Aardvark Alley

Lutheran Aardvark

Confessional Lutheran theology, hagiography, philosophy, music, culture, sports, education, and whatever else is on the fevered mind of Orycteropus Afer

02 November 2007
  Commemoration of the Faithful Departed
2 November

requiescat in paceAlso known as All Souls' Day, this commemoration goes hand in glove with yesterday's remembrance of All Saints' Day. In the early Church, feasts of apostles and evangelists were soon celebrated, especially those of Peter and Paul, although John and James were also early favorites.

Later, martyrs and many other canonized saints were commemorated on 1 November (All Saints' Day). The departed in Purgatory were remembered on 2 November (or the 3rd, if the 2nd fell on Sunday).

Although the unbiblical idea of purgatory was rooted out of the Lutheran Church, our forefathers saw much good in a day set aside to remember those who departed in the Faith and who await the resurrection of all flesh. Many who grew up in the German language remember Totenfest, the Feast of the Dead or Festival for the Dead. Fredrick William III instituted it in 1816 to honor Prussian dead from the Napoleonic wars. When Fredrick Wilhelm imposed the Prussian Union in 1817, the celebration was incorporated into Prussia's new Evangelical Church. In most places, it was celebrated on the last Sunday of the Church Year while a few held the commemoration on 31 December.

In parts of Latin America, particularly Mexico, All Saints' and, especially, All Souls' Day morphed somewhat into the Day(s) of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos). In many places, this has become a largely secular festival with religious (and often superstitious) overtones. It especially remembers departed family members as well as friends and even beloved pets with special altars and much feasting.

Lection

Psalm 34:1-9
Isaiah 35:3-10
2 Peter 3:8-14
John 5:24-29

Collect

Almighty God, in whose glorious presence live all who depart in the Lord and before whom all the souls of the faithful who are delivered of the burden of the flesh are in joy and felicity, we give You hearty thanks for Your loving-kindness to all Your servants who have finished their course in faith and now rest from their labors, and we humbly implore Your mercy that we, together with all who have departed in the saving Faith, may have our perfect consummation and bliss, in both body and soul, in Your eternal and everlasting glory; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

See the Christian Cyclopedia for more information.

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Comments:
hello,
first time reader! enjoy your very cool blog. look forward to visiting and commenting more in the future.
Bill Blackrick
 
"In parts of Latin America, particularly Mexico, All Saints' and, especially, All Souls' Day morphed somewhat into the Day(s) of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos). In many places, this has become a largely secular festival with religious (and often superstitious) overtones. It especially remembers departed family members as well as friends and even beloved pets with special altars and much feasting."

Overtones is putting it mildly. It's basically pure ancestor worship, with belief the altars are being consumed by the dead ancestors themselves. It's also a good example of the Catholic church completely disregarding an entire ethnic population's faith in Christ, to cater to their pagan leftovers, and yet again put filling their pues being the main priority.
 
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