Are You Celebrating Halloween Like a Pagan? 5 Ways You Can Celebrate it Like a Catholic.

ayios-georgios-1486285_960_720-230x300 Are You Celebrating Halloween Like a Pagan? 5 Ways You Can Celebrate it Like a Catholic.This year Americans are projected to spend $9.1 billion dollars on Halloween candy and costumes. Some call it the second most anticipated “holiday” of the year in America. Though it doesn’t exactly compete with Christmas in retail sales, it curiously competes in many other ways.

The Spirit of Halloween vs. the Spirit of Christmas

The contrast between the two holidays is so stark that we can affirm that the spirit of Halloween has become the antithesis of the spirit of Christmas.

RTO-mini2 Are You Celebrating Halloween Like a Pagan? 5 Ways You Can Celebrate it Like a Catholic.Free Book: Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society Where Weve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need to Go

 

In Christmas we celebrate the birth of Christ while in Halloween death is celebrated through its displays of skeletons, corpses, and tombstones. In Christmas, we think of angels, kings, shepherds and drummer boys. In Halloween, people think of ghouls, devils, zombies, witches, and even the “living dead” clawing their way out of tombs.

In Christmas, the hearth is filled with innocent carols and heart-warming stories of conversion and generosity. In Halloween, there are amusement parks with creepy music and heart rending screams. Everything we associate with Christmas portrays goodness, generosity, cheer and merriness. On the contrary, Halloween portrays the ugly, evil, the occult and even the Satanic.

Curiously both events target children as the main participants in the festivities.

Is Halloween Pagan or Christian?

Some say Halloween is a pagan celebration. The Celtic Druids did have a feast on November 1 marking the end of the summer period, called the Samhain (pronounced sow-in) 3 when spirits were expected to be highly active and therefore spells and incantation were needed. The pagans of the time would use masks or dress in a way that would ward off spirits.

However, the Church later instituted a feast to honor all saints, recognized and unrecognized. According to Merriam-Webster, the original name for All Saints Day, now a holy day of obligation celebrated on November 1, was All Hallows Even (evening). This was abbreviated to All Hallows Eve, later to Hallow e’en, to today’s form of Halloween. 2

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This feast was never was a pagan festival but a Catholic one.  It was established by Boniface IV in 615 and was transferred from May 13 to November 1 by Gregory III in 844.4

Despite its Christian roots, it doesn’t stop the modern day “pagans” from celebrating like Druids.

Celebrating Halloween Like A Pagan?

The signs of that someone is celebrating Halloween like a pagan are very simple to spot.

First, there is the way families decorates their homes. The trend has always been the scarier, the better but now the macabre is dominating with front yards full of spider webs, zombies, witches and monsters. Some have even placed tombstones with the dead crawling out of the ground. Some go as far as to use candy bowls in the shape of the devil with a sign encouraging children to take a treat.

Second, a sign of pagan celebration is when children are encouraged to dress up as characters who look ugly, evil, sinful or harmful. They often represent murderers, occultists or even the devil himself. Children, in their innocence, normally have a natural aversion for such dark portrayals.

Third, the choice of entertainment is a sign of pagan celebration. Televison networks promote horror shows over Halloween. Many focus on creatures that terrorize a community. Some delve deeply into the occult and macabre. The fifth top grossing film this year, for example, is It, a movie about a evil clown who abducts and eats children. 1

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The Danger of Celebrating Halloween as a Pagan

In October of 2014, the International Association of Exorcists met in Rome, gathering together 300 exorcists from around the world. Speaker Fr. Aldo Buonauioto talked about the danger of letting children be exposed to this type of behavior during Halloween.

He warned that “there is nothing innocent or fun about it – it is the antechamber to something much more dangerous.” It is “like an initiation into the Occult”, he said. “For the sects, it is the best time of year to recruit new members. From here, the door to the devil can be opened. For this reason, it’s necessary for us to speak out and not play down the danger.”

“There are always more evil rituals, animal sacrifices, desecrations of cemeteries and thefts of sacred bones at the time of the 31 October,” he concluded.

Today Halloween is celebrated more as a pagan festivity than a Catholic one. However, it can still has a Catholic meaning that can be celebrated. It remains the vigil of the feast to celebrate all saints. It can also be extended to November 2, All Souls Day, in which the Church prays for deceased members, especially those still in purgatory.

Can There Be A Return To Catholic Halloween

If culture can be restored, one way to begin is with Halloween. Here are six ways to celebrate the Halloween periods like a Catholic.

First, go to Mass. It is on the eve of a holy day of obligation and Mass can prepare us to celebrate the feasts that follow as originally intended. Remember Halloween was originally a cycle of holy days that went from the eve of All Saints Day to All Souls Day.

Second is to pray to all the saints and martyrs. Saints and martyrs are the natural role models of the Church. Our struggle to attain the salvation of our souls is helped by admiring the saints who came before us. Imitating a great athlete from the past is an excellent way to be come an athlete. To obtain holiness, we need to imitate the blessed that came before us.

Third is to encourage devotion to patron saints in children. The act of admiring saints has to be restored and become part of our culture. It needs to start with children since they have a natural inclination to admire people that surround them. It is especially during this period that they need to acquire the habit of looking up to saints for inspiration. If they need to dress up in a costume, encourage them to dress up as a Catholic saint or hero.

Fourth is to pray for deceased family members. In conjunction with paying respect to all the saints, the feast day following All Saints Day is All Souls Day. It is understood that the faithful who have attained salvation but have not attained eternal reward are suffering in the fires of purgatory. We may have family members who are still suffering in Purgatory. We should pray for them throughout the year. It is at this day that the Church reminds and encourages us to have them present in our thoughts and concerns.

Fifth is to pray for all the souls in Purgatory. There are suffering souls in purgatory who have no one to pray for them. Their family line may have ended or family members may have forgotten about them. Their descendants may no longer practice the faith. Whatever the case may be,  there are always suffering souls in need of prayers.

Three good practices include sprinkling holy water on the grave for the benefit of suffering souls, make a sign of cross and a short prayer whenever passing by a cemetery, and pray the following prayer daily: “Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord. And let the perpetual light shine upon them. And may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.”

Sixth is to decorate homes with items associated with the saints, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ or God in general. Avoid or throw away horrendous Halloween decorations that are associated with the devil or evil things, since they are toxic for the soul.

Halloween was intended to be celebrated as a Catholic feast day cycle. It can once again be restored to its roots but, as with all movements of conversion, it needs two necessary initial steps. We need to burn what we have adored and adore what we have burned.

  • cecilia rose

    In today’s modern practices especially in the celebration of Halloween the “Culture of Death” seems to prevail and Pope John Paul II had repeatedly warned us to be aware of this and to be agents of the “Culture of Life” which a Christian should witness to daily.

  • rickpat

    All Saints Day is to remind us of Heaven. All Souls Day is to remind us of Purgatory. Halloween is to remind of us Hell. You no doubt agree that we should have a healthy awareness of Hell, and avoid it at all costs, correct? Then what’s wrong with scary and spooky costumes, decorations, and sounds October 31? Such things are meant to give us a little taste of Hell – to scare us a bit – prompting us to live our lives in such a way to avoid winding up there. Rather than stripping the scary out of Halloween, we should instead use it as an occasion to proclaim – contrary to popular belief – that hell is real and that people go there.

    • JMC

      That’s an interesting outlook; I’ve never heard it described that way. It makes Hallowmas a three-day recollection of the Four Last Things – and I wonder if that wasn’t the missionaries’ original intent when they inculturated the Samhain festival.
      .
      We tend to forget about the early missionaries’ practice of inculturation. They would take a pagan festival that had some faint echoes of truth to it, and give it a Christian meaning. Thus many of our modern Halloween practices are indeed rooted in pagan ones, only now, instead of placating evil spirits, we’re mocking them.

      • whawell

        This is an interesting take about Halloween. My real concern however has to do with the over-emphasis given to the ghoulish aspect of this tradition to the detriment of what the Church offers, that is, a time of prayer and devotion to the Saints and for the souls in purgatory. I try to give heed to both aspects (I’m always ready to give away treats to children at my door) while making sure the essence of what the Church celebrates is not being put aside for something less important.

    • Diane Eagan

      Interesting way to think of Halloween. I agree that we should be reminded that hell is real and that people can go there. We do need to have a fear of going to hell.

    • Violet CA

      I wonder if wearing ‘scary and spooky costumes, decorations, and sounds are meant to give us a little taste of Hell’ or even scare people or kids, especially. In just one day or few hours? There’s a lot to learn about Heaven, Purgatory and Hell, starting from the parents and with the church’s teachings and school’s as well.

    • Henry Ptak

      I seem to recall reading somewhere that the spooky costumes were occasionally worn on Halloween to mock the demons – I don’t remember where I read it, but I’m fairly sure that it was within a Christian framework. How much of it was with the intention of evoking an awareness of our final destiny (and obliquely, of the four last things), I’m not sure.
      I must admit that my kids and I had always enjoyed carving our jack ‘o lanterns each year – that’s about as “over-the-top spooky” as we’d get at our house. Apparently the Scottish and Irish immigrants here in the States used to carve turnips in the old country and found pumpkins more suitable when they came here. For an interesting Catholic take on the history of Halloween as it was celebrated in medieval times to the present time in this country, see Charles Coulombe’s recent talk below:
      /www.youtube.com/watch?v=6P81OogvagA

  • DLL

    We have all Saints Day and All Souls‘ Day,Nov 1+2. The devil proclaimed Halloween for himself. It is no longer the fun get candy child’s day it once was. It has become ghastly. Devil worshipers really are into this Halloween now. It has become evil mischief day for many,even a murders day to kill innocents with a motor vehicle,as it was done in horror this year in New York City.

  • John Flaherty

    I would suggest another means of reminding people of All Hallows Eve is to dress as a saint for trick or treating.

  • mister malted

    Halloween was once a fun day for kids to innocently dress in
    costumes that they drummed up, not bought, and then go and visit neighbors to
    beg for a treat. Then so-called adults
    took over. How did we become a nation of
    people who refuse to grow up?

    • Mark

      Thanks you. There is nothing wrong with holoween or any of the other traditions that people are trying to get rid of. When I was a child there was not a single house in or out of our neighborhood. We would use the large pillow cases for our trick or treat bags and we would fill them, run home and dump them out and then go to a different neighborhood and do the same thing. Before we could eat any of the treats dad would run his metal detector over it and if it didn’t beep all was good. Our nation is taking all of the fun and togetherness of our traditions. Once upon a time we were there best nation in the world
      .

  • Daniel Mount

    What upsets me is that so many people love this so called holiday and it is actually a pagan holiday. But when it comes to worshiping our lord and savior Jesus Christ at Christmas time it’s only about what they can get under the tree. If as many people would worship Christ like they do at all Hallows Eve the world would be a much better place.

    • Mark

      I do hope that you are speaking for yourself and not everyone else…

  • AngelS

    Obviously the author of this article is a Catholic. As a protestant, I do not pray to the saints nor decorate my home with the Virgin Mary, believe in holy water, believe in Purgatory nor believe in praying for the departed. I would not teach my children to be devoted to the saints and naturally, we do not attend mass. While I do not ‘celebrate’ Halloween, I see no problem with a child dressing up as a bunny rabbit nor giving out candy to my neighorhood children who wish to come to my door. I know that there are many different thoughts on Halloween, but as Christians we need to remember that Christ has already conquered death, hell and the grave and we do not need to be afraid of the devil as Christ who is in us in more powerful than the evil one.

    • Christine Scolaro

      As a Catholic I really appreciate your comment. Amen. Really do!! Thx

      • Annel Rodriguez

        I’m so sad to know there are “Catholics” out there who pick and choose what they like and believe about church teaching and history. This article states history of the origins of Halloween what has become, and to see other so called Catholics putting down the truth of the dangers of this celebration is something to pray about
        You “Catholics” are endangering your souls by embracing and putting down truth and history related to Halloween. Work out your salvation in fear and tremble said St. Paul and lukewarmness of faith will not help you out. Please pray about it, giving in to the

        • Annel Rodriguez

          Pleasures of this world is what endangers our souls. God bless us all.
          Peace!

        • Christine Scolaro

          Hi. Are you judging me?

          ~ Chris :]

    • Tito

      Spot on!!! I’m Catholic and I support your comment!!! Know why??? BECAUSE I LOVE HALLOWEEN!!! I’m about fun, fun, fun!!! Jesus already died for us and had already CONQUERED DEATH, HADES AND EVERYTHING ELSE. So, why should we be fearful of them all???

      • Alma Lopez

        Saint Paul says in the bible to celebrate what is beautiful and good, not evil and horrible.
        We desensitized our children by celebrating spooky spirits. Candy is fine, customs are fine
        as well as they don’t take us subtle or not into taking what is opposed to what God desires for us.

        • Mark

          I think the children are too young to think what you do or someone else does about holoween. Let the kids dress up and go trick or treating. Let them have one day a year that they can be anything they want to be and have fun before it’s too late and they’re not allowed to do that anymore. It’s is grown ups that are teaching our children to be closed minded and setting fears into there young minds. Remember that hate and being prejudiced is something that is taught and it’s us adults that are the teachers.

          • Annel Rodriguez

            Evil is real, the spiritual world is real, it is this kind of fun, I don’t care let’s not care about spiritual realities children don’t know better and care type of mind set that’s highly dangerous to the soul. Children MUSTbe thought young specially faith matters NOT When they are teens and they don’t wanna go out and celebrate Halloween anymore. This article is NOT about being prejudiced is about educating ” Catholics” and none Catholic Christians about the truths and realities of Halloween so if you are Catholic please pray for wisdom and understanding.
            God bless.

      • Chris Cloutier

        Because we are fallen.

    • boxerpaws

      to pray means to ask.Mass is our highest form of worship. The Virgin Mary does not decorate our homes. We venerate the sacred and they REMIND us of our Christian family.Holy Water is water that is blessed and reminds us of being born again of water and spirit.Every time we bless ourselves with Holy Water we re-enact our baptism. Purgatory comes from Sacred Scripture where the book of Revelation tells us nothing unclean may enter heaven.Purgatory is a place of purification or another way of looking at it is being prepared and putting on the best garment to go before the beatific vision of God.Those in purgatory are not damned.Those in hell are beyond salvation.Those in purgatory are saved of course but not all of us will have given up our attachment to sin at the time of our death or have suffered the consequences of wrongs done here-some say our sins are covered over but we know that God knows all and sees all.I am certain they’re not covered over because nothing is hidden from God.To pay for wrongs done here is justice. Sin has consequences. So the suffering in purgatory gladly do so out of love for God. We pray for them. No one should fear Satan the way the horror movies present him.He does not come with a tail,horns and pitchfork. We should have a healthy fear especially in this day and age when he’s treated like a cartoon character-a myth-and know that he is just as real as hell.Our culture no longer recognizes hell,Satan and sin.Catholics teach their children to be devoted to the saints because that is what all of us are called to be. They have gone before us,like us. They pray for us in the presence of God,including Mary. Jesus would never refuse her anything and we could never love her more than Him.

      • Ford

        I never understood why Protestantism blows off the Saints. Surely the Saints are there in Heaven. God is the God of the living, as Jesus said. The Communion of Saints is something until recently most Protestant sects still paid at least lip service to in the Apostles Creed. I guess Protestantism suffers from perpetual “doctrine disintegration” and the need for constant innovation and rethinking of Sacred Scripture, unhinged from Tradition as they are (and which Sacred Scripture admonishes us to adhere to!).

    • noblesniper

      As a Catholic, I do not agree with your fallible and non-authoritative opinion about saints, Virgin Mary, holy water, Purgatory, and praying for the departed

    • BruceDeBrat

      If the Blessed Virgin Mary was good enough for Jesus, why is she not good enough for you?

    • RapistAndFalse ProphetMuhammed

      AngelS,
      It is because you heretics are followers of a fallen priest called Martin Luther . We believe only the ‘faithful’ departed can attain salvation . Only the Holy Catholic Church is the correct Church .

      • Marko Baković

        Martin Luter just introduced sect,and protestanism can not be considered as religion.

      • gubllod

        Martin Luther did not leave the Catholic Church. He was Augustinian. The pope at the time agreed with him, when he learned what Luther’s real arguments were. There was, evidently, a plot to assassinate Luther, while he was on his way to Rome to meet with the pope. The Dominicans are thought to have been at the root of the plot, since they had all kinds of power in the Vatican which they did not want to give up to anyone. In any case, Luther turned back and, as history shows us, did not meet with the pope.

        On his deathbed, Luther held on to two major beliefs he had put forward. One was the priesthood of the believer, the other was the miracle of Ordination. Both of these beliefs were together with the Bible as the Word of God. He never gave that up.

        The larger problem was the priesthood of the Church at the time. It was corrupt almost beyond recognition in many ways and it was this against which Luther rebelled and the pope was in agreement with him. The Dominicans didn’t think this was nice!!

        • peter f

          It must be a different Martin Luther who said “Sin and sin boldly” ? I am praying for everyone, I think we are in need of grace especially in these times when the Church seems to be embracing Protestantism. What on earth is the holy father doing? Anyway my late grandad was church of England and he was a wonderful man. He loved God, did jobs for the CofE church and the Catholic church as well. But the Catholic faith is the one true faith.
          Viva Cristo Rey
          Peter
          +JMJ+

        • RapistAndFalse ProphetMuhammed

          So does not mean Luther has the right change any doctrine of the Church . He has no right to do what ever he wants with the Scriptures . I am a Catholic because the Catholic Church is the correct Church and the doctrines of the Catholic Church is perfect . Just because some priest or Bishop is not acting properly , does not mean I should leave the Catholic Church . Those priests or Bishops will give account of their own sins , we are not kept to judge them . The duty as a catholic is to follow the sacraments properly at attend the Holy Eucharist .

    • Mark

      I think people are putting too much into this once great for the kids holiday. I think no matter what you’re believes are that you should turn your porch light on and if you don’t want to decorate then don’t but at least have can’t for the life ones that like this holiday. The little ones don’t think anything of this holiday but a day as to where they can use their imagination to be something other than themselves for one day and to get treats….
      I think for one day out of the year that we grown-ups should set our believes aside and let the kids have some fun

    • George DeBear

      One comment: If your child broke the neighbor’s window, you would most definitely have him go “fess up” and apologize,.. right? But as a good Christian parent wouldn’t you teach him that, although he rightly apologized, he must make amends by cleaning it up, paying for it, and maybe offer to do something nice for his neighbor. Ah, true justice has so many good lessons to impart … I believe that’s one of the reasons why God let’s us “participate”!

    • Henry Ptak

      What you need is a correct translation of the Bible – no Catholic “decorates” his home with the Virgin Mary, we honor her as “our tainted nature’s solitary boast” and as our mother. Jesus willed it so Himself from the cross. There’s also a world of difference between “Greetings, O highly favored daughter” and :”Hail, full of grace”. As for our use of sacramentals, our belief in the effectiveness of intercessory prayer, and the “good and wholesome” practice of praying for the dead being “unbiblical”, these are tired and oft-refuted protestant canards. Please don’t repeat them here. I highly recommend the Douay Rheims translation of the Bible, or at very least, one that includes 2 Maccabees.

    • Annel Rodriguez

      You are correct, we must not be afraid of evil because Christ had conquered death and he’ll, HOWEVER, if you are a Christian you must acknowledge the spiritual dangers and realities that are every where and disregarding the history of this holiday how it started and what has become endangeres your Christian position. I respect you are not a Catholic, but you profess being a Christian and you dont have to be a Catholic to see how Halloween has become so pagan and we Christians are CALLED to be salt and light of the world NOT follow it. Please pray for wisdom and light you are a good well intention Christian ad many in this posting sight but we CAN NOT just profess words we MUST ALSO LIVE IT, its biblical that’s HOW THE WORLD will recognize you and please do not miss understand me you DO NOT have to be Catholic. I know many good well intentioned God loving wonderful none Catholic Christians but precisely because you are one dies not

      • Annel Rodriguez

        Does not justify for us to ignore the truths and realities behind the celebrations or social and cultural dangers to our souls. Please pray for wisdom and enlightenment. Peace.

      • AngelS

        Annel Rodriguez I am a Christian, saved by the blood of Jesus! Just so you understand, I agree with yourcomment. I do not like Halloween and I do not celebrate it. The closest I come to doing so is to give out a little chocolate to my neighbor’s little children when they come to my door. That is the closest that I come to celebrating it, and I do it so that I won’t be known as the neighborhood grouch. After all, what kind of witness is that?

  • Thegambo

    I was happy to see the churches in my city have a “Hallelujah” celebration. . No ghouls or skeletons or evil innuendos allowed.. Nice Disney characters – carnival type games of balloon busting, cotton candy machine, softball ‘throw’ and various games and with your participation you got candy at each stop… Hot dogs and punch and a really clean , fun, night — whether outside or inside depending on weather… SO my 5 grandkids, grown now, never went trick or treating .. ever..

  • Br. WilliamDesmond

    All very interesting to Me. Knowing that ultimately God is sovereign and in control of all things… Everything is as it should be. For those of us who would like to be God himself we would change what is to suit or very limited understanding of the Universe. All thing are created for Christ , through Christ and in Christ, that includes Halloween in all it’s forms and purposes. Why as Humans do we have such a hard time doing what God’s Holy Mother teaches us.” Let It Be “

  • Glenn Shumway

    I was born, raised, and educated as a Roman Catholic (grad. Jesuit High School, New Orleans 1957), but did not discover the TRUTH about that ANTI-CHRIST religion until I married a born-again Christian lady in 1985. Two years later, shortly after I asked the Lord Yeshua (his God-given name – Matthew 1:21 – the Hebrew for “he shall save” Strong’s H3442) to be the Lord of my life, I received the “baptism in the Spirit”, was knocked off the sofa and onto my knees, gasping for breath, tears streaming down my face. This lasted for almost an hour. Since then there have been MANY “signs and wonders” evidenced in our lives as continuing proof of the validity of that experience, and my wife’s similar.
    FYI, the celebration of birthdays is a 100% PAGAN practice throughout the Bible, and is NOWHERE endorsed or allowed by the Savior or by ANY of his disciples. His ACTUAL date of birth was Sept. 23, 3BC, on the first day of the Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles) of that year. More at… Home
    http://tinyurl.com/TorahKingdomLivingdtcmHomepage

    • whawell

      I don’t mean to lessen the validity of your religious experience, for I too had a similar one that “knock me off the sofa”, if you will. It’s that experience and response to it that caused me to revisit the Catholic up-bringing of my youth. That occurred more than 40 years ago, and I am still a practicing & devoted Catholic with an ever greater understanding and appreciation of the faith passed on to us initially by Christ’s immediate followers with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. That said, I find no admonishment in Holy Scriptures concerning birthday celebrations. Whenever we celebrate the birthday of our Lord and of friends and relatives, we are in fact affirming the value of God’s gifts to us in each individual he created. It’s all about love, which the apostle Paul urged us to make as our greatest quest in life. As to Christ’s birth day, no one knows with any certainty when it actually occurred. What’s important however is that we recognize its very importance – God our Savior is with us – and significance to humankind. Having special moments in our lives to reflect on certain aspects of God is something to aspire to as Christians. It’s no different than putting time aside for prayer upon arising in the morning and just before retiring at night. Of course we should also take time to reflect in between those times as well.

      • AngelS

        Whawell – I appreciated your comment. I feel that we can become so dogmatic and so overly religious that we miss the main theme of the gospel, the first commandment, which is to LOVE! I had dogmatic, overly zealous people in my family who managed to drive people away from the gospel rather than them wanting to embrace it.

        • whawell

          I looked back to read your comments. We definitely have a different backgrounds, yet we both love the Lord. Amen! I firmly believe the Lord established just one faith that someday will unite us all. While the faith appears to be crumbling before our eyes, still I pray for unity. This Saturday I will be meeting with several friends from different denominations for prayer and sharing. Thank you for the compliment. I appreciate your input as well.

  • Mark

    I am a Christian and find this to be ridiculous. Satan’s of Christmas? Come on people. Holoween is a perfectly fine holiday. You need to quit trying to put fear into our children. It’s not Christ like to put fear into people just because you don’t believe in something. I was taught that in doing so makes you a terrorist. A terrorist is one that tries to instill fear into someone or a group of people. How about you posting things that would bring back traditions instead of trying to get rid of them.

    • jeremy langlois

      Please get your facts right,

      “I am a Christian and find this to be ridiculous. Satan’s of Christmas? Come on people. Holoween is a perfectly fine holiday.” (Halloween was perfect for Christian before the Satanist came in.)

      “You need to quit trying to put fear into our children.” (it’s awareness to protect their faith.)

      “It’s not Christ like to put fear into people just because you don’t believe in something.” (I believe that is dangerous to celebrate modern Halloween.)

      I was taught that in doing so makes you a terrorist. (so, If I teach my children that playing with fire is dangerous, I’m a terrorist?)

      “A terrorist is one that tries to instill fear into someone or a group of people. How about you posting things that would bring back traditions instead of trying to get rid of them.” (we (as Christians) are trying to bring back traditions.)

  • Russell Alexander

    It would be unchaste to dress children as saints on All Hallows Eve. Halloween is the vigil of All Saints Day, it is not the day itself. Mixing the two ideas blurs the lines which children need to learn to protect themselves from evil and to give proper honor to the holy.
    We dress as ghouls and evil spirits and people on Halloween because the Saints have defeated them and inoculated us to their once formidable power. Children are mocking and playing when they dress for Halloween, because with the Saints they need not be terrified by the boogies. Rather, since Christ’s passion, evil can be faced and managed. This is the lesson of the progression of Halloween to All Saints Day.
    We need to consider the evil that threatens us, so we recall the things that frighten us, but we can be merry about it, because Christ has overcome the world and evil.
    Then at midnight we turn to the Saints and offer our thanks for their help in making us secure — and ask them to help keep us so.
    That is how to celebrate Halloween as a Catholic. — Dressing as Saints is no part of it.

  • RubbLe1

    As a Protestant, I really appreciate the first half of this article. Trying to understand any biblical grounds for praying for the dead or for Purgatory. Delineation from Scripture is what gets us in all sorts of trouble. I’m writing this in a conciliatory attitude. Honest responses appreciated.

    • TMAS

      Dear Friend, Praying for the dead makes so much sense when we recognize the reality of the Church Pentitent, the Church Militant and the Church Triumphant. I recommend reading up on this particular teaching of the church. Also, Scripture and Tradition as coexisting since the early church is another reality of Christianity that answers many questions. Recommend also many online resources for exploring the catholic (Greek for universal) church.

  • cat

    Can’t resist commenting on this article, as I went to Catholic school back in the day, and of course we were taught the relationship of Halloween to All Saints Day, but at school it was always a festive day we looked forward to, with emphasis on fun rather than fright. Sort of an occasion to legitimately “break the rules” within limits.
    We went to school in costume and attempted to have class in the morning. I usually dressed as whichever animal I was interested in that year: bear, cat, dog, bunny, etc. There were a lot of princesses, superheroes, cartoon & movie characters, but I don’t seem to remember witches, ghosts, or devils. (The teachers were already in costume: nuns!)
    After lunch the party kicked off with a costume parade, followed by games, contests, & a talent show. There were plenty of prizes & refreshments.
    As I lived in a neighborhood with lots of kids, trick or treat was somewhat of an institution. When we were little, our parents took us around, but when we got older, around fourth grade, we got to go out on our own in groups, which was exciting in itself. (“Only go to houses with their porch light on.”) I rationed my candy over the next several months, most likely resulting in consequences at the dentist’s.
    While over the years the truly grotesque and even violent has infiltrated the manifestation of Halloween, I’m glad I have so many memories of more innocent good times, accented by the natural spookiness of the lengthening nights of autumn, and the mystery of saints in heaven with God.

    • AngelS

      I went to a public school back in Canada but my remembrances are similar to yours growing up. It was a fun day and as kids we looked forward to the fun of dressing up and getting candy. We were not celebrating the sinister roots of worshiping the devil or anything else that is now brought out about the roots of the pagan holiday. Even back then though I remember my Christian dad wondering if it was right for us to partake of any aspect of Halloween including trick-or-treating, although my mom over ruled him in that instance. It was one of the more fun things of my growing up years that I look back fondly on.

  • AngelS

    I have read every comment posted here, and just to clarify – in case some of them are referring to my comment – I didn’t comment to get into a religious discussion with you. What I posted was in response to the article and I thought I was quoting from it. I was merely pointing out that as a protestant, I would not be celebrating All Saints Day, and my reasons for it. I did not mean to offend any of you catholics out there. We are all entitled to our own beliefs and if you are true believers, then we are all a part of the family of God and should be ruled by God’s love showing forth in our lives. Have a good day!

  • Gildaswiseman

    Lets have angels and saints and let the children dress accordingly. They can give blessings as opposed to trick or treat.