Thursday, November 1, 2012

All Saints Day/Toussaint (A prayer and a recipe!)

How shining and splendid are your gifts, O Lord
which you give us for our eternal well-being
Your glory shines radiantly in your saints, O God
In the honour and noble victory of the martyrs.
The white-robed company follow you,
bright with their abundant faith;
They scorned the wicked words of those with this world's power.
For you they sustained fierce beatings, chains, and torments,
they were drained by cruel punishments.
They bore their holy witness to you
who were grounded deep within their hearts;
they were sustained by patience and constancy.
Endowed with your everlasting grace,
may we rejoice forever
with the martyrs in our bright fatherland.
O Christ, in your goodness,
grant to us the gracious heavenly realms of eternal life.

Unknown author, 10th century
Ive only recently started to learn a bit more about ASD, which if I understand correctly, is the RC version of Sunday of All Saints, that us Orthodox celebrate at a different date. Seeing as how Ive communicated my confusion about whether I practice more as a Catholic than an Orthodox, Ive thought it would be important for me to learn, pray, and observe as much as possible on both sides of the fences. Is this wrong? Hopefully, it doesn't offend anyone in either branch, and if it does, yall just gonna have to deal with it. So the more I learn, the more I wonder at how this day of all Holy Days was just plain forgotten by what it seems most barely practising or non-practising but 'spiritual' Catholics. Really? A day to commemorate all those people past that were an example through one way or another, a day to pray specially all those souls in purgatory, just gone from the general public's memory? How sad.
So I am looking up different customs, and there is a diverse array from all over the world. In Czechoslovakia, there is an old tradition of eating special cakes on All Souls' Eve, and of drinking cold milk "to cool the souls in Purgatory." Another from Belgium refers to these special cakes again, and the more one eats of them, the more souls are released from Purgatory. And this song, sung in English towns by maids, for special cakes, once again:
Soul! soul! for a soul-cake!
I pray, good misses a soul-cake--
An apple or pear, a plum or a cherry,
Any good thing to make us merry,
One for Peter, two for Paul,
Three for Him who made us all.
So, these cakes seem to be pretty persistant throughout these traditions. Pretty much a big blinking arrow indicating I should try my hand at them. But, as a side note, I found this blog with tons of cute, some almost gag-worthy cute, ideas for ASD parties. So back to my soul cakes, Im going to be trying this recipe from an awesome blog called Catholic Cuisine. Should be very tasty! Jeff is completely on board with the idea of soul-cakes, for some reason.. LOL!
Cake Doughnuts

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 t. vanilla extract
oil for frying

1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, first measure of sugar, baking powder,
salt, first measure of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg, butter, and vanilla.
Mix until blended.
Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or more.

Pour oil into a two-quart pot until you have a depth of about 3 inches.
Heat the oil until about 375 degrees
(I don't use a thermometer; I just wait until it really bubbles up around a bit of dough).

On a floured board, roll dough out to 1/2 inch thickness.
Use a doughnut cutter to cut out doughnuts.

Fry doughnuts in hot oil until golden brown, turning once.
Remove from oil to drain on paper towels.
Combine the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl.
Place warm doughnuts in sugar mixture and flip,
turning doughnut and shaking gently to coat.
Happy ASD to everyone, and God have mercy on our souls (and our bellies after those!)


  1. Yay! Part of the confusion is that the universal Church celebrates All Saints day today, November 1st, but the CCCB (Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops) has moved its celebration to the following Sunday (they've done the same with the Ascension, just off the top of my head). In the States it is celebrated today and it's a holy day of obligation (the faithful must go to Mass, like on Sundays). Because in the old calender, it's always on November 1st, lots of trads in Canada still celebrate it on this day.
    As a smaller aside, All Souls day is tomorrow, November 2nd - that's when we pray for those in purgatory. Today we just glory in the dazzling light of the saints :)

    1. Sweet! So All Saints day today (according to some) and All Souls Day tomorrow! Two days of celebration and prayer! Do you do anything in particular?

    2. Well normally we try to make a fuss, yes! See - but I have a bad cold now so, not really. :( I'm praying the divine office today, morning and evening prayer, which is from the office of the dead for the occasion. Remembering especially my dad, my friend Katherine from high school, your dad, and my friend Shan's dad.