| 02-November-2020 | With this article, I conclude a "trilogy", which began on October 31 with the Eve of Saints' Day; it continued with the celebration of All Saints' Day (November 1); and ends today with All Souls Day.But although the three days are celebrated consecutively, I want to emphasize that they do NOT form a triduum , since their meaning, origin and content are different.
And we must not confuse or identify this commemoration - as happened yesterday Sunday in most of the news and media, both regional and national - with All Saints' Day.The origin of the Commemoration of the Day of the Faithful:This is also a millenary practice, which we already find referenced in the OT (eg in Jr.
34,5 or 2 Mac.
In Christianity, the custom of praying for the deceased, we find it from the very origins of the Church, but the oldest documented reference, we find it in the year 998 AD , when the Benedictine Order, -following the indications of Saint Odilón- , established it as a day to pray for the souls of the faithful who had passed away.
The day designated for this commemoration was November 2.Over the years we find several names, of popular origin, that have been used to refer to this day: Day of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Day of Souls, ...The characteristic of the Day of the All Souls:This is a special day to direct our thoughts and our memories, towards the relatives and loved ones who have already left this world.
It is a day in which nostalgia and sorrow usually surround us, for the sad memory of those who are no longer with us.
It is also the day of the traditional visits to the cemetery to pray for the souls of the Dead.Traditionally in Totana, -as in the rest of the Spanish towns-, we take advantage of the holiday that November 1 gives us for the All Saints Festival, to also visit the cemeteries , since the Day of the Dead, it is a work day, and work obligations usually do not allow it.Liturgical Activities on All Souls Day:On the Day of the All Souls, first thing in the morning, the calls are celebrated: Three Masses for the Dead .
This is a liturgical tradition that has been preserved in Totana (as in many other localities) for more than a century.According to the oldest documented data, it was Pope Benedict XIV (1740-1758), who authorized the priests of the churches of Spain, Portugal and America, to celebrate three consecutive Requiem Masses, to raise prayers for the Dead.
Two centuries later, Pope Benedict XV (1914-1922) in 1915, extended this privilege to the priests of all the Churches of the world.On Oct 23, 2020, the Vatican Apostolic Penitentiary published a Decree of Pope Francis through which the plenary indulgences for the deceased faithful are extended " throughout the month of November ".
The Decree establishes that "the plenary indulgence for those who visit a cemetery and pray for the deceased, even if only mentally, established as a general rule only on the specific days of November 1 to 8, may be transferred to other days of the same month until it's over.
"This same Decree "strongly invites all priests to celebrate Holy Mass three times on the day of the Commemoration of All the Faithful Dead, in accordance with the Apostolic Constitution" Incruentum Altaris ", promulgated by Pope Benedict XV on August 10, 1915 ".Diego Jesus Romera Gonzalez