In the last 15 years, Halloween has increasingly become a major event celebrated in today’s secular culture. It is no longer just a day where kids go out to trick or treat for candy. Adults celebrate it with parties. TV and Hollywood make it a big item on their program list. It is put on a similar level as the secular celebration of Christmas.
I have no problem with children going out to trick or treat and wearing an appropriate costume, where they dress up as a favorite character. But I do think families should tone down the growing extravagance in our culture’s celebration of Halloween. There is no need for adults to go to Halloween parties all dressed up in expensive and time intensive costumes. Let’s give the day back to kids. Let them have some fun going door to door to beg for candy. In my time, we would yell out “help the poor” as we came to a house. It was something as kids we all looked forward to.
We don’t observe the western church calendar, but, as many know, November 1st is All Saints Day. The actual word “Halloween” refers to the eve of the Holy. This is a time when the departed are remembered in the western churches, as we remember them at our memorial liturgies throughout the year. Today, the problem with Halloween is that its purpose of praying for the departed has now been distorted. Halloween has become a day of preoccupation with the dead. Horror movies are shown on TV several weeks before Halloween up until the 31st. We don’t need this.
Perhaps it would be better before going out to trick or treat, that the family would gather to say prayers for family members who have departed this life in the hope of the Resurrection. Because He has risen, death for us is a passage to life. This is what we should remember on Halloween. And by the way, you can save me a piece of candy!
The blessing of the Lord be upon you!