All Souls’ Day observed

by
08 November 2019

November 7th, 1919.

WE HAD not thought it possible that a serious writer would be allowed to speak, in an English newspaper of conspicuous ability, of “the British observer, who is not allowed by his religion to pray for the dead”. Yet the occasional correspondent of the Westminster Gazette who describes the keeping of All Souls’ Day in Paris commits himself to the statement. By the British observer may, it is true, be intended a Scot, in which case the ambiguity should have been resolved. If an Englishman is implied, and his religion that of the English Church, the writer is imperfectly acquainted with his subject. Elizabeth’s Latin Prayer Book had prayers for the dead, as also the forms used in the chapels of some of our universities. It has been a constant tradition of the pious, even in the darkest ages of the English Church; and a court of law, impartially reviewing the whole matter more than eighty years ago, laid down that by no canon or authority of the Church in these realms had the practice of praying for the dead been expressly prohibited. If the writer had been in London instead of Paris last Monday he would have found plenty of proof that what our religion allows is devoutly practised by vast multitudes.

The Church Times digital archive is available free to subscribers

Forthcoming Events

21-22 February 2020
Church Times Festival of Faith and Literature
For 2020 the Bloxham festival celebrates ‘The Power of Love’. Book tickets

26 March 2020
Theology Slam Live Final
Theology Slam is back, continuing its search for the most engaging young voices on theology and the contemporary world. Find out more

Latest Cartoon

The Church Times Archive

Read reports from issues stretching back to 1863, search for your parish or see if any of the clergy you know get a mention.

FREE for Church Times subscribers.

Explore the archive

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read five articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)