In the Christian calendar, today is All Soul’s Day which is when family members who have died are remembered and honoured. In the Roman Catholic church this is marked as the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed when candles are lit and special prayers said for the souls of the departed to be free of sin and received into heaven. In Mexico this day is known as El Dia de los Muertos“The Day of the Dead”, when ancestors are welcomed into the home to be acknowledged as part of the family. Many people choose this day to visit cemeteries and lay fresh flowers on the graves of loved ones.
Whatever the custom, culture or belief, I think it is lovely to have a special day to remember those who have passed and I particularly like these beautiful words I came across recently “Memories of loved ones are like songs in our souls”. I shall certainly be lighting some candles and spending quiet time remembering friends and family who are no longer part of the physical realm.
More information about the rituals, history, festivals and holy days of the major world faiths can be found in “Do I Kneel or Do I Bow:? What you need to know when attending Religious occasions” by Akasha Lonsdale