Is it OK to celebrate Halloween? Fr. Colin and Fr. Roger respond in this funny video.
The true origins of Halloween lie with the ancient Celtic tribes who lived in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Brittany. For the Celts, November 1 marked the beginning of a new year and the coming of winter. The night before the new year, they celebrated the festival of Samhain, Lord of the Dead. During this festival, Celts believed the souls of the dead, including ghosts, goblins and witches, returned to mingle with the living. In order to scare away the evil spirits, people would wear masks and light bonfires.
Days observed and celebrated by secular society can be events to be used to make connection to important faith-related concepts for children and families. In excerpts from the Celebrating Saints and Seasons, author Jeanne Hunt suggests ways parents and teachers can make Halloween and All Saints Day come alive for children in faith-filled and fun experiences.
Halloween, the eve of All Saints, November 1, is just around the corner. In the USA there have been numerous clown sightings which range from the bazaar to the deadly. Creepy clowns have appeared in the United Kingdom with some gross images posted on the web. International copycats have appeared in Australia and elsewhere. How should we respond?
This feast first honored martyrs. Later, when Christians were free to worship according to their consciences, the Church acknowledged other paths to sanctity. In the early centuries the only criterion was popular acclaim, even when the bishop’s approval became the final step in placing a commemoration on the calendar. The first papal canonization occurred in 993; the lengthy process now required to prove extraordinary sanctity took form in the last 500 years. Today’s feast honors the obscure as well as the famous—the saints each of us have known.
Aren’t saints the folks with lush capes and sculpted halos, glowing through stained glass? Even in martyrdom, their hair is perfectly blow-dried, not one brocade thread of one sleeve askew. They are never overweight, late, anxious or irritable. But such an image does a great disservice to reality. When we put the saints on a pedestal too distant, we’re off the hook. If they were perfect, we don’t need to imitate them!
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