THE Feast of All Saints affords an illustration of the way in which the Church took over and transformed pagan festivals and buildings. Pope Boniface IV (608-615) having appropriated the site of a temple, known as the Pantheon, dedicated to all the gods or the old religion, built thereon a Christian basilica. To this church be conveyed the remains of martyrs taken from the Catacombs and, on May 13, 610, dedicated it to St. Mary and the Martyrs. It was Gregory VU (Hildebrand) who transferred the anniversary of this basilica's dedication to November 1, on which date a partially observed Feast of AU Saints already fell, at the same time giving the occasion its present allinclusive character and according it the place in the Calendar of the Linivetsal Church which ever since it has held.
The very name All Saints " is in
spiring. From commemorating individual saints, we pass into the cornpany of every nation and age described by St. John in the Epistle read at the Mass for this Day, and join with them in their great choral Doxology.
AGAIN and again the, Office stresses 1-1. the vastness and variety of this multitude. The theme is prominent in
the Lesson reed at Matins from the Apocalypse 7, 9-17. It occurs in the first and third Antiphons for Lauds and Vespers, and again in the Prayer in those Offices. impressive for the range of voices enumerated. is the Antiphon of the Magnifiait in Vespers. With the saints joins, in the passage front Daniel recited in the Common of Saints at Lauds, all creation. On this occasion, led hy the chorus of the Blessed, song bursts from the whole hierarchy of being. The cosmos throbs with one magnificent paean of praise.
It is essentially a worshipping company. The Invitatory at Matins in the Common of Feasts sets the key. In the Te Delon during the same Office the note of adoration recurs. Wave upon wave of joyful praise 'carries us to the very feet of God.
Throughout the Feast the motif of triumph is beard. These arc they who have come out of great tribtaation. They stand before the Throne clad in white and with palms. the sign of victory, in their hands (Chapter at Setto.
Into this triumphal. chorus breaks the voice of the Church on earth, pleading for remembrance and intercession, specially notable in the hymns for Lauds and Vespers. This great company of Saints in its hour or triumph makes corrunon Cal/Se With es.
STANLEY B. Jews.