australia? Is there a slight difference? I am not too concerned about colors at the alter, I think I like white best. I do wish more could witness Christ outside of church, too others.

    • Thanks, Dona – New Zealand; yes, there’s a difference we can hear. Your point about liking white best already indicates how colour works for most of us. We are affected by colour as part of the worship environment. White, your “best”, is kept for the central seasons of Christmas and Easter. And, of course, for All Saints. Blessings.

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About This Site Welcome to this ecumenical website of resources and reflections on liturgy, spirituality, and worship for individuals and communities. It is run by Rev. Bosco Peters.

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