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This day calls for the commemoration of the faithfully departed. Despite the fact that the custom is generally identified with the Catholic church, other denominations such as the Anglican Church celebrate it as well.
The Orthodox Church commemorates several All Souls' Days during the year.
According to the Catholic doctrine, the souls of the faithful who at death have not been cleansed from the temporal punishment, due to venial sins and attachment to mortal sins, cannot immediately attain the beatific vision in heaven and they should be helped by prayer and by the sacrifice of the Mass .
The general custom in Western tradition of praying for the dead originates from 2 Maccabees 12:42-46. The custom of setting apart a special day for the intercession of the faithful was first established by St. Odilo of Cluny at his abbey of Cluny in 998.