I am trying to work on my knowledge of the Catholic faith. This is what I gather (please bare with me):
Honoring Christian martyrs was celebrated on May 13, back in the fourth century. Pope Gregory IV moved the date to November 1 in 844. Some scholars believe this was to cannonize some pagan celebrations around the same time. In 1484, it was established Feasts of All Saints, and was now a holy day of obligation. On All Saint's Day, we are remembering the glories of Heaven and those there.
All Soul's Day is now celebrated on November 2. We pray for those who have died and are in purgatory, we pray for the cleansing of their venial sins. Praying for souls can be found in the Bible in 2 Maccabees 12:41-42 and 2 Timothy 1:18. There are two plenary indulgences (remission in whole or in part of the temporal punishment due to sin) applicable to the souls in purgatory: Visiting a church and visiting a cemetery. The Our Father and Hail Mary must be recited for the intentions each day the indulgence is sought, along with receiving Holy Communion. A confession must be made within 7 days for the soul to obtain a complete indulgence. Only one can be granted per day.
I read somewhere that there are three stages to death: when the soul leaves the body, when we lay the dead in the ground, and when we stop thinking of the one we lost. As Catholics, All Souls Day helps us to never forget those who have gone before us. Please take time November 2 to pass by a church and pray. Someone's soul may need it.
Of course there is so much more information out there. Maybe by next year, I will be able to write a full blog on each!