Next weekend is Halloween weekend, a time anticipated by children and prepared for many weeks in advance. I went to Sam’s Club this month to buy the candy treats I will offer the visitors this year.
The celebration of Halloween has a strong religious origin. The English are fond of contractions. The word is the contraction of All-Hallows-Eve – the Eve of the Feast of All Saints.
Just as before Ash Wednesday there is the tradition of celebration in Mardi Gras; so also, on the night before All Saints Day there is celebration. In some Latin countries there are great Fiestas in the city or village square – eating and dancing – people in costume. At midnight “the Grim Reaper” – Death appears in the square, shrouded in black and carrying the reapers scythe. Death joins in the dancing and all are invited to dance with Death. The teaching is: “Once you have danced with Death, you have nothing to fear.”
Some fundamental Christians get bent out of shape with the observance of Halloween. They speak of it as being “Satanic” and “Devil worship”. Forget about that. Prepare for children to ring your door-bell and be ready to greet them with a smile and a treat. For some of us older folks it is one of the few times in the year we have to engage one-on-one with the children of the neighborhood. Enjoy!
Father Steve Adrian