Since the early Church, Christians have prayed for the dead. By the 7th century, some monastic foundations reserved this day to pray for deceased members and benefactors. In 988, Odilo abbot of the great monastery of Cluny in France, established the tradition of keeping, “with joyous affection, the memory of all the faithful departed who have lived from the beginning of the world until the end”. By the 14th century, the commemoration had spread through Europe and was universally accepted in the Latin Church.

Happy are those

Who have died

In the Lord.

Let them rest

From their labours

For their good deeds

Go with them.

Revelation 14.13

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