All Saints' Day
Revelation 7:9-17 | 1 John 3:1-3 | Matthew 5:1-12
As more people became martyrs for the faith, the days to remember the martyrs grew and it became impossible to remember them all. In order to have a day to remember the martyrs who would otherwise be forgotten, the Church began celebrating All Saints Day. A more recent custom has been commemorating the dead on this day, particularly those who have fallen asleep in Christ since the last All Saints Day. This is a conflation of the old Nov. 2 observance of "All Souls Day," also called the "Commemoration of the Faithful Departed." The German custom was to observe the last Sunday of the church year as a Totenfest (festival commemorating the dead). All of that is conflated into the contemporary customs surrounding All Saints Day, which we generally observe on the first Sunday of November at Immanuel.