The origin of the festival of All Saints celebrated in the West dates to 609 or 610, when Pope Boniface IV of the Roman Catholic Church consecrated the Pantheon at Rome to all martyrs. The feast associated has been celebrated in Rome ever since.
The festival was retained after the Reformation in the calendar of the Lutheran Church and now assumes a role of general commemoration of the dead and of loved ones. In many Lutheran churches, because All Saints Day follows Halloween, (All Hallows Eve; All Saints Eve), it is moved to the first Sunday of November to be recognized. Protestants generally regard all true Christian believers as saints on earth, as we are simultaneously saint/sinner. Simul iustus et peccator: It’s a Latin phrase that means, “at the same time sinner and saint.” This description of the Christian life can be used to wiggle out of lots of those “why” questions. Why did that church treasurer abscond with the money? Saints can be sinners. Why did the Sunday School teacher curse out the six year olds? Saints can be sinners. Why did we see our pastor at the pub last Friday with a third beer? (Yes, they do count.) Saints can be sinners.
Yes, we are simultaneously saint/sinner each day we live in God’s grace despite our sin, but observe All Saints Day to remember and give thanks for all Christians both past and present who have been eternally sainted with Christ. We remember all saints November 1.