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The Western celebration of All Souls' Day is on 2 November and follows All Saints' Day, which commemorates the departed who have attained the beatific vision.If 2 November falls on a Sunday, the Mass is of All Souls, but the Office is that of the Sunday.While 2 November remained the liturgical celebration, in time the entire month of November became associated in the Western Catholic tradition with prayer for the departed; lists of names of those to be remembered being placed in the proximity of the altar on which the sacrifice of the mass is offered.The legend connected with its foundation is given by Peter Damiani in his Life of St Odilo: a pilgrim returning from the Holy Land was cast by a storm on a desolate island.All Souls Day is celebrated in much of the western world on November 2. The Eastern Orthodox Church has several such days throughout the year, mostly on Saturdays. It should not be confused with All Saints' Day, which is a holy day of obligation. In North America, Americans may say extra prayers or light candles for the departed.In parts of Latin America, families visit the graves of their ancestors and sometimes leave food offerings for the departed. In Western Christianity, this day is observed principally in the Catholic Church, although some churches of the Anglican Communion and the Old Catholic Churches also celebrate it.Another popular name in English is Feast of All Souls.
The Roman Catholic celebration is associated with the doctrine that the souls of the faithful who at death have not been cleansed from the temporal punishment due to venial sins and from attachment to mortal sins cannot immediately attain the beatific vision in heaven, and that they may be helped to do so by prayer and by the sacrifice of the Mass (see Purgatory).
The Anglican church is the largest protestant church to celebrate the holy day.
Most protestant denominations do not recognize the holiday and disagree with the theology behind it.
Indulgences were sold as spiritual pardons to the poor and applied to the souls of the dead (or the living) to get people into heaven.
The abuse of indulgences and the blatant, sometimes fraudulent practice of selling indulgences for money, led to Luther's protest.