Last year I wrote a post about Halloween In The Waldorf Home that also included a little bit about All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. You can find that post here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/10/07/halloween-in-the-waldorf-home/
I have to be very honest and tell you that in just one short year, my perspective on this time of the year has changed quite a bit. Halloween has never been huge, huge on my list, but this year it is even lower than in the past. This is because my religion’s liturgical year marks All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day as days of importance and therefore these days have become a newer tradition of importance in our family over Halloween. (And yes, I know my Orthodox friends must wait a bit!)
On the Eve of All Saints’ Day, there is a vigil for all saints known and unknown in the Church. There are services at church this night that are sung and are amongst the most beautiful of the whole year. One example of part of the Daily Office for the actual day of All Saints’ Day can be found here: http://www.missionstclare.com/english/people/nov1.html#prayer and there is also a service at church as well. I like the Mission St. Claire resource I just mentioned; the Daily Office calendar for November has links to Orthodox, Coptic and Roman Catholic Saints for each day as well, along with the Episcopalian celebrations and remembrances: http://www.missionstclare.com/english/November/cal.html
Whilst these two days are still separate, there is a rather increased fusion of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day (the explanation for the Common of Saints is here: http://www.missionstclare.com/english/November/morning/2m.html and scroll down to “About All Souls’ Day”).
Today we are celebrating by remembering our family members who have died by making a beautiful display of photographs of them along with a winding crocheted “Thread of Life” to remind us that the dead are with us, that we can live our lives with their lives as models of goodness and kindness. Tonight we will cook some of their favorite foods and talk about them all as we look at their photographs. Today is also our day to make lanterns, a symbol of light for this season. We will also be planting some dried, brown bulbs that will spring into new life around Christmas to remind us of the Eternal Life we have in Our Savior.
And that, my friends, is something worth taking into the darker days of Autumn.
Many blessings to you and Happy All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day,