While October 31  focusses on trick-or-treating and fireworks, that costumed caper is only the beginning of a three-day “Hallowtide” festival that has evolved over the past thousand years.

All-Souls-Day-Lighting-Candles-Picture

The following two days, All Saints Day on November 1 and All Souls Day on November 2, predate Halloween traditions (“hallow” means “saint,” and “All Hallow’s Eve” has become “Halloween”). All Saints began as a fourth-century feast to commemorate the Christian martyrs, while All Souls was added in the early 11th century to give people an opportunity to honour those members of their families or communities who had died.

St. Clement’s Anglican Church will be holding its annual All Souls service a little ahead of time – on Sunday, October 30 at 4 p.m. During a contemplative time of candlelight and prayer, the names of the departed are read aloud. Every year, St. Clement’s parishioner and Argyle grad John Stowe puts the word out to Argyle  alumni  and others and invites them to submit names of people from the school community who have passed (you can reach him at jstowe@shaw.ca), while the Rev. Elizabeth Mathers, deacon at the church, encourages Lynn Valleyites to send her the names of anyone they would like remembered (mathers@telus.net).

Elizabeth describes the service as very “user-friendly” and one that is often attended by people who wouldn’t otherwise describe themselves as church-goers. If you would like to spend a few quiet moments remembering a beloved family member or companion, you are warmly welcome. If you would simply like to know that their names are being read and remembered for All Souls, please send them to Elizabeth or John.

St. Clement’s is located at 3400 Institute Rd. More information is here. (And a recipe for traditional Souls’ Day cookies – the original Halloween treat – is here.)