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The Roman Catholic celebration is associated with the doctrine that the souls of the faithful who at death have not been cleansed from the temporal punishment due to venial sins and from attachment to mortal sins cannot immediately attain the beatific vision in heaven, and that they may be helped to do so by prayer and by the sacrifice of the Mass (see Purgatory).
Consistent with these teachings and traditions, Catholics believe that through the prayers of the faithful on Earth, the dead are cleansed of their sins so they may enter into heaven.In some other languages the celebration, not necessarily on the same date, is known as Day of the Dead (DĂa de los Muertos or de los Difuntos in Spanish-speaking countries; halottak napja in Hungary; Yom el Maouta in Lebanon, Israel and Syria).The Western celebration of All Souls' Day is on 2 November and follows All Saints' Day, which commemorates the departed who have attained the beatific vision.It was accepted in Rome only in the fourteenth century.While 2 November remained the liturgical celebration, in time the entire month of November became associated in the Western Catholic tradition with prayer for the departed; lists of names of those to be remembered being placed in the proximity of the altar on which the sacrifice of the mass is offered.The day is primarily celebrated in the Catholic Church, but it is also celebrated in the Eastern Orthodox Church and a few other denominations of Christianity.
The Anglican church is the largest protestant church to celebrate the holy day.
Famously, Martin Luther argued with the monk, Johan Tetzel, over the sale of indulgences.
Indulgences were sold as spiritual pardons to the poor and applied to the souls of the dead (or the living) to get people into heaven.
The abuse of indulgences and the blatant, sometimes fraudulent practice of selling indulgences for money, led to Luther's protest.
When Martin Luther translated the Bible into German, he omitted the seven books of the canon which refer to prayers for the dead.
Most protestant denominations do not recognize the holiday and disagree with the theology behind it.