Title: All Saints’ Sunday
Description: The feast of All Saints achieved great prominence in the ninth century, in the reign of the Byzantine Emperor, Leo VI “the Wise” (886-911). His wife, Empress Theophano, commemorated on December 16, lived a devout life. After her death in 893, her husband built a church intending to dedicate it to her. When he was forbidden to do so, he decided to dedicate it to “All Saints” so that if his wife were in fact one of the righteous, she would also be honored whenever the feast was celebrated. According to tradition, it was Leo who expanded the feast from a commemoration of All Martyrs to a general commemoration of All Saints, whether martyrs or not.
This Sunday also marks the close of the Paschal season. To the normal Sunday services are added special scriptural readings and hymns to all the saints (known and unknown) from the Pentecostarion.
Date: June 30, 2013