All Souls Day -- Music question


Today I heard a priest say that we won’t be doing the Gloria on Sunday because it’s All Souls’ Day.

Does anyone out there have the official word on that? I presume since it’s a Sunday and it’s not in Lent or Advent that we should be doing the Gloria.


Your priest is correct. The Gloria is not done on All Soul’s Day.

The Diocese of San Jose:

Here’s a big difference! The Gloria is omitted at Masses on this day (including your Saturday night Mass).

The Archdiocese of Indianapolis:

At the All Souls liturgies, the Gloria is omitted.


As a Mass for the dead the Gloria is omitted even if it falls on a Sunday, as the Gloria is never used in requiems.


This may vary from country to country or diocese to diocese. It appears that in Canada the Gloria should be sung this Sunday. Fr. Z had a blog post on the topic:


I don’t have the Roman Missal at my desk at the moment (usually I do, but not now).

I recall a rubric in the Missal specifically stating that the Gloria and Creed are not done on All Souls Day.

I’ll check the Missal and get back to this thread later today…


Father McManara at Zenit discusses the Liturgy for All Souls Day for various countries.

Re the Gloria:

…The difficulty arises in part because All Souls is a somewhat special celebration. In a way it is, like Ash Wednesday, without a specific rank. It is not a solemnity, feast or memorial, as it does not honor any divine mystery or any saint, yet it has precedence over Sunday and other eventual celebrations. **As a Mass for the dead the Gloria is omitted even if it falls on a Sunday, as the Gloria is never used in requiems. **Whenever it falls on a Sunday the Divine Office is that of the Sunday except for public celebrations…


I’d like to see the actual ordo entry. Our abbey’s ordo indicates that there’s no Gloria, but Credo 2 is to be sung.


This difficulty also arises because of the provision of observing All Souls on a Sunday–something contrary to many centuries of liturgical history. Just sayin’. :wink:


At the risk of adding yet another post about All Saints and All Souls Days…


There was a notice from the Holy See about what happens when 2 major feast days “overlap.”

Hi et similes casus solvi non possunt per normam universalem, quia necessitates pastorales et consuetudine [sic] fidelium diversae inveniuntur.

4. Attentis adiunctis naturae pastoralis, praxis sequenda in ambitu dioecesano indicetur initio anni ab Ordinario loci in Calendario liturgico proprio, etiam si casus fert derogando iis quae supra dicta sunt, cum, ob rationes pastorales, praeferenda videtur celebratio unius alteriusve Missae.

That means: Attention should be given to the pastoral nature of the situation. Follow the calendar of the diocese as the Ordinary of the diocese determines, even if doing so derogates from a strict adherence to the calendar norms.
(Obviously, that’s not a literal translation ;))


How many centuries?

Just how old is the practice of having All Souls Day on November 2, but not on a Sunday?


But I don’t think All Souls’ Day is a “feast day.” Does that change the situation of the official text?


No. Not in this context.

Sometimes feastday means a day when we feast, sometimes it can be used to mean an important day in the calendar. I think (actually I’m sure) that in this context the instruction is not trying to make the distinction of a feasting day versus a non-feasting day. It’s about an important day that takes precedence over the usual weekday cycle.

The important point of the instruction is that legitimate pastoral concerns can be a legitimate motivation for the local bishop to derogate from the universal norms of the calendar–again, in this context. More practically speaking, if the local bishop says to have All Saints Day on Friday evening and All Souls Day on Saturday evening this year, we should all understand that the Holy See has already spoken on this issue and addressed it 40 years ago. The bishop can promulgate the diocesan calendar to make this happen.

Anyway, I just realized I’m posting in the wrong thread. There are so many threads about this weekend’s liturgical calendar that I can’t keep them all straight.

Back to the original question: No, there is definitely no Gloria on All Souls Day because it’s a Mass for the Dead. It’s not a rubric on the All Souls page as I thought it might be; however the Gloria is never done in Masses for the Dead.


Thanks Fr. David, and all others!


Since the missal of 1570, at least. Probably older in Rome, at least.



Here’s what it stated for Saint of the Day from Franciscan Media for All Souls’ Day:

In the middle of the 11th century, St. Odilo, abbot of Cluny, France, decreed that all Cluniac monasteries offer special prayers and sing the Office for the Dead on November 2, the day after the feast of All Saints. The custom spread from Cluny and was finally adopted throughout the Roman Church.

This doesn’t say when it was finally adopted throughout the church, but the customer for November 2nd has been around for a long time. :slight_smile:


The Catholic Encyclopedia (1907 edition) has this to say:

A similar concession for the entire world was asked of Pope Leo XIII. He would not grant the favour but ordered a special Requiem on Sunday, 30 September, 1888.

While the practice of some type of “All Souls Day” is indeed ancient, the specific practice of having it on November 2, but not on a Sunday, is rather recent.

As a universal practice, it actually only goes back as far as Pope Benedict XV from 1915.

I cannot find the text that even requires it on November 2. Maybe it’s there, but I can’t find it.


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