Pastor’s Message: Halloween Was Born of Two Holy Days
Our society naturally has found a way to make big bucks off of Halloween, and to dredge up all the unwholesome aspects of the day—the blood and guts, the fear and horror. We forget that Halloween was born of two Catholic holy days-- All Saints Day (November 1), and All Souls Day (November 2). All Saints Day celebrates those heroes of our faith - men, women, and children - who have gone before us into eternity. They are, and we are, part of the Communion of Saints. We Catholics honor and invoke the saints.
All Souls Day reverently celebrates the lives and souls of our own departed family members, who also have died and entered into the Communion of Saints in heaven. All Souls Day is connected to Easter, that, in Christ we will rise again on the last day.
Notice these contrasts: Halloween is scary; All Souls is peaceful. All Souls celebrates the souls of the faithful departed, who are not ghosts, but human souls and saints. Halloween dredges up axe murderers; All Souls tells us that murderers will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. Halloween shows us the horror of a cemetery; All Souls shows us the sanctity of a cemetery. Halloween relies on a Ouija Board; All Saints shows us the power of prayer. Halloween shows us sudden death and a tormented afterlife. All Souls shows us the everlasting happiness and glory of heaven. Halloween emphasizes falsehoods; All Souls emphasizes the truth.
So I hope you enjoy Halloween without getting carried away with the bad side of it. And then enjoy All Saints Day and All Souls Day.
As Catholics, we are encouraged to read Scripture,
especially focusing on the readings included in our liturgies.
An easy way to find these and other Scripture texts is to link
to the site for the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops: Today’s