The Western celebration
Eastern-Rite Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox churches
Among Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Christians, there are several All Souls' Days during the year. Most of these fall on Saturday, since Jesus lay in the Tomb on Holy Saturday. These are referred to as Soul Saturdays. They occur on the following occasions:
(In the Serbian Orthodox Church there is also a commemoration of the dead on the Saturday closest to the Conception of St. John the Baptist—23 September)
Saturdays throughout the year are devoted to general prayer for the departed, unless some greater feast or saint's commemoration occurs.
At the Reformation the celebration of All Souls' Day was fused with All Saints' Day in the Anglican Church, though it was renewed individually in certain churches in connection with the Catholic Revival of the 19th century. The observance was restored with the publication of the 1980 Alternative Service Book, and it features in Common Worship as a Lesser Festival called "Commemoration of the Faithful Departed (All Souls' Day)".
The origins of All Souls' Day in European folklore and folk belief are related to customs of ancestor veneration practiced worldwide, such as the Chinese Ghost Festival or the Latin American Day of the Dead. The Roman custom was that of the Lemuria.
In Tirol, cakes are left for them on the table and the room kept warm for their comfort. In Brittany, people flock to the cemeteries at nightfall to kneel, bareheaded, at the graves of their loved ones, and to anoint the hollow of the tombstone with holy water or to pour libations of milk on it. At bedtime, the supper is left on the table for the souls.