Dementia-friendly church service: All Saints Day

This week’s updated worship service video celebrates All Saints Day or All Souls Day, the day after Halloween, when the church traditionally gives thanks for saints past and present.

As ever, this service is suitable for older adults with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Watch the 44-minute church service for All Saints Day here.

History of All Saints Day

According to church tradition, the end of October and beginning of November signal a time when the veil between this world and the next is especially thin. That’s why various cultures celebrate Halloween, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day around this time.

More than 2,000 years ago, the Celtic harvest festival Samhain (pronounced sow-INN) observed a time when the spirits of the departed were believed to mingle more freely with this world.

According to, by the 9th century, Christianity’s influence blended with Celtic rites, including Samhain. “In 1000 A.D., the church established All Souls’ Day, a day to honor the dead. The All Saints’ Day celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse, meaning All Saints’ Day). [The] night before, the traditional night of Samhain in the Celtic religion, began to be called All-Hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween.”

In some parts of Latin America, this between-worlds celebration is now the highly decorated Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) to honor and remember relatives who’ve passed on.

I hope you and your elders enjoy worshiping together as you consider sainthood 😇. And if you prefer to provide the service yourself, here’s the written agenda for All Saints Day.

Peace be with you,

Image by Artur Łuczka from Pixabay

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