Bansfield BeneficeDiocese of St Edmundbury & IpswichChurch of England Benefice Scenes Benefice Scenes Benefice Scenes Benefice Scenes

All Souls' Day Service

Please see the Service Rota for details

All Souls'

All Souls' Day by William Bouguereau 1825 - 1905

We remember all the people close to us who have died. There is a service held in one of the churches of the Benefice [details].

All Souls' Day, 2nd November (exceptionally, 3rd November), feast on which the church on earth prays for the souls of the faithful departed still suffering in purgatory. General intercessions for the dead are very ancient but the modern feast was probably first established by Abbot Odilo of Cluny (d. 1049) for his community and later extended throughout the church.

The legend is given by Peter Damiani in his Life of St Odilo. According to this, a pilgrim returning from the Holy Land was cast by a storm on a desolate island. A hermint living there told him that amid the rocks was a chasm communicating with purgatory, from which perpetually rose the groans of tortured souls. The hermit also claimed he had heard the demons complaining of the efficacy of the prayers of the faithful, and e specially the monks of Cluny, in rescuing their victims. Upon returning home, the pilgrim hastened to inform the abbot of Cluny, who then set 2nd November as a day of intercession on the part of his community for all the souls in purgatory. The decree ordaining the celebration is printed in the Bollandist Acta Sanctorum (Saec. VI, pt. i. p. 585). From Cluny the custom spread to the other houses of the Cluniac order, was soon adopted in several dioceses in France, and spread throughout the Western Church.

Last Modified Friday 08 June 2012