Christians observing 'All Souls' Day'

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Shillong, Nov. 8 (ANI): Hundreds of Christians observing 'All Souls' Day' visited the gravesides of their family members and ancestors in Shillong on Sunday.

Roman Catholic Christians observe 'All Souls' Day' to commemorate the faithful departed or baptized Christians.

The Christians in Shillong were not the only ones in the country to visit the cemeteries where their dear ones rest in peace.

Throughout the country, Christians paid obeisance to their forefathers.

The graves wore a festive look with colourful flowers, petals and garlands adorning tombstones and crosses, music and hymns filled the air a church goers held prayer sessions by graveside.

"I have come to pray for my loved ones. My brother has just passed away and I have also come to pray for all these departed ones and elsewhere in the world. We hope that one day they will rise again and together we will be united in one place where God will be placing us," said Alfred Rapthap.

According to a church priest, the significance of celebrating this day is to make sure that those who have died; their souls have reached to heaven.

"The church itself asks everyone especially the catholic brethren to remember the departed souls.

Today the whole church has to say, we are coming here to pray for their souls especially those who are not being remembered. The main significance of this is that we pray for them because we don't know whether they have reached or not to god's heaven," said Father Jemeris Shylla, Church Priest.

Odilo, abbot of Clunny, started the custom of All Souls' Day in the eleventh century.

The day purposely follows All Saints' Day in order to shift the focus from those in heaven to those in purgatory.

On this day, three requiem masses are celebrated: one for the celebrant, one for the departed, and one for the pope.

The Church of England abolished All Souls' Day during the Reformation. However, the day has been re-established in Anglo- Catholic churches. (ANI)

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