All Saints Day is holy day of obligation in 2016

By Catholic Review Staff

All Saints Day, a feast set aside by the Catholic Church to honor saints known and unknown, will be celebrated Nov. 1. A holy day of obligation, Catholics are expected to attend Mass on the feast day or its Oct. 31 evening vigil.

The obligation to attend Mass on All Saints Day in the Archdiocese of Baltimore is maintained every year except for those in which the feast falls on a Saturday or Monday. This year, the feast falls on a Tuesday.

The Solemnity of All Saints has its roots in the early centuries of the church, when Christians honored martyrs. 

Pope Boniface IV began the celebration of the feast day when he consecrated the Pantheon at Rome to the Virgin Mary and all the Martyrs on May 13 in 609. Pope Gregory III changed the feast day to Nov. 1 in the 8th century. 

All Souls’ Day is observed Nov. 2. Although not a holy day of obligation, Catholics are encouraged to attend Mass that day to remember the faithful departed.

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Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.