"We extol you, Apostles, Martyrs, Prophets and all Saints, and we honor your holy memory, as you pray for us to Christ our God."
(Hymn of Praise of the Sunday of All Saints)
The eighth Sunday after the Resurrection, that is, the first Sunday after Pentecost, is called the Sunday of All Saints. This feast completes the cycle of moveable feasts. On this day the Eastern Church pays particular veneration to all those who are the fruit of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
"On this day, that is, the Sunday of Pentecost," we read in the Synaxary of this Sunday, "we celebrate the feast of all Saints all over the whole world in Asia, Libya, Europe, in the north and in the south. Our holy Fathers instituted this feast and directed it to be kept after the feast of the Descent of the Holy Spirit, as if to set before us an example of how the coming of the all-Holy Spirit enabled them to attain sanctity. He made holy and all wise those who were of the same nature as we in order to give them the place forfeited by the fallen angels. Through Christ, he brought them to God - some through suffering and martyrdom; others through perseverance in the life of heroic virtue.
The Deacon Constantine (6c) of Constantinople, in his sermon on the first Sunday after the descent of the Holy Spirit says: "The Greek Church, by a distinguished and very illustrious feast, honors the memory of those immortal flowers which the whole earth brings forth from that soil which is con tinuously refreshed by the flowing streams of the Holy Spirit."