All Saints' Day, the Day of the Dead, and All Souls' Day

Catrinas, such as the above, are among the most popular figures of the Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico (Tomascastelazo).


November 1st is observed by many Roman Catholics as All Saints' Day.

November 1st and 2nd is observed by some as the Day of the Dead.

All Saints' Day comes the morning/day after Halloween (see also Is Halloween Holy Time for Christians?)--though technically the evening before (Halloween_ is when it begins.

All Souls' Day is normally observed on November 2nd by Roman Catholics.

Are these days biblical holidays? How were they established?

(Here is a link to a related sermon: All Hallowed Saints’ Day of the Dead.)

Catholic scholars themselves admit that the day they call "All Saints' Day" was not observed by early Christians, but was a later addition:

ALL SAINTS. As early as the fourth century, the Greeks kept on the first Sunday after Pentecost the feast of all martyrs and saints, and we still possess a sermon of St. Chrysostom de-livered on that day.

In the West, the feast was introduced by Pope Boniface the Fourth after he had dedicated, as the Church of the Blessed Virgin and the Martyrs, the Pantheon, which had been made over to him by the Emperor Phocas. The feast of the dedication was kept on the thirteenth of May. About 731 Gregory III. consecrated a chapel in St. Peter's Church in honour of all the saints, from which time All Saints' Day has been kept in Rome, as now, on the first of November. From about the middle of the ninth century, the feast came into general observance throughout the West. (Addis W, Arnold T. Catholic Dictionary, 6th ed. The Catholic Publication Society Co, 1887. Nihil Obstat. EDUARDUS S. KEOGH, CONG. ORAT., Censor Deputatu Imprimatur. HENRICUS EDUARDUS, CARD. ARCHIEP. WESTMONAST. Die 18 Dec., 1883. Imprimatur. John Card. McCloskey, Archbishop of New York. Feb. 14, 1884. Copyright, Lawrence Kehoe, 1884/1887. p20).

All Saints' Day

In the fourth century, neighbouring dioceses began to interchange feasts, to transfer relics, to divide them, and to join in a common feast; as is shown by the invitation of St. Basil of Caesarea (397) to the bishops of the province of Pontus. Frequently groups of martyrs suffered on the same day, which naturally led to a joint commemoration. In the persecution of Diocletian the number of martyrs became so great that a separate day could not be assigned to each. But the Church, feeling that every martyr should be venerated, appointed a common day for all. The first trace of this we find in Antioch on the Sunday after Pentecost. We also find mention of a common day in a sermon of St. Ephrem the Syrian (373), and in the 74th homily of St. John Chrysostom (407). (Mershman, Francis. "All Saints' Day." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. Nihil Obstat. March 1, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 11 Aug. 2013 <>)

As far a careful reading of John Chrysostom's 74th homily (which supposedly is where he declared this observation according to The Catholic Encyclopedia) shows that he discussed the deaths of prophets, but it is not clear to me that John Chrysostom declared the “Christian” observation of something that resembles “All Saints’ Day.”

But even if he were to endorse it, John Chrysostom was not a true Christian, plus it obviously was not an original Christian practice.

Here is information on when and how people keep All Saints Day:

All Saints' Day

All Saints' Day is a celebration of all Christian saints, particularly those who have no special feast days of their own, in many Roman Catholic, Anglican and Protestant churches. In many western churches it is annually held November 1 and in many eastern churches it is celebrated on the first Sunday after Pentecost. It is also known as All Hallows Tide, All-Hallomas, or All Hallows' Day.

What Do People Do?

All Saints' Day is observed by Christians in many countries around the world. In countries such as Spain, Portugal and Mexico, offerings are made on this day. In countries such as Belgium, Hungary and Italy people bring flowers to the graves of dead relatives. In other parts of Europe, such as Austria, Croatia, Poland, and Romania, it is customary to light candles on top of visiting graves of deceased relatives. It is also observed in parts of Asia, such as the Philippines, where people visit graves of deceased relatives and clean or repair them. They also lay flowers on the graves and light candles. accessed 10/01/19

Prayers for to the dead saints are often given then.

As far as candles go, notice something from Two Babylons:

Another peculiarity of the Papal worship is the use of lamps and wax-candles. ... When every Egyptian on the same night was required to light a lamp before his house in the open air, this was an act of homage to the sun, that had veiled its glory by enshrouding itself in a human form. When the Yezidis of Koordistan, at this day, once a year celebrate their festival of "burning lamps," that, too, is to the honour of Sheikh Shems, or the Sun. Now, what on these high occasions was done on a grand scale was also done on a smaller scale, in the individual acts of worship to their god, by the lighting of lamps and tapers before the favourite divinity.

In Babylon, this practice had been exceedingly prevalent, as we learn from the Apocryphal writer of the Book of Baruch. "They (the Babylonians)," says he, "light up lamps to their gods, and that in greater numbers, too, than they do for themselves, although the gods cannot see one of them, and are senseless as the beams of their houses."

In Pagan Rome, the same practice was observed. Thus we find Licinius, the Pagan Emperor, before joining battle with Constantine, his rival, calling a council of his friends in a thick wood, and there offering sacrifices to his gods, "lighting up wax-tapers" before them, and at the same time, in his speech, giving his gods a hint, that if they did not give him the victory against Constantine, his enemy and theirs, he would be under the necessity of abandoning their worship, and lighting up no more "wax-tapers to their honour."

In the Pagan processions, also, at Rome, the wax-candles largely figured. "At these solemnities," says Dr. Middleton, referring to Apuleius as his authority, "at these solemnities, the chief magistrate used frequently to assist, in robes of ceremony, attended by the priests in surplices, with wax-candles in their hands, carrying upon a pageant or thensa, the images of their gods, dressed out in their best clothes; these were usually followed by the principal youth of the place, in white linen vestments or surplices, singing hymns in honour of the gods whose festivals they were celebrating, accompanied by crowds of all sorts that were initiated in the same religion, all with flambeaux or wax-candles in their hands."

Now, so thoroughly and exclusively Pagan was this custom of lighting up lamps and candles in daylight, that we find Christian writers, such as Lactantius, in the fourth century, exposing the absurdity of the practice, and deriding the Romans "for lighting up candles to God, as if He lived in the dark."

Had such a custom at that time gained the least footing among Christians, Lactantius could never have ridiculed it as he does, as a practice peculiar to Paganism. But what was unknown to the Christian Church in the beginning of the fourth century, soon thereafter began to creep in, and now forms one of the most marked peculiarities of that community that boasts that it is the "Mother and mistress of all Churches." (Hislop A. Two Babylons, Chapter V, Section V)

The Greco-Roman Catholic writer, c. 300 A.D., Lactinius wrote:

The same blindness everywhere oppresses the wretched men; for as they know not who is the true God, so they know not what constitutes true worship.

Therefore they sacrifice fine and fat victims to God, as though He were hungry; they pour forth wine to Him, as though He were thirsty; they kindle lights to Him, as though He were in darkness. But if they were able to conjecture or to conceive in their mind what those heavenly goods are, the greatness of which we cannot imagine, while we are still encompassed with an earthly body, they would at once know that they are most foolish with their empty offices. Or if they would contemplate that heavenly light which we call the sun, they will at once perceive how God has no need of their candles, who has Himself given so clear and bright a light for the use of man. And when, in so small a circle, which on account of its distance appears to have a measure no greater than that of a human head, there is still so much brilliancy that mortal eye cannot behold it, and if you should direct your eye to it for a short time mist and darkness would overspread your dimmed eyes, what light, I pray, what brightness, must we suppose that there is in God, with whom there is no night? For He has so attempered this very light, that it might neither injure living creatures by excessive brightness or vehement heat, and has given it so much of these properties as mortal bodies might endure or the ripening of the crops require. Is that man, therefore, to be thought in his senses, who presents the light of candles and torches as an offering to Him who is the Author and Giver of light? The light which He requires from us is of another kind, and that indeed not accompanied with smoke, but (as the poet says) clear and bright; I mean the light of the mind, on account of which we are called by the poets photes, which light no one can exhibit unless he has known God. But their gods, because they are of the earth, stand in need of lights, that they may not be in darkness; and their worshippers, because they have no taste for anything heavenly, are recalled to the earth even by the religious rites to which they are devoted. For on the earth there is need of a light, because its system and nature are dark. Therefore they do not attribute to the gods a heavenly perception, but rather a human one. And on this account they believe that the same things are necessary and pleasing to them as to us, who, when hungry, have need of food; or, when thirsty, of drink; or, when we are cold, require a garment; or, when the sun has withdrawn himself, require a light that we may be able to see. From nothing, therefore, can it be so plainly proved and understood that those gods, since they once lived, are dead, as from their worship itself, which is altogether of the earth. (Lactinius. Divine Institutes, Book VI Of True Worship, Chapters 1-2. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 7. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1886)

So, obviously candle-burning was not something endorsed, even by the Church of Rome that early.

And their scholars admit they got the practice from paganism:

We need not shrink from admitting that candles, like incense and lustral water, were commonly employed in pagan worship and in the rites paid to the dead. But the Church from a very early period took them into her service, just as she adopted many other things indifferent in themselves, which seemed proper to enhance the splendour of religious ceremonial. ...

Eusebius (Vita Constant., IV, xxii) speaks of the "pillars of wax" with which Constantine transformed night into day, and Prudentius and other authors have left eloquent descriptions of the brilliance within the churches. Neither was the use of candles in the basilicas confined to those hours at which artificial light was necessary. Not to speak of the decree of the Spanish council at Elvira (c. 300), which seems to condemn as an abuse some superstitious burning of candles during the daytime in cemeteries, we know that the heretic Vigilantius towards the close of the same century made it a reproach against the orthodox that while the sun was still shining they lighted great piles of candles (moles cereorum accendi faciunt), and St. Jerome in answer declared that the candles were lighted when the Gospel was read, not indeed to put darkness to flight, but as a sign of joy. ...

Candles were, and are, commonly used to burn before shrines towards which the faithful wish to show special devotion. The candle burning its life out before a statue is no doubt felt in some ill-defined way to be symbolical of prayer and sacrifice. A curious medieval practice was that of offering at any favoured shrine a candle or a number of candles equalling in measurement the height of the persons for whom some favour was asked. This was called "measuring to" such or such a saint. The practice can be traced back to the time of St. Radegund (d. 587) and later right through the Middle Ages. It was especially common in England and the North of France in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. (Thurston H. Candles. The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908)

Well, that "very early period" they were adopted appears to have been after the sun-worshipping Emperor Constantine became involved with the Greco-Roman churches. Notice also the following:

For mystical reasons the Church prescribes that the candles used at Mass and at other liturgical functions be made of beeswax (luminaria cerea. — Missale Rom., De Defectibus, X, I; Cong. Sac. Rites, 4 September, 1875). (Schulte AJ. Altar Candles. The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907.)

Well, mystically, it is reported that bees had a tie to ancient Nimrod of Babylon, who was considered an sun god and enlighener (Two Babylons, Chapter V, Section V), hence that would seem to be the mystical explanation.

Catholic scholars also reported:

All Saints' Day is a solemn holy day of the Catholic Church celebrated annually on November 1. The day is dedicated to the saints of the Church, that is, all those who have attained heaven. It should not be confused with All Souls' Day, which is observed on November 2, and is dedicated to those who have died and not yet reached heaven.

Although millions, or even billions of people may already be saints, All Saints' Day observances tend to focus on known saints --that is those recognized in the canon of the saints by the Catholic Church.

All Saints' Day is also commemorated by members of the Eastern Orthodox Church as well as some protestant churches, such as Anglican, Lutheran and Anglican churches.

Generally, All Saints' Day is a Catholic Holy Day of Obligation, meaning all Catholics are required to attend Mass on that day, unless they have an excellent excuse, such as serious illness.

Today, All Saints' Day is still a holy day of obligation, but only when it falls on a Sunday. Other countries have different rules according to their national bishop's conferences. The bishops of each conference have the authority to amend the rules surrounding the obligation of the day. (All Saints' Day. CatholicOnline. accessed 10/23/15)

It is considered a day of obligation by the Church of Rome, but it is not a biblical holy day.

The Pantheon was originally a pagan shrine for multiple gods and was turned into a Catholic shrine for multiple "saints."

Pantheon of Rome: A Symbol of Unity Among Confusion

How All Saints' Day actually became a universal holiday shows another type of pagan connection:

All Saints' Day ... It was first celebrated on May 13, A.D. 610, as the Feast of All Holy Martyrs, when the Emperor Phocas gave the ancient Pantheon to Pope Boniface IV as a church (All Saints' Day. World Book, vol 1. Chicago, 1966: 354).

The Romans built the Pantheon as a temple in honor of all their gods. The name means of all the gods ... Agrippa first built the famous Pantheon in Rome in 27 B.C. (Pantheon. World Book, vol 15. Chicago, 1966: 111).

Druid ... priests worshiped some gods similar to those of the Greeks and Romans, but under different names (Druid. World Book, vol 5. Chicago, 1966: 289).

Of course, some feel that although the Druids worshiped the pagan deities under different names that is wrong, yet they accepted the change of the names of the "gods" in the Pantheon to the "Catholic saints" as perfectly acceptable.

Here is a bit more on how and why the Pantheon became acceptable to the Roman Catholics:

In 607 A.D. the Roman Emperor Phocus defeated the Barbarians who were in control of Rome. The Pantheon in Rome, a pagan edifice which had been wrested from the barbarians, was given to pope Boniface IV. Originally ... the Pantheon -- ... dedicated it to the pagan goddess Cybele and to the other Roman deities. This temple became the central place in Rome where the pagans honored and commemorated their gods. With this splendid edifice now falling into the hands of professing Christians, the question was, What should be done with it?

The pagans had dedicated it to Cybele and all their gods. But the Roman bishop now CONSECRATED IT TO THE VIRGIN MARY AND ALL THE SAINTS of both sexes (see "The Mysteries of All Nations", Grant, p. 120). Thus this pagan building became "holy." No more did the pagan Romans use this edifice to pray for their dead. It was now the professing Christians who employed the Pantheon in praying for their dead.

This re-dedication of the pagan temple to Mary and others occurred in 610 A.D. Now converted into a Christian shrine, an annual festival was instituted to commemorate the event. The day chosen was May 13.

This May 13 commemoration of the dead saints was known by the name of "All Saints Day." It continued to be held in May for over two centuries -- until 834 A.D. In that year the NAME and the DATE WERE CHANGED.

Notice! "The time of celebration was altered to the FIRST OF NOVEMBER, and it was then called ALL HALLOW" -- from where we get the name Hallowe'en, ALL HALLOW merely meaning ALL HOLY, and the "een" is a contraction of evening ("Folklore", James Napier, p. 177).

Thus in 834 A.D. the Church in the Middle Ages began to celebrate Hallowe'en on the FIRST OF NOVEMBER for the first time. This was the very same day the Druids in Britain, the Norsemen in Scandinavia, and the pagan Germans among others were keeping their festival of ALL SOULS EVE, in commemoration of Saman, lord of death, and his demons (Marx, Gerhard O. The Origin of Halloween. Plain Truth Magazine, October 1967).

How Was November 1 Chosen for All Saints' Day?

Now why was November 1, chosen? Notice the following:

"It was a Druidical belief that on the eve of this festival Saman, lord of death, called together the wicked spirits that within the past 12 months had been condemned to inhabit the bodies of animals" ("Enc. Brit.", 11th ed., v. 12, pp. 857-8). Read what this November celebration was like! It was a pagan belief that on one night of the year the souls of the dead return to their original homes, there to be entertained with food. If food and shelter were not provided, these spirits, it was believed, would cast spells and cause havoc towards those failing to fulfill their requests. "It was the night for the universal walking about of all sorts of spirits, fairies, and ghosts, all of whom had liberty on that night" ("Highland Superstitions", Alexander Macgregor, p. 44). Literal sacrifices were offered on this night to the spirits of the dead, when, so the belief went, they visited their earthly haunts and their friends.

There was a reason why November was chosen for that particular event. The Celts and other Northern people considered the beginning of November as their New Year. This was the time when the leaves were falling and a general seasonal decay was taking place everywhere. Thus it was a fitting time, so they reasoned, for the commemoration of the dead. Since the Northern nations at that time began their day in the evening, the eve leading up to November 1st was the beginning of the festival. According to the Roman calendar it was the evening October 31 -- hence, Hallowe'en -- the evening of All Hallows.

To exorcise these ghosts, that is, to free yourself from their supposed evil sway, you would have to set out food and provide shelter for them during the night. If they were satisfied with your offerings, it was believed they would leave you in peace. If not, they were believed to cast an evil spell on you. "In Wales it was firmly believed that on All Hallows Eve the spirit of a departed person was to be seen at midnight on every crossroad and every stile" ("Folklore and Folk-Stories of Wales", Marie Trevelyan, p. 254).

In Cambodia people used to chant: "O all you our ancestors, who are departed, deign to come and eat what we have prepared for you, and to bless your posterity and to make it happy" ("Notice sur le Cambodge", Paris 1875, E. Aymonièr, p. 59).

This sort of Hallowe'en festival was strenuously observed throughout the non-Christian world. Pagans would pray to their false gods to prevent "DEMONS" and "witches" from molesting them. Notice! "The Miatecs of Mexico believed that the souls of the dead came back in the twelfth month of the year, WHICH CORRESPONDED TO OUR NOVEMBER. On this day of All Souls the houses were decked out to welcome the spirits. Jars of food and drink were set on a table in the principal room, and the family went out with the torches to meet the ghosts and invite them to enter. Then, returning to the house they knelt around the table, and with their eyes bent on the ground, prayed the souls to accept the offerings" ("Adonis", Frazer, p. 244).

This, then, is the way the heathen world celebrated their Hallowe'en, their "All Souls Day". Although some aspects of the Hallowe'en festival varied with each country, the overall pattern and purpose remained the same...

When the German Frankish king Charlemagne invaded and conquered parts of Eastern Germany, he compelled the conquered German king, Wittekind, to be baptized and to accept Christianity. Having no choice and seeing his life was at stake, this heathen ruler who knew little or nothing about Christ -- was forced into this "conversion." And with him his entire people. This policy brought complex problems. These pagans, who were usually baptized EN MASSE, were still pagans at heart. Even though they became nominal Christians, they still yearned for many of their heathen practices, which they were expected to discard...

Wittekind's Germans, now professing Christians, and other conquered pagans, had a profound influence on the ecclesiastical affairs of the church in the early 800's A. D. These barbaric and uncultured people brought with them many outright pagan practices and celebrations, Hallowe'en merely being one of many. They were fervent in clinging to their past ceremonies and observed them openly -- yet supposedly converted to Christianity. What was the church to do? Excommunicate them and thus reduce her membership? This she would not do. Was she to force them into discarding their heathen practices and adopt Italian or Roman ones? This, as she had learned in past times, was not possible.

There remained only one other way. Let the recently converted pagans keep certain of their heathen festivals, such as Hallowe'en or All Souls Day -- but label it "Christian." Of course the Germans were asked not to pray to their ancient pagan gods on this day. They must now use this day to commemorate the death of the saints. To make it easy for them, the Roman Church even CHANGED HER DATE of All Saints Day from May 13 to November 1st to satisfy the growing numbers of Germanic adherents. The Church understood the yearnings the Germans and others had for their old ways (Marx, Gerhard O. The Origin of Halloween. Plain Truth Magazine, October 1967).

Since the date was not original, and was even changed, All Saints' Day obviously never was an original apostolic practice.

Furthermore, notice what a Roman Catholic writer wrote, that republished:

Why would a pope put the Catholic celebration of the dead on top of the pagans’ celebrations of the dead? Because the Catholic feasts are in continuity and fulfill the meaning of the pagan ones. (Killian Brian. Halloween, as autumn celebration, reminder God’s name is hallowed. Catholic Online International News. 10/31/06.

It is a fact that many associated with the Church of Rome relish and boast about pagan connections for their faith. It is the Bible that they and all should look to as the source of doctrine (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16).

Here is information from three Protestants promoting All Saints' Day:

Kirk Cameron is also speaking out on Halloween celebrations, urging Christians to get into the spooky spirit this year.... "The real origins have a lot to do with All Saints Day and All Hallows Eve," the actor told The Christian Post. "If you go back to old church calendars, especially Catholic calendars, they recognize the holiday All Saints Day, with All Hallows Eve the day before, when they would remember the dead. That's all tied in to Halloween."

Moreover, the "Unstoppable" star went on to cite the meaning behind dressing up in frightening costumes on Halloween, clarifying the meaning of Oct. 31.

"When you go out on Halloween and see all people dressed in costumes and see someone in a great big bobble head Obama costume with great big ears and an Obama face, are they honoring him or poking fun?" Cameron asked.

"They are poking fun at him," the actor said, answering his own question before comparing the concept of costumes to early Christianity.

"Early on, Christians would dress up in costumes as the devil, ghosts, goblins and witches precisely to make the point that those things were defeated and overthrown by the resurrected Jesus Christ," Cameron continued. "The costumes poke fun at the fact that the devil and other evils were publicly humiliated by Christ at His resurrection. That's what the Scriptures say, that He publicly humiliated the devil when He triumphed over power and principality and put them under his feet. Over time you get some pagans who want to go this is our day, high holy day of Satanic church, that this is all about death, but Christians have always known since the first century that death was defeated, that the grave was overwhelmed, that ghosts, goblins, devils are foolish has-beens who used to be in power but not anymore. That's the perspective Christians should have. 10/24/2014

Why Protestants Should Celebrate All Saints

I find myself reflecting again on All Saints’ Day, a church holiday I started observing only last year. I also find myself wondering why some in the Reformed tradition are apparently trying to redeem October 31st by celebrating Reformation Day instead of All Hallows Eve. The festivity looks much the same—there are costumes, treats, and games (including Pin the 95 Theses on the Wittenburg Door at at least one congregation’s festivities)—but what is being celebrated is different. Perhaps we are recoiling from the ghoulishness of Halloween and are trying to redeem what many perceive as a celebration of evil. But perhaps we, in typical Protestant fashion, are recoiling unnecessarily from a Catholic holiday.

I don’t deny that for the Protestant, the nailing of the 95 Theses to the church doors is something to remember and celebrate, but isn’t it of greater significance to celebrate the souls of our brothers and sisters who have passed into victory? They have gone on ahead of us—through temptations, doubts, despair, persecution, abandonement, rejection, loss, torture, and death—and by the Holy Spirit’s indwelling, the Lord Jesus’s intercession, and God the Father’s eternal proclamation, they have entered into rest, joy, sight, life, and peace. In celebrating All Saint’s Day, we thank God for the work he did in the martyrs of old and in the lives of believing parents, pastors, and friends. (Why Protestants Should Celebrate All Saints. October 25, 2010. accessed 10/23/15)

The communion of saints is a beautiful concept, one that Protestants need to recover. Here’s why.

All Saints is a day in honor of all people, known and unknown, who have reached heaven. It is a day to remember your sainted grandparents, who have gone to their eternal reward, along with the Apostles, Reformers, and martyrs who have borne witness to the true faith, some at the cost of their lives, and “all saints” in between. ...

All Saints Day is our souvenir of the church universal, a reminder that we are not alone. (Wilson LW, pastor. What Every Protestant Should Know about All Saints Day November 1, 2012. accessed 10/23/15)

All Saints' Day is a souvenir of paganism, and it is sad that more and more Protestants are embracing it. The Bible warns about Mystery Babylon the Great, the mother of abominations (Revelation 17:5) and Protestants who understand their history realize that they consider the Church of Rome as their ancestor.

It may be important to realize that neither of those articles cited nor quoted one scripture. So much for the claim of sola Scriptura, which Protestants claim, but do not practice (see also Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants)--neither did Martin Luther (for details, see Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther? What Did Martin Luther Really Believe About the Bible?). As far as saints supposedly now being in heaven, that is a myth and was not a belief of early Christians as even some Protestant scholars admit that it did not come from the Bible (see Did Early Christians Teach They Were Going to Heaven?).

The Bible does NOT enjoin dressing up to mock Satan or anything similar to that. That is certainly being worldly. Notice also the following scriptures"

4. You adulterers and adulteresses, don’t you know that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Therefore, whoever desires to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5. Or do you think that the scripture says in vain, “The spirit that dwells in us lusts with envy”? 6. But He gives greater grace. This is the reason it says, “God sets Himself against the proud, but He gives grace to the humble.” 7. Therefore, submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded! 9. Be grieved and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into grieving, and your joy into mourning. 10. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you. (James 4:4-10, AFV)

You are not resisting Satan by engaging in demonic holidays.

Should YOU Pray to Dead 'Saints'?

Pope Francis has urged his followers to pray to the dead for intercession:

June 21, 2017

Here is the Vatican-provided English-language summary of the Pope’s address at the General Audience this morning:



Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our continuing catechesis on Christian hope, we now look to the saints, to “those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith”. The Letter to the Hebrews speaks of the saints as “a great cloud of witnesses” who support us on our pilgrim way through this present life. In the sacraments of baptism, marriage and ordination, we pray the Litany of the Saints to implore their intercession and help in the particular vocation we have received. The lives of the saints remind us that the Christian ideal is not unattainable. Despite our human weakness, we can always count on God’s grace and the prayers of the saints to sustain us in faith and in hope for the transfiguration of this world and the fulfilment of Christ’s promises in the next.

Did early Christians believe that they should pray to the dead for intercession for the lives, salvation, or their vocations?


Here is some of what The Catholic Encyclopedia reports about this:

The Communion of Saints

(communo sanctorum, a fellowship of, or with, the saints).

The doctrine expressed in the second clause of the ninth article in the received text of the Apostles’ Creed: “I believe . . . the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints”. This, probably the latest, addition to the old Roman Symbol is found in:

The communion of saints is the spiritual solidarity which binds together the faithful on earth, the souls in purgatory, and the saints in heaven in the organic unity of the same mystical body under Christ its head, and in a constant interchange of supernatural offices. The participants in that solidarity are called saints by reason of their destination and of their partaking of the fruits of the Redemption (1 Corinthians 1:2 — Greek Text). The damned are thus excluded from the communion of saints. The living, even if they do not belong to the body of the true Church, share in it according to the measure of their union with Christ and with the soul of the Church. St. Thomas teaches (III:8:4) that the angels, though not redeemed, enter the communion of saints because they come under Christ’s power and receive of His gratia capitis. The solidarity itself implies a variety of inter-relations: within the Church Militant, not only the participation in the same faith, sacraments, and government, but also a mutual exchange of examples, prayers, merits, and satisfactions; between the Church on earth on the one hand, and purgatory and heaven on the other, suffrages, invocation, intercession, veneration. These connotations belong here only in so far as they integrate the transcendent idea of spiritual solidarity between all the children of God. Thus understood, the communion of saints, though formally defined only in its particular bearings (Council of Trent, Sess. XXV, decrees on purgatory; on the invocation, veneration, and relics of saints and of sacred images; on indulgences), is, nevertheless, dogma commonly taught and accepted in the Church. …

But the complete presentation of the dogma comes from the later Fathers. After the statements of Tertullian, speaking of “common hope, fear, joy, sorrow, and suffering” (On Penance 9-10); of St. Cyprian, explicitly setting forth the communion of merits (De lapsis 17); of St. Hilary, giving the Eucharistic Communion as a means and symbol of the communion of saints (in Psalm 64:14), we come to the teaching of Ambrose and St. Augustine. (Sollier, Joseph. “The Communion of Saints.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908)

So, from the above we see that the late second century writer Tertullian may have hinted about it, but that the earliest clear reference comes from Cyprian (who was a Greco-Roman bishop of Carthage in the mid-3rd century). Augustine promoted it.

Thus, this ‘dogma’ was not an original Christian practice.

Now, for additional proof of that, notice something from the Roman Catholic saint from the second century known as Justin Martyr:

For I choose to follow not men or men's doctrines, but God and the doctrines [delivered] by Him. For if you have fallen in with some who are called Christians, but who do not admit this [truth], and venture to blaspheme the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; who say there is no resurrection of the dead, and that their souls, when they die, are taken to heaven; do not imagine that they are Christians. (Justin. Dialogue with Trypho. Chapter 80).

Justin is stating that those who believe that Christian saints go to heaven upon death are not Christian. He is also teaching that the dead away a resurrection. That was the view of real early Christians as well (see What Did Early Christians Understand About the Resurrections?; see also Did the Early Church Teach Human Immortality? and Did Early Christians Teach They Were Going to Heaven?).

Since the dead are not conscious in heaven at this time, there is no point in praying to them or for them to help.

As far as praying to deceased Christians for intercession, the Bible does not enjoin that.

Notice what even a Roman Catholic approved translation of the Bible, the Douay-Rheims, teaches:

5 For there is one God, and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus: (1 Timothy 2:5, DRB)

34 Who is he that shall condemn? Christ Jesus that died, yea that is risen also again; who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (Romans 8:34, DRB)

The only mediator in the Christian religion is supposed to be Jesus the Christ.

Notice something from the New Jerusalem Bible (another Roman Catholic approved translation):

10 It was Yahweh’s good pleasure to crush him with pain; if he gives his life as a sin offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his life, and through him Yahweh’s good pleasure will be done.

11 After the ordeal he has endured, he will see the light and be content. By his knowledge, the upright one, my servant will justify many by taking their guilt on himself.

12 Hence I shall give him a portion with the many, and he will share the booty with the mighty, for having exposed himself to death and for being counted as one of the rebellious, whereas he was bearing the sin of many and interceding for the rebellious. (Isaiah 53:10-12, NJB).

25 It follows, then, that his power to save those who come to God through him is absolute, since he lives for ever to intercede for them.

26 Such is the high priest that met our need, holy, innocent and uncontaminated, set apart from sinners, and raised up above the heavens;

27 he has no need to offer sacrifices every day, as the high priests do, first for their own sins and only then for those of the people; this he did once and for all by offering himself. (Hebrews 7:25-27, NJB)

Both the Old and New Testaments demonstrate that Jesus is the one who intercedes. Not that dead Christians can intercede in the lives of living Christians.

Here is a Protestant comment:

November 1, 2019

On November 1 and 2, Mexicans welcome the spirits of the ancestors to the kingdom of the living, just for a short period of time. ... 

In the Old Testament, invoking the dead was a pagan practice abominable to God:

There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD. (Deut. 18:10–12)

You might think most of those who practice this holiday don’t believe, in reality, that their ancestors’ spirits will return to the altar to take a bite out of the offering. But you would be surprised. Many Mexicans believe that something happens on this day, that some kind of communication with the dead does takes place. In some parts of the world, the Day of the Dead may seem like a harmless holiday—a chance to buy colorful decorations, to eat Mexican food, or to join neighbors in their family traditions. But Christians should be aware that behind the masks and the laughs lay serious spiritual problems.

Notice both a Protestant and Roman Catholic translation from the Bible:

10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12, NIV)

10 Neither let there be found among you any one that shall expiate his son or daughter, making them to pass through the fire: or that consulteth soothsayers, or observeth dreams and omens, neither let there be any wizard, 11 Nor charmer, nor any one that consulteth pythonic spirits, or fortune tellers, or that seeketh the truth from the dead. 12 For the Lord abhorreth all these things, and for these abominations he will destroy them at thy coming. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12, DRB)

Those who believe the Bible do not consult with the dead.

Pope Francis has implored his followers to also pray to dead saints related to their vocations.

When this practice entered the Greco-Roman churches can be debated, but there can be no debate that:

Related to that last point, notice the following:

And since the Bible lists Christ as the Only intercessor and the Only Mediator between God and mankind, many feel that praying to or through the saints, is a form of sacrilege or apostasy. Upon researching into the saints and their feast days,and their particular occupational expertise, one finds that these “patron” saints are the leftover residue of pagan gods and goddesses around the world. Some of them have become christian saints without even having their names changed.

Good examples of this is the trinity goddess of Ireland, Brigid, who later on became Saint Brigid when Ireland was converted to Christianity. The god of wine, Bacchus, was absorbed and changed to Saint Bacchus. The god, Dionysius was changed to St. Dionysius or St. Denis, etc.

“Christian saints began as Pagan gods and goddesses that they were based upon.” – Pagan Saints Proto-Indo-European Religion

“Many Greek goddesses became Christian saints but if they were powerful in Greek pagan religion then they were either reduced to rape victims or repentant prostitutes or they had to change their gender and become male warrior saints.” – Pagan Saints Proto-Indo-European Religion

“The countless host of divinities – both gods and goddesses they worshipped and propitiated as vice-gerents of the supreme power.These possessed a legitimate place in the divine hierarchy of the pagans.The transition from this to angel-worship and saint-worship was obviously easy.” – E. Belfort Bax The Decay of Pagan Thought (January 1890)

“Since converts from paganism were reluctant to part with their ‘gods’- unless they could find some satisfactory counterpart in Christianity – the gods and goddesses were renamed and called “saints”. -‘Babylon Mystery Religion’by Ralph Edward Woodrow

“Demeter is a goddess of many festivals in late October. She became St. Demetrios, a masculine warrior saint, whose feast date is 10/26.” – Pagan Saints Proto-Indo-European Religion

“Aphrodite became St. Aphrodite, of which there are several, all with saints’ tales that tell how she became a “repentant LovePeddler.” – Pagan Saints Proto-Indo-European Religion

“The Greek goddess Nike was picked up as Saint Nicholas, who was extremely popular wherever shipping was important. He is the ‘patron saint’ of Russian, Holland and Germany, all on the north sea coast.” – Pagan Saints Proto-Indo-European Religion

“Roman gods who became Catholic saints. Many Catholic Saints are “votive saints”, that is, their names were copied off votive offerings for Pagan Gods, especially altars and statues which were still standing in Rome in the fourth century CE.” – Pagan Saints Proto-Indo-European Religion

“The Roman god Mars was originally a god who guarded wheat fields. He became St. Martin (esp. St. Martin-in-the-fields). Although March is the month associated with Mars (it was the beginning of the military campaigning season in Roman times), the major festival for him in Christian times now usually falls in February, called Mardi Gras “Great Mars.” – Pagan Saints Proto-Indo-European Religion  …

“The Roman god ‘Quirinus’ became St. Cyrinus, of which there are various “equestrian warrior saints” such as St. Cyr in France, and St. Quirina, mother of St. Lawrence. The element quir- means (or was understood to mean) ‘horse.’ These saints were very popular and widely worshiped in the Middle-Ages, in France, Holland and also eastern Christian countries.” – Pagan Saints Proto-Indo-European Religion

“The Roman gods known as the Lares became St. Lawrence, esp. St. Lawrence beyond-the-wall. The Lares were field gods who protected the grain growing in the fields. In Italian, he became St. Lorenzo beyond the Walls, meaning outside of the walls of the city, for which there is still a church in Rome, with many “daughter” churches which developed from it.” – Pagan Saints Proto-Indo-European Religion

“The Roman goddess Venus became St. Venera. She had a major church in Rome in early Christian times, but that didn’t last long.” – Pagan Saints Proto-Indo-European Religion

There are more (like the similarities between aspects of 'Mary' and the goddess Diana), but the above should give any who claim to believe the Bible, and not paganism, pause to consider that what Pope Francis is advocating is not Christian.

The same can be said of many of the holidays and festivals that his church (along with the other Greco-Roman-Protestant churches) observes.

Now notice the following by a Roman Catholic historian:

Paganism survived ... by an often indulgent Church. An intimate and trustful worship of saints replaced the cult of pagan gods. Statues of Isis and Horus were renamed Mary and Jesus; the Roman Lupercalia and the feast of purification of Isis became the feast of Nativity; the Saturnalia were replaced by Christmas celebration, the Floralia by Pentecost, an ancient festival of the dead by All Souls’ day, the resurrection of Attis by the resurrection of Christ. Pagan altars were rededicated to Christian heroes; incense, lights, flowers, processions, vestments, hymns, which had pleased the people in the older cults were domesticated and cleansed in the ritual of the Church; and the harsh slaughter of a living victim was sublimated in the spiritual sacrifice of the Mass.

Augustine had protested the adoration of saints, and in terms that Voltaire might have used in dedicating his chapel at Ferney; “Let us not treat the Saints as gods; we do not wish to imitate those pagans who adorn the dead. Let us not build them temples nor raise altars to them.”

... soon people and priests would use the sign of the cross as a magic incantation to expel or drive away demons. (Will Durant, The Story of Civilization: A History of Medeival Civilization: A history of Medieval Civilization- Christian, Islamic and Judaic-from Constantine to Dante: AD325-1300, (Simon and Schuster, New York, 1950)

When Christianity conquered Rome the ecclesiastical structure of the pagan church, the title and vestments of the pontifex maximus, the worship of the Great Mother and a multitude of comforting deities, the sense of supersensible presences everywhere and the pageantry of immemorial ceremony, passed like maternal blood into the new religion, and captive Rome captured her conqueror. (Durant W. The Complete Story of Civilization: Our Oriental Heritage, Life of Greece, Caesar and Christ, Age of Faith, Renaissance, Age of Reason Begins, Age of Louis XIV, Age of Voltaire, Rousseau and Revolution, Age of Napoleon, Reformation. Reprint: Simon and Schuster, 2014, last page)

So, notice another report of what happened:

Eastern religions generally had their worship of various deities, as the goddess of sailors, the god of war, gods of fertility, gods of special neighbourhood or occupation. The same for ancient Rome:

“There were gods who presided over every moment of a man’s life, gods of house and garden, of food and drink, of health and sickness” (Will Durant, The Story of Civilization, Simon and Schuster, 1950, III:61).

They had various “patron gods” for every aspect of life just like Catholics have their “saints” today. ..

Sometimes, as the old pagan gods were being renamed, the names of the old deities were slightly modified, but their rites and external features were left intact.

The goddess Victoria of the Basses-Alpes (France) was renamed as “St.” Victoire.

Cheron became “St.” Ceranos. Artemis became “St.” Artemidos. Demeter, a Greek goddess became “St.” Demetrios – a masculine warrior saint. Mars, the Roman god of war was conveniently renamed as “St.” Martin the warlike saint, and Lares became “St.” Lawrence. (Victor. The Origin of Saint Worship. February 20, 2015 accessed 10/01/19)

The Catholic Encyclopedia has the following:

Legends of the Saints

After the persecutions, however, when, with the lapse of time, there was no longer any standard by which to measure the unexampled heroism of the martyrs, it became easy to transfer to the Christian martyrs the conceptions which the ancients held concerning their heroes. This transference was promoted by the numerous cases in which Christian saints became the successors of local deities, and Christian worship supplanted the ancient local worship. This explains the great number of similarities between gods and saints. For the often maintained metamorphosis of gods into saints no proof is to be found. The earliest Catholics of whom legends are told are therefore the martyrs. (Günter H. "Legends of the Saints." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910.)

Now, while the above denies that it is proof such pagan gods became saints, it basically admitted that is what happened.

Notice what looks like more than a simple coincidence:

I was in the island of Keos, or Zia, one of the Cyclades, when the idea of forming this collection struck me, and it was on the occasion of being told that here St. Artemidos is considered as the patron saint of weakly children. The church dedicated to this saint is some little way from the town on the hill slopes; thither a mother will take a child afflicted by any mysterious wasting, “struck by the Nereids,” as they say; she then strips off its clothes, and puts on new ones blessed by the priest, leaving the old ones as a perquisite for the church; and then if perchance the child grows strong, she will thank St. Artemidos for the blessing vouchsafed, unconscious that she is perpetuating the archaic worship of Artemis. The Ionian idea of the fructifying and nourishing properties of the Ephesian Artemis has been transferred to her Christian namesake. ...

There is a curious parallel between St. Anarguris, the patron saint in some parts of flocks and herds, and the god Pan of ancient days. On the island of Thermià (Κύθνος). J saw a church dedicated to St. Anarguris built over the mouth of a cavern, as the protecting saint of the place, instead of Pan, the ancient god of grottos. But a still more marked instance of the continuation of Pan worship occurs to-day on Keos at the little church of St. Anarguris, at a remote hamlet called ’στὸ μακρινὸ. Whenever an ox is ailing they take it to this church and pray for its recovery; if the cock crows when they start, or they hear the voice of a man or the grunt of a pig, there is every hope that the animal will be cured; but on the contrary, if they hear a cat, a dog, or a woman, it is looked upon as an evil omen. When at the church of St. Anarguris they solemnly register a vow that if the ox recovers they will present it to the saint when its days of work are over; accordingly, every year on the 1st of July, the day on which they celebrate the feast of St. Anarguris, numbers of aged oxen may be seen on the road to this church, where they are slaughtered on the threshold and the flesh distributed amongst the poor. ...

We always find St. Dionysius as the successor of Dionysos in the Christian ritual. The island of Naxos was a chief centre of the worship of the wine-loving god in antiquity; and a fable about St. Dionysius, still told in the islands and on the mainland, clearly points to the continuity of the myth. It is as follows:--

St. Dionysius was on his way one day from his monastery on Mount Olympus to Naxos, and he sat down to rest during the heat of the day. Close to him he saw a pretty plant which he wished to take with him, and, lest it should wither by the way, he put it into the leg bone of a bird, and to his surprise at his next halting-place he found it had sprouted; so, accordingly, he put it into the leg bone of a lion, and the same thing occurred; finally, he put it into the leg of an ass, and in reaching Naxos he found the plant so rooted in the bones that he planted them altogether. And up came a vine, from the fruit of which he made the first wine, a little of which made the saint sing like a bird, a little more made him strong as a lion, and yet a little more made him as foolish as an ass. (Colavito J. OLD MYTHOLOGY IN NEW APPAREL. Source: J. Theodore Bent, “Old Mythology in New Apparel,” Macmillan’s Magazine, March 1885, 366-371)

The Roman God Mars was originally a God who guarded wheat fields. He became St. Martin (esp. St. Martin-in-the-fields). Although March is the month associated with Mars (it was the beginning of the military campaigning season in Roman times), the major festival for him in Christian times now usually falls in February, called Mardi Gras “Great Mars.”

The Roman God Quirinus became St. Cyrinus, of which there are various “equestrian warrior saints” such as St. Cyr in France, and St. Quirina, mother of St. Lawrence. The element quir- means (or was understood to mean) ‘horse.’ These saints were very popular and widely worshiped in the Middle-Ages, in France, Holland and also eastern Christian countries.

The Roman gods known as the Lares became St. Lawrence, esp. St. Lawrence beyond-the-wall. The Lares were field Gods who protected the grain growing in the fields. In Italian, he became St. Lorenzo beyond the Walls, meaning outside of the walls of the city, for which there is still a church in Rome, with many “daughter” churches which developed from it.

The Roman Goddess Venus became St. Venera (with a feminized ending to her name since -us looks like a masculine ending in Latin). She had a major church in Rome in early Christian times, but that didn’t last long.

The Roman Gods known as the Gemini, who were protectors of sailors in Roman Pagan times, became the Sanctos Geminos, with a number of forms in the various Christian religions. Santiago de Compostela, (St. James in English) became the protector of pilgrims during the Middle Ages. Forms of St. James all seem to be christianized from various forms of the Proto-Indo-European God *Yama. This God was repeatedly christianized in most of the Indo-European language groups.

Not all Christian saints came from Roman and Greek Pagan deities. Ahura Mazda, a major God in Zoroastrian religion became Ador Ormazd (Saint Ahura Mazda) in the early Syriac Christian church. [fuggle26] (Pagan Saints. © 2007, last updated 2/9/2012, accessed 10/03/2019)

So, essentially All Saints Day has trappings of paganism because its practices had pagan origins and even many of the 'saints' were renamed from the pagan gods and goddesses. And while some of the saints did not retain all the negative traits associated with the deitities, they still should not be prayed to.

Here is a Catholic response to a question denying this:

Q. I know that catholics do not “worship” saints. But did catholic saints, many who have their own feast day and cause replace the Roman gods who also had their own feast days and causes? For example: “Pudicitia” was the goddess of modesty and chastity. “Auster” wad the god of the South Wind. “Porus” was the god of plenty. “Apollo” was the god of healing who taught man medicine. The god of light. The god of truth, who can not speak a lie. Although these pagan gods are obviously not a part of catholic worship, the saints are. In practice, these saints have been elevated to a similar status, sometimes almost deified. Since these “gods” of the Roman pantheon, were worshipped with their own feast days isn’t the practice of “honoring” catholic saints dangerously close to violating the first commandment?

A. None of the saints are worshipped, and certainly not deified. This is an incorrect perception.:) Saints are our brothers and sisters who lived the Christian life so well in some way, that they are examples. God is God, there is no other, nor do we worship anyone but God. Just as people ask Prayer Warriors, or prayerful fellow Christians to pray for them so we also ask these to pray for us. You wouldn't bother asking someone who is insincere or half-hearted about prayer or Christian life to pray for you. You would only ask those who were sincere. We know the saints were, so we ask them to pray for us as we know they're close to God. ...

Romans believed their gods generated and used their own divine power. In other words if a certain god had influence in a particular cause it was purely referential to themselves. If Apollo wanted to heal someone he did so without having to seek the permission or the help of any other being. Moreover it wasn't just an 'influence', it was complete dominion. Poseidon had utter and complete control over the seas, and didn't borrow that power from Jupiter or any other source but simply possessed it in and of himself.

In Christian theology ALL power a saint has is referential purely to God. A saint has no power of their own, only that which God is pleased to grant to them. If a saint wants to heal someone they have to request God to do so, and if the person is healed they are fully cognisant that the miracle came FROM God, but at the request of the saint. Just like we don't worship Mary for the miracle at Cana, even though it came at her request, we don't worship saints for anything that their intercession achieves. accessed 10/03/19

So, Catholics feel that even though this looks like pagan worship of saints, it is merely asking for their intercession with God. Yet, when the pagans prayed to their gods, they were also asking for intercession from their gods.

Consider also the following:

22 From all appearance of evil refrain yourselves. (1 Thessalonians 5:22 Douay-Rheims)

Having seen pagans bow down before statues of Buddha, it looks the same as when Catholics bow down before statues of saints. The way Catholics often venerate saints clearly is idolatrous.

Furthermore, if the saints have no more power than someone praying to God, one certainly should not be praying to them. Additionally, since dead saints, like the pagan gods of old, cannot hear prayers, this is a vain exercise.

It is illogical to believe that God will more likely listen to someone who died to help someone than the person who is praying for the help. And although I have heard explanations as to why Jesus would be inclined to listen more to His mother, that is not consistent with scripture (cf. Matthew 12:46-50; Mark 3:31-35; Luke 8:19-21) nor is it relevant for why God would more likely listen to others who have died.

Jesus is the one mediator. Pray to Him, not dead people claimed to be saints. For more information about prayer, check out our free online booklet: Prayer: What Does the Bible Teach?

All Souls Day

There a festival, normally on November 2, "All Souls' Day."

Here is some of what The Catholic Encyclopedia and A Catholic Dictionary reports about it and a related practice:

All Soul's Day

The commemoration of all the faithful departed is celebrated by the Church on 2 November, or, if this be a Sunday or a solemnity, on 3 November. The Office of the Dead must be recited by the clergy and all the Masses are to be of Requiem, except one of the current feast, where this is of obligation.

The theological basis for the feast is the doctrine that the souls which, on departing from the body, are not perfectly cleansed from venial sins, or have not fully atoned for past transgressions, are debarred from the Beatific Vision, and that the faithful on earth can help them by prayers, almsdeeds and especially by the sacrifice of the Mass. (See PURGATORY.)

In the early days of Christianity the names of the departed brethren were entered in the diptychs {religious stylus}. Later, in the sixth century, it was customary in Benedictine monasteries to hold a commemoration of the deceased members at Whitsuntide. In Spain there was such a day on Saturday before Sexagesima or before Pentecost, at the time of St. Isidore (d. 636). In Germany there existed (according to the testimony of Widukind, Abbot of Corvey, c. 980) a time-honoured ceremony of praying to the dead on 1 October. This was accepted and sanctified by the Church. St. Odilo of Cluny (d. 1048) ordered the commemoration of all the faithful departed to be held annually in the monasteries of his congregation. Thence it spread among the other congregations of the Benedictines and among the Carthusians.

Of the dioceses, Liège was the first to adopt it under Bishop Notger (d. 1008). It is then found in the martyrology of St. Protadius of Besançon (1053-66). Bishop Otricus (1120-25) introduced it into Milan for the 15 October. In Spain, Portugal, and Latin America, priests on this day say three Masses. A similar concession for the entire world was asked of Pope Leo XIII. He would not grant the favour but ordered a special Requiem on Sunday, 30 September, 1888.

In the Greek Rite this commemoration is held on the eve of Sexagesima Sunday, or on the eve of Pentecost. The Armenians celebrate the passover of the dead on the day after Easter. (Mershman, Francis. "All Souls' Day." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. Nihil Obstat. March 1, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 6 Aug. 2013 <>)

A diptych is a sort of notebook...The liturgical use of diptychs offers considerable interest. In the early Christian ages it was customary to write on diptychs the names of those, living or dead, who were considered as members of the Church a signal evidence of the doctrine of the Communion of Saints. Hence the terms "diptychs of the living" and "diptychs of the dead." Such liturgical diptychs varied in shape and dimension. Their use (sacrae tabulae, matriculae, libri vivorum et mortuorum) is attested in the writings of St. Cyprian (third century) and by the history of St. John Chrysostom (fourth century), nor did they disappear from the churches until the twelfth century in the West and the fourteenth century in the East. (Maere, René. "Diptych." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 5. Nihil Obstat. May 1, 1909. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 6 Aug. 2013 <>)

ALL SOULS Day. A solemn commemoration of, and prayer for, all the souls in Purgatory, which the Church makes on the second of November. The Mass said on that day is always the Mass for the dead. (Addis WE, Arnold T. A Catholic Dictionary: Containing Some Account of the Doctrine, Discipline, Rites, Ceremonies, Councils, and Religious Orders of the Catholic Church. K. Paul, French & Company, 1885, p. 20)

So, from the above we see that All Soul's Day is not part of original Christianity and the date has varied. The Roman Catholic practices to it are related to its purgatory doctrine, which is something that did not get developed until many centuries after Jesus--neither purgatory nor All Soul's Day were endorsed by the original Church of God (see Did the Early Church Teach Purgatory?). Even today, the Eastern Orthodox do not teach purgatory. And those in the Continuing Church of God do not endorse it to this day.

Pagans Taught a Type of Purgatory

Alexander Hislop wrote the following:

Chapter IV
Section V
Purgatory and Prayers for the Dead

In every system, therefore, except that of the Bible, the doctrine of a purgatory after death, and prayers for the dead, has always been found to occupy a place. ... In Greece the doctrine of a purgatory was inculcated by the very chief of the philosophers. Thus Plato, speaking of the future judgment of the dead, holds out the hope of final deliverance for all, but maintains that, of "those who are judged," "some" must first "proceed to a subterranean place of judgment, where they shall sustain the punishment they have deserved"; while others, in consequence of a favourable judgment, being elevated at once into a certain celestial place, "shall pass their time in a manner becoming the life they have lived in a human shape." In Pagan Rome, purgatory was equally held up before the minds of men; but there, there seems to have been no hope held out to any of exemption from its pains. Therefore, Virgil, describing its different tortures, thus speaks:

"Nor can the grovelling mind,
In the dark dungeon of the limbs confined,
Assert the native skies, or own its heavenly kind.
Nor death itself can wholly wash their stains;
But long-contracted filth, even in the soul, remains
The relics of inveterate vice they wear,
And spots of sin obscene in every face appear.
For this are various penances enjoined;
And some are hung to bleach upon the wind,
Some plunged in water, others purged in fires,
Till all the dregs are drained, and all the rust expires.
All have their Manes, and those Manes bear.
The few so cleansed to these abodes repair,
And breathe in ample fields the soft Elysian air,
Then are they happy, when by length of time
The scurf is worn away of each committed crime.
No speck is left of their habitual stains,
But the pure ether of the soul remains."

(Hislop A. Two Babylons. 1858. Loizeaux Brothers, Second American edition 1959).

Pagans, like the ancient Greeks and Romans seemed to have had a system eerily like what the Church of Rome ended up with.

Purgatory, for the Church of Rome, Started to Emerge in the Late 4th Century

However, from the late 4th century, controversies developed and parts of Origen’s teachings were questioned. 

By the early fifth century, Augustine started to come up with ideas that sound like modern purgatory. Eventually he and others challenged apocatastasis.

Notice that The Catholic Encyclopedia admits that various early leaders taught apocatastasis, that Augustine and others challenged it, and that purification was associated with apocatastasis:

St. Gregory recurs to the same thought of the final annihilation of evil, in his "Oratio catechetica", ch. xxvi; the same comparison of fire which purges gold of its impurities is to be found there; so also shall the power of God purge nature of that which is preternatural, namely, of evil. Such purification will be painful, as is a surgical operation, but the restoration will ultimately be complete. And, when this restoration shall have been accomplished (he eis to archaion apokatastasis ton nyn en kakia keimenon), all creation shall give thanks to God, both the souls which have had no need of purification, and those that shall have needed it…

The doctrine of the apokatastasis is not, indeed, peculiar to St. Gregory of Nyssa, but is taken from Origen…

 It was through Origen that the Platonist doctrine of the apokatastasis passed to St. Gregory of Nyssa, and simultaneously to St. Jerome, at least during the time that St. Jerome was an Origenist.

From the moment, however, that anti-Origenism prevailed, the doctrine of the apokatastasis was definitely abandoned. St. Augustine protests more strongly than any other writer against an error so contrary to the doctrine of the necessity of grace…

We note, further, that the doctrine of the apokatastasis was held in the East, not only by St. Gregory of Nyssa, but also by St. Gregory of Nazianzus as well; "De seipso", 566 (P.G., XXXVII, col. 1010) grace…

In any case, the doctrine was formally condemned in the first of the famous anathemas pronounced at the Council of Constantinople in 543: Ei tis ten teratode apokatastasis presbeuei anathema esto (Batiffel, Pierre. Transcribed by Elizabeth T. Knuth. Apocatastasis. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume I. Published 1907. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, March 1, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

Thus it appears that the protests of Augustine eventually led to the condemnation of the doctrine of apocatastasis but the retention of purging/purification within Roman circles.  The Greek churches, however never abandoned apocatastasis nor did they ever adopt the Roman purgatory.

Yet, concerning purgatory, a relatively recent Catholic bishop-approved article claimed:

Fundamentalists may be fond of saying the Catholic Church "invented" the doctrine of purgatory to make money, but they have difficulty saying just when. Most professional anti-Catholics—the ones who make their living attacking "Romanism"—seem to place the blame on Pope Gregory the Great, who reigned from A.D. 590–604…

Whenever a date is set for the "invention" of purgatory, you can point to historical evidence to show the doctrine was in existence before that date. Besides, if at some point the doctrine was pulled out of a clerical hat, why does ecclesiastical history record no protest against it?

…where are the records of protests?

They don’t exist. There is no hint at all…

It is no wonder, then, that those who deny the existence of purgatory tend to touch upon only briefly the history of the belief…(Catholic Answers. Purgatory.  NIHIL OBSTAT: I have concluded that the materials presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors. Bernadeane Carr, STL, Censor Librorum, August 10, 2004. IMPRIMATUR: In accord with 1983 CIC 827 permission to publish this work is hereby granted. +Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August 10, 2004,  viewed 12/23/07).

History indicates that the above assertions are not quite accurate.

First of all, there seems to be no records of any major protest about the millennial teaching being abandoned by both Jerome and Augustine--yet that change did happen. Hence, having limited records of protest does not prove something did not change (see Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism?).

Secondly, history records that the Paulicians, Cathari, Albigenses, and Waldenses objected to purgatory

Thirdly, history records that there was a condemnation of apocatastasis. Yet at that time, many Roman leaders realized that scripture did indicate that the opportunity for salvation did not clearly end at the first death.

Fourthly, the Eastern Orthodox claim that the adoption of the purgatory doctrine by the Church of Rome was one of the factors that later led to the “great schism” of 1054 (Mastrantonis G, et al. The Basic Sources of the Teachings of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Greek Orthodox Diocese of America. Accessed 02/20/19).

Notice the following from The Catholic Encyclopedia:

Certain Scriptural texts, e.g., I Cor. xv, 25-28, seem to extend to all rational beings the benefit of the Redemption, and Origen allows himself to be led also by the philosophical principle which he enunciates several times, without ever proving it, that the end is always like the beginning..The universal restoration (apokatastasis) follows necessarily from these principles (Prat F. Transcribed by Anthony A. Killeen. Origen and Origenism. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XI. Published 1911. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, February 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

There are several passages in the New Testament that point to a process of purification after death. Thus, Jesus Christ declares (Matthew 12:32): "And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come." According to St. Isidore of Seville (Deord. creatur., c. xiv, n. 6) these words prove that in the next life "some sins will be forgiven and purged away by a certain purifying fire." St. Augustine also argues "that some sinners are not forgiven either in this world or in the next would not be truly said unless there were other [sinners] who, though not forgiven in this world, are forgiven in the world to come" (De Civ. Dei, XXI, xxiv). The same interpretation is given by Gregory the Great (Dial., IV, xxxix); St. Bede (commentary on this text); St. Bernard (Sermo lxvi in Cantic., n. 11) and other eminent theological writers (Hanna, Purgatory. The Catholic Encyclopedia).

And if what Irenaeus and Origen taught earlier was not going to be doctrine, then the Romans figured that something needed to fill in. Hence came more discussion of purgatory and of its emergence within Roman pontifical circles.

Anglican priest, Dr. Herbert Luckock wrote:

Purgatorial fire ... The first real authority for the Roman view is Gregory the Great at the close of the 6th century. (Luckock HM. The Intermediate State between Death and Judgment being a Sequel to After Death. Longmans, Green, & Co., London, 1896, pp. 78,79)

Notice more about what Gregory taught:

Gregory the Great speaks of those who after this life "will expiate their faults by purgatorial flames," and he adds "that the pain be more intolerable than any one can suffer in this life" (Ps. 3 poenit., n. 1) (Hanna, Purgatory. The Catholic Encyclopedia). 

Gregory the Great ... says ... "He destroys the salt of the Roman fire, who imagines that all who go to Purgatory will be saved." ...

It is in reference to certain men who had lived "an indifferent pious life," of whom he said, "it was certain that being purged before the judgment day by temporal pains which their spirits suffered, when they had received their bodies they should not be delivered to the punishment of eternal fire. (Luckock, pp. 78,79)

This is quite different than what Origen taught, as Origen taught that somehow people would be purified on earth (which is consistent with the 100 year period referred to in this chapter, though Origen seems to refer to Zechariah 5) (Origen. Contra Celsus, Book VI, Chapter 26).

While it is clear that by the seventh century, purgatorial ideas were being taught, the idea was not taught so clearly to alienate the Greeks as they did not separate from the Romans until 1054 A.D. But those associated with the Churches of God quickly saw problems with it.

Not surprisingly, the book Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma states that the Cathari and Waldenses (who preceded the Protestants by centuries) were amongst the earliest who were against the Roman teaching on purgatory:

The reality of purgatory was denied by the Cathari, the Waldenses (Ott L.  Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma.  Nihil Obstat: Jeremiah j. O’Sullivan.  Imprimatur: +Cornelius Ep. Corgagiensis ei Ap. Amd. Rossensis, 7 October 1954.  Reprint TAN Books, Rockford (IL), 1974, p. 482).

Since purgatory is not a biblical reality, it would make sense that those with true Church of God would oppose such concepts. Actually, the Waldensians considered purgatory to be a doctrine of Antichrist, and the following appears to be from the 12th century:

"Antichrist is a falsehood, or deceit varnished over with the semblance of truth, and of the righteousness of Christ and his spouse, yet in opposition to the way of truth, righteousness, faith, hope, charity, as well as to moral life. It is not any particular person ordained to any degree, or office, or ministry, but it is a system of falsehood, opposing itself to the truth, covering and adorning itself with a show of beauty and piety, yet very unsuitable to the church of Christ, as by the names, and offices, the Scriptures, and the sacraments, and various other things, may appear. The system of iniquity thus completed with its ministers, great and small, supported by those who are induced to follow it with an evil heart and blind-fold—this is the congregation, which, taken together, comprises what is called Antichrist or Babylon, the fourth beast, the whore, the man of sin, the son of perdition. His ministers are called false prophets, lying teachers, the ministers of darkness, the spirit of error, the apocalyptic whore, the mother of harlots, clouds without water, trees without leaves, twice dead, plucked up by the roots, wandering stars, Balaamites and Egyptians.

"He is termed Antichrist because being disguised under the names of Christ and of his church and faithful members, he oppugns the salvation which Christ wrought out, and which is truly administered in his church—and of which salvation believers participate by faith, hope, and charity. Thus he opposes the truth by the wisdom of this world, by false religion, by counterfeit holiness, by ecclesiastical power, by secular tyranny, and by the riches, honours, dignities, with the pleasures and delicacies of this world. It should therefore be carefully observed, that Antichrist could not come, without a concurrence of all these things, making up a system of hypocrisy and falsehood—these must be, the wise of this world, the religious orders, the pharisees, ministers, and doctors; the secular power, with the people of the world, all mingled together. For although Antichrist was conceived in the times of the apostles, he was then in his infancy, imperfect and unformed, rude, unshapen, and wanting utterance. He then wanted those hypocritical ministers and human ordinances, and the outward show of religious orders which he afterwards obtained. As he was destitute of riches and other endowments necessary to allure to himself ministers for his service, and to enable him to multiply, defend, and protect his adherents, so he also wanted the secular power to force others to forsake the truth and embrace falsehood. But growing up in his members, that is, in his blind and dissembling ministers, and in worldly subjects, he at length arrived at full maturity, when men, whose hearts were set upon this world, blind in the faith, multiplied in the church, and by the union of church and state, got the power of both into their hands.

"Christ never had an enemy like this; so able to pervert the way of truth into falsehood, insomuch that the true church, with her children, is trodden under foot. The worship that belongs alone to God he transfers to Antichrist himself—to the creature, male and female, deceased—to images, carcasses, and relics. The sacrament of the eucharist is converted into an object of adoration, and the worshipping of God alone is prohibited. He robs the Saviour of his merits, and the sufficiency of his grace in justification, regeneration, remission of sins, sanctification, establishment in the faith, and spiritual nourishment; ascribing all these things to his own authority, to a form of words, to his own *works, to the intercession of saints, and to the fire of purgatory. He seduces the people from Christ, drawing off their minds from seeking those blessings in him, by a lively faith in God, in Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit, and teaching his followers to expect them by the *will and pleasure and works of Antichrist. (A Treatise concerning Antichrist, Purgatory, the Invocation of Saints, and the Sacraments" as shown in Jones, William. The history of the Christian church from the birth of Christ to the xviii. century, Volumes 1-2, 3rd edition. R.W. Pomeroy, 1832. Original from Harvard University, Digitized, Feb 6, 2009, pp. 337-340) 

In the thirteenth century, the famed Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas wrote the following:

Nothing is clearly stated in Scripture about the situation of Purgatory, nor is it possible to offer convincing arguments on this question. It is probable, however, and more in keeping with the statements of holy men and the revelations made to many, that there is a twofold place of Purgatory. One, according to the common law; and thus the place of Purgatory is situated below... Another place of Purgatory is according to dispensation: and thus sometimes, as we read, some are punished in various places, either that the living may learn, or that the dead may be succored, seeing that their punishment being made known to the living may be mitigated through the prayers of the Church.

Some say, however, that according to the common law the place of Purgatory is where man sins. This does not seem probable, since a man may be punished at the same time for sins committed in various places. And others say that according to the common law they are punished above us, because they are between us and God, as regards their state. But this is of no account, for they are not punished for being above us, but for that which is lowest in them, namely sin (Aquinas T. The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas, Appendix II, Article 1. Second and Revised Edition, 1920. Nihil Obstat. F. Innocentius Apap, O.P., S.T.M., Censor. Theol. Imprimatur. Edus. Canonicus Surmont, Vicarius eneralis. Westmonasterii. APPROBATIO ORDINIS Nihil Obstat. F. Raphael Moss, O.P., S.T.L. and F. Leo Moore, O.P., S.T.L. Imprimatur. F. Beda Jarrett, O.P., S.T.L., A.M., Prior Provincialis Angliæ).

Even though it taught purgatory, clearly the Roman Church did not have an absolutely clear position on purgatory in the 13th century.  But Aquinas taught that purgatory would be quite painful:

I answer that, In Purgatory there will be a twofold pain; one will be the pain of loss, namely the delay of the divine vision, and the pain of sense, namely punishment by corporeal fire. With regard to both the least pain of Purgatory surpasses the greatest pain of this life…

Therefore it follows that the pain of Purgatory, both of loss and of sense, surpasses all the pains of this life (Aquinas T. The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas, Appendix I, Article 1.).

Consider the following:

10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)

Those works happen when one is living. Suffering, in a claimed place like purgatory, is not the kind of good works God created humans for.

One Catholic scholar, E. Duffy, felt that in 1300 Pope Boniface VIII enriched the Church of Rome through the granting of a particular indulgence to the masses:

Boniface is a mysterious man, proud, ambitious fierce...It was Boniface who declared the first Jubilee or Holy Year in 1300, when tens of thousands of pilgrims converged on Rome to gain indulgences, adding enormously to the prestige of the papacy…(and in the process enriching the Roman basilicas, where the sacristans were said to have had to scoop in pilgrim offerings with rakes). This promise of ‘full and copious pardon’ to all who visited Peter and the Lateran after confessing their sins was the most spectacular exercise of power of the keys since Urban II issued the first Crusade Indulgence… Boniface … displayed some of the worst traits of clerical careerism, enriching his relatives at the expense of the Church, and waging a relentless war against family’s traditional rivals (Duffy, Eamon. Saints & Sinners: A History of the Popes. Yale University Press, New Haven (CT), 2002, p. 160).

Indulgences are granted to allegedly reduce time in purgatory. Vatican coffers have received a lot of money from people who give donations to have priests pray for themselves or loved ones to hopefully have less time in purgatory.

Interestingly, when the Catholic Inquisitor Bishop Bernard Guidonis was disposing of those the Catholics refer to as heretics in the 14th century, he noted that some believed the following:

Again, they say that after Antichrist's death these spiritual individuals will convert the entire world to the faith of Christ; and the whole world will be so good and benign that there will be no malice or sin in people of that period, except perhaps for venial sins in a few of them; and all things will be common as far as use is concerned; and there will be no one who offends anyone else or encourages another to sin. For there will be the greatest love among them, and there will be one flock and one pastor. According to some of them this period and condition will last for one hundred years. Then, as love fails, malice will creep back in and slowly increase until Christ is, as it were, compelled to come in universal judgment because of it (Gui B. From the Inquisitor's Manual of Bernard Gui [d.1331], Chapter 5. Early 14th century, translated in J. H. Robinson, Readings in European History, (Boston: Ginn, 1905).

Thus, the idea that the Church of God long has taught that God would offer salvation to all is apparently documented, not only in the pages of the Bible, but through some of the writings of its enemies.

Also notice the following from The Catholic Encyclopedia:

The doctrine of apokatastasis viewed as a belief in a universal salvation is found among the Anabaptists...(Batiffel, Pierre. Transcribed by Elizabeth T. Knuth. Apocatastasis. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume I. Published 1907. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, March 1, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

Universal salvation, it should be pointed out in this context, is not that God will save everyone, but that God will truly offer salvation to everyone who ever lived (see Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation). 

Partially because of objections from the Protestant reformers, the Roman Catholics called together the Council of Trent in the mid-16th century, to define certain doctrines.  Here is how it defined the purgatory doctrine:

“Whereas the Catholic Church, instructed by the Holy Ghost, has from the Sacred Scriptures and the ancient tradition of the Fathers taught in Councils and very recently in this Ecumenical synod (Sess. VI, cap. XXX; Sess. XXII cap.ii, iii) that there is a purgatory, and that the souls therein are helped by the suffrages of the faithful, but principally by the acceptable Sacrifice of the Altar; the Holy Synod enjoins on the Bishops that they diligently endeavor to have the sound doctrine of the Fathers in Councils regarding purgatory everywhere taught and preached, held and believed by the faithful” (Denzinger, "Enchiridon", 983) (Hanna. Purgatory. The Catholic Encyclopedia).

The more modern Catechism of the Catholic Church, while claiming it had roots in tradition, admits that purgatory was not clearly defined until to councils in the Middle Ages.  Notice what it teaches:

The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect…The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent…This teaching is also based on…Sacred Scripture…Maccabeus…

The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance on behalf of the dead: Let us help and commemorate them … Let us not hesitate to help those that have died … (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1031,1032, p. 291).

We cannot help the dead until after they are resurrected.

The Bible on the State of the Dead

What does the Bible teach about the state of the dead?

Notice how the New Jerusalem Bible (a Catholic translation) translates the following:

5 The living are at least aware that they are going to die, but the dead know nothing whatever. (Ecclesiastes 9:5, NJB)

If the dead do not know anything, how could they be in purgatory being purged of sins? Why should there be holidays indicating one can communicate with them or vice versa?

Notice some other scriptures:

5 For in death there is no remembrance of You; In the grave who will give You thanks? (Psalm 6:5, NKJV)

6 For there is no one in death, that is mindful of thee: and who shall confess to thee in hell? (Psalm 6:6, Douay-Rheims)

3 Do not put your trust in princes,
Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.
4 His spirit departs, he returns to his earth;
In that very day his plans perish. (Psalms 146:3-4, NKJV)

2 ... Put not your trust in princes:

3 in the children of men, in whom there is no salvation.

4 His spirit shall go forth, and he shall return into his earth: in that day all their thoughts shall perish. (Psalms 145:2-4, Douay-Rheims)

The dead are not thinking or doing things.

Jesus taught that death was like sleep:

11 These things He said, and after that He said to them, "Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up."

12 Then His disciples said, "Lord, if he sleeps he will get well." 13 However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep.

14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, "Lazarus is dead" (John 11:11-14).

Notice also that Jesus taught that eternal life was given at a later time, in the age to come:

29 Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come everlasting life (Luke 18:29-30).

(For more on the age to come, check out the article Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism.)

Notice what the Apostle Paul was inspired to write:

16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. (1 Corinthians 15:16-18)

Jesus and the Apostle Paul taught that death was like sleep. Death was not a time that one was being purged of sins.

Holidays that pretend otherwise are in error.

The Day of the Dead

The Day of the Dead normally lasts two days. This holiday if of pagan origin. The Burke Museum of Natural History notes:

"The Mexican Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festival combines ancient Mesoamerican and Christian beliefs. The Aztecs believed that the souls of the dead traveled to Mictlan, where they found rest. Several Aztec festivals merged with the Christian All Saints' and All Souls' Days to become the Day of the Dead. (Andrade M. The Day of the Dead. Note the above is no longer at that website, but was in 2012)

El Día de los Muertos begins on October 31, All Hallows' Eve. Meant to be a time to remember the dead as well as to honor the continuity of life, the community celebrations are social and festive. Families clean and decorate their relatives' graves and eat picnic meals in the graveyard. They sing songs and reminisce about the deceased. Los Angelitos ("little angels") return on this day. On November 1, All Saints' Day, adult spirits return, drawn by the ofrendas (altars with offerings), which serve as thresholds between this world and the next...A chair near the altar allows family members to visit with the dead before they depart on November 2nd, when the altar is taken down. The fragile paper decorations, like the transience of flowers, incense, and food, are reminders of the fleeting nature of life. Altars are reminders that the dead are welcomed by the living and continue to have a relationship with us as a natural part of life itself. (Andrade M. The Day of the Dead. viewed 08/06/13)

Regarding the Day of the Dead, Wikipedia reports:

Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where it is a national holiday, and all banks are closed. The celebration takes place on November 1 and 2, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased.

Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The holiday has spread throughout the world: In Brazil, Dia de Finados is a public holiday that many Brazilians celebrate by visiting cemeteries and churches. In Spain, there are festivals and parades, and, at the end of the day, people gather at cemeteries and pray for their dead loved ones. Similar observances occur elsewhere in Europe, and similarly themed celebrations appear in many Asian and African cultures.

So, the 'Day of the Dead' is clearly pagan.

Speaking of the dead, notice also the following:

History of Day of the Dead ~ Día de los Muertos

Day of the Dead is an interesting holiday celebrated in central and southern Mexico during the chilly days of November 1 & 2. Even though this coincides with the Catholic holiday called All Soul's & All Saint’s Day, the indigenous people have combined this with their own ancient beliefs of honoring their deceased loved ones.

They believe that the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31, and the spirits of all deceased children (angelitos) are allowed to reunite with their families for 24 hours. On November 2, the spirits of the adults come down to enjoy the festivities that are prepared for them. accessed 10/29/16

Of course none of those beliefs about deceased children reuniting for 24 hours are true. But the Church of Rome allows them.

Here is another report about the Day of the Dead/Dia de Los Muertos:

"Dia de Los Muertos has its roots in Aztec tradition and is celebrated like a holiday in Mexico. NoMar is celebrating the event early, the actual holiday is November 1st and 2nd. According to legend, the spirits of the dead meet with the living as heaven’s gates open on October 31.",0,988587.story

The Day of the Dead, All Saints Day, and Halloween distort God's plan. As far as death goes:

50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed — 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." 55 "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" 56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:50-57)

Victory over death comes through Jesus at the first resurrection. The Day of the Dead is a false distortion.

Author Frederick Filby noted:

“Thus the old world perished and a year later a new era commenced in the same month. Both of these facts are indelibly enshrined in the memory of the human race. To many people right round the world November brings the Day of the Dead. In a number of ancient and primitive calendars November also brings a New Year at a time which has neither solstice nor equinox nor astronomical event to justify it” (The Flood Reconsidered, pp. 106–107).

Some seem feel that combining pagan practices are fine, as the following also shows:

The Filipino graveside tradition resembles the Mexican "El Dia de los Muertos," or Day of the Dead, which also coincides with All Saints Day. While the Mexican tradition has migrated to America mainly in the form of home and community altars, one local cemetery last year resurrected the graveyard tradition as it has been celebrated in Mexico for centuries.

Last year, Calvary Catholic Cemetery in East San Jose and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Silicon Valley invited families to decorate the graves of loved ones with candy skulls, photographs, ribbons and favorite food items of the deceased.

More than 500 people attended last year's inaugural event, according to Calvary spokeswoman Nicole Lecheler. This year's celebration on Oct. 29 will include Aztec dancers, skull-decorating workshops, food booths and Day of the Dead altar displays by artists, students and local community groups. (Rodriguez J. All Saints Day comes to Silicon Valley -- Filipino style. San Jose Mercury News, November 28, 2011. viewed 08/06/13)

Again, these are not biblical practices. And having Aztec skull dancers should be an obvious clue to any who does not believe that they should compromise the faith of the Bible with paganism.

The dead, of course, will be resurrected, and that is the day that the dead will be revived--and modified Aztec practices will not change that.

As we see more open ecumenism, it is no surprise to see Protestants embracing Roman and Eastern Orthodox Catholic holidays. They already do Easter and Christmas, which they most certainly did not get from the Bible, but from Rome.

While pagans have had holidays for the dead, the Last Great Day (John 7:37) is really the "Day of the Dead." That is those that were spiritually and physically dead will be resurrected to have their opportunity for salvation (see the free online book: Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation).

Pagan Holidays are Not for Christians

The "festivals of the dead" turn people away from God's plan of salvation as laid forth by His Holy Days. And these death festivals encourage people to commune with, appease, serve and even worship the dead.

While many Catholics prefer the term 'venerate' to worship, the reality is that they are worshipping the dead. Notice the following, which admits that:


Saint Peter’s ancient tomb ...

Still nothing can be said about the origin of the relics or their authenticity, while those worshiped in St. Peter, in the place where the tomb of the Prince of the Apostles has been identified with certainty, are compatible with the bodily remains of a man who lived in the first century AD. New examinations and maybe a comparison between the different relics attributed to Peter within the city of Rome are scheduled, as the mystery continues.

Notice what the New Jerusalem Bible (a Catholic-approved translation into English) and the NKJV (a Protestant translation) shows:

10 ... God alone you must worship. (Revelation 19:10, NJB)

10 ... Worship God! (Revelation 19:10, NKJV)

We are to worship God, not dead people considered to be saints.

We are also not to mix paganism in with the worship of God. Notice something that the Apostle Paul wrote:

19 What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? 20 Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord's table and of the table of demons. 22 Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He? (1 Corinthians 10:19-22)

22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:22, KJV)

This is one reason we do not celebrate the dead days or Halloween, which is the beginning of All Saints Day.

The world claims comfort from such things as observing the Day of the Dead--yet it is a distortion of God's plan. Notice what the Apostle Paul was inspired to write:

16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)

The resurrection and return of Jesus is the comfort we need to know about. Not distorted traditions associated with the Day of the Dead.

The Bible Lists God Holy Days and Warns About Pagan Practices

Jesus taught:

43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God." (John 8:43-47)

Will you believe the truth?

Halloween, All Saint' Day, All Souls' Day, and the Day of the Dead perpetuate lies. They distort God's plan and make it harder for people to understand the truth. They are not God's festivals.

In Leviticus chapter 23, it lists:

"The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts" (vs.2).

Neither All Saints' Day, the Day of the Dead, or All Souls' Day is listed as one of them. None are biblically enjoined feasts day for Christians (there is not any hint of either in the Bible; they may even be warned against in Deuteronomy 4:15-24). Actually the Bible warns against worshipping God the way the pagans, etc. did (Leviticus 18:3; Deuteronomy 12:31, Jeremiah 10:2-3).

And it specifically warns against creating images such as those used in the Day of the Dead:

15 Keep therefore your souls carefully. You saw not any similitude in the day that the Lord God spoke to you in Horeb from the midst of the fire: 16 Lest perhaps being deceived you might make you a graven similitude, or image of male or female (Deuteronomy 4:15-16, Douay OT).

Note: I intentionally used the Douay Old Testament translation above as it is an official Catholic-accepted translation to point out that Catholics are violating their own Bible when they are involved with images.

The Bible repeatedly warns against the practices of witches (Exodus 22:18; Deuteronomy 18:10, Galatians 5:20) and dealing with ghosts/etc. (Deuteronomy 18:11, I Chronicles 10:13).

The New Testament teaches:

8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as cuhildren of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them (Ephesians 5:8-11).

Halloween, All Saints' Day, the Day of the Dead, and All Souls' Day are unfruitful works of darkness. This article has helped expose that.

Christians who wish to remain faithful to the original apostolic faith will not observe All Saints' Day, the Day of the Dead, or All Souls' Day. (Nor Halloween, see Is Halloween Holy Time for Christians?)

Here is a link to a related sermon: All Hallowed Saints’ Day of the Dead.

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