The practice of souling occurred in parts of England in the 15th to 18th centuries and it typically involved the poor going house to house seeking alms in exchange for prayer on All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. November 1st is All Saint's Day. I recently read an article that talked about Soul Cakes. "Some families bake and distribute soul cakes as part of their family's devotion to a particular saint. A soul cake today is more of a cookie. Most alms-seekers would have received bread because of its association with the Eucharist. Exactly how soul cakes fit into Church culture five or six centuries ago remains uncertain, though there are hints that they most likely were not sweet. What is certain, is that All Saints' Day is a solemn holy day when the pious remember deceased loved ones through charity and prayer."
With all that said, Clare & I baked Soul Cakes yesterday for the first time. It was a nice time together and a small effort to tie trick-or-treating to its Catholic roots. I'm not sure how much Clare will retain for next year, but I'd like to try it again and make it a tradition. (I also doubt I could pass these treats to the little kids on Halloween without parents being skeptical of a homemade treat and the kids asking "Is this it? No candy bar?" It'd probably be the last year for us getting knocks on the door for Halloween)!