10th June 2023

Feasts of November 1 and 2 - Feast of the dead - what does the bible say?

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Definition: The Day of the Dead is a ritual practiced in many cultures and religions, which often devote one or more holidays to the commemoration of the dead.

All the world's civilizations celebrate the Day of the Dead in early November. Men pray for the repose of the souls of the dead. Others call their favor or that of the spirits of death. Where do these beliefs come from?

The Egyptians, Romans and Greeks believed that souls go through a place of torment and purification before entering paradise. Plato in Timaeus and Virgil in the Aeneid, speak of a place of suffering in which the souls of the dead transit in order to purify themselves. The historian Muller describes in the Dorians the custom of offering sacrifices to Mercury, the conductor of the dead, the 30 the day after the death of a relative. These sacrifices were to be used to pay the faults of the dead, so that he could be allowed to reach Olympus.

In the year 593, Pope Gregory I, proclaimed the existence of purgatory, while for the past 600 years, this belief had not existed among Christians. Purgatory was designated as a place of atrocious suffering where souls who died in a state of venial sin went to expiate. The payment of indulgences could shorten the purgatory pains of the deceased, and prayer for the dead in this purgatory was instituted.

St. Jerome introduced the book of the Maccabees into the Scriptures by the year 400 AD: "It is a holy and salutary thought to pray for the dead to be delivered from their sins. 2 Macchabées 12: 45-46

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But god had categorically forbidden the Jewish people to pray for the dead, and the Hebrews declare that the book of Maccabees does not belong to their original writings. The Old Testament teaches: "They trust in their possessions and boast of their great wealth, they cannot redeem each other, nor give goodbye the price of their redemption. The redemption of their souls is expensive and will never take place. Protestant cults also reject the book of Maccabees as having been written to give a biblical origin to the worship of the dead. This sentence of Christ is used as an index of the existence of purgatory by those who believe in it: “Truly I tell you, you will not get out of it until you have paid the last quadrant. This sentence is unfortunately taken out of context, because Jesus asked the disciples to be honest in business and pay all debts, for they will have to face their shortcomings and the consequences of dishonest acts.

The Bible says, "For we must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive according to the good or the evil which he has done, being in his body (2 Cor 5: 10). It is for what we will have done in our body that we will be judged, there will be no penance in the hereafter for the redemption of our souls.

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Can our prayers mitigate the faults of the dead and save their souls?

The scriptures say, "For it is reserved for men to die only once after that comes judgment. "(Heb 9: 27). Judgment will come after death and will have nothing to do with prayers and subsequent requiem masses.

Should we perform all kinds of ceremonies for the salvation of the soul of the dead?

Another of the disciples said to him, "Lord, let me go and bury my father first. But Jesus answered him, Follow me and let the dead bury their dead. (Mat 8: 21-22).

Does God want us to mourn the souls of the dead who accepted Jesus as their personal savior?

“We do not want you, brethren, to be in ignorance about those who sleep, lest you mourn like others who have no hope. Because if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, believe also that God will bring back Jesus and with him those who are dead. (1 thess 4: 13-14)

The Feast of the Dead is celebrated everywhere. But as we have just seen, God forbade it. So avoid cemeteries and other ceremonies to honor the dead. God is alive, rejoice with the living.



Article taken from the newspaper Vision des Jeunes de Jesus Center, number 11

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