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Catholic Answers to Your Halloween Questions!

Last edited 6th November 2015

Catholic Answers to Your Halloween Questions!

“Is Halloween an evil holiday?” Nope! The word itself means “All Hallows’ Eve” (“hallow” is an old-fashioned word for holy) because it’s the night before the feast of All Saints. There’s a lot of research that’s been done on the origin of this holiday but I’ll save you the long version and just tell you: it was always our holiday.

“So is it okay for Catholics to celebrate Halloween?” Sure! There’s nothing wrong with putting on a costume, trick-or-treating, and enjoying the company of your friends and family. Of course, some misled people take the holiday too far and make it more satanic than it should be. However, that’s not a reason for the rest of us Christians to be scared away.

For answers to all this more visit this Life Teen article about Halloween!

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Siuyin Ho
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Siuyin Ho wrote at 1:25pm on October 31st 2015
Well, not too different from the Catholic origins of the Carnivale in Rio de Jeniero, Brazil, which btw before it was introduced to the Americas with the arrival of the Spanish and Portuguese, was celebrated as a liturgical Feast to mark the beginning of Lent. EWTN "Feasts & Seasons" cooking show gave a great insight into such traditions during Lent this year. Basically, the pre-Lenten Carnivale was a huge BBQ co-mingled with lots of pagentry and pilgrimage. The last day to feast on meat before fasting from it for a whole month. In more recent times, with the secularization of social life in Latin America as elsewhere, the Carnivale had sadly been given over to secular interests more, no longer being convened exclusively by the Church for the edification of the faithful.

A similar situation now applies to Halloween/All Saints as to many other Feasts on the liturgical calendar. When the regularity of extensive celebration of Solemnities right througout the calendar had pretty much died off during the 19th and 20th centuries, many Catholics tended towards only celebrating Christmas and Easter more seriously which meant that other Feast days were pretty much no longer really focused on festively. And this trend has been more contemporarily been the stuff of parts of the world with more recent Catholic histories and influences such as Australia and New Zealand.

Also it is important to remember that the Feast of All Saints was originally observed as a commemoration of the life & times of the Early Christian martyrs which a little later on in the piece was extended as a special time to remember all the Saints and not just martyrs. But because the martyrs deaths on the whole were so gruesome, it helped the faithful in Medieval times particularly, to correlate this with the Easter symbolism it contained. This makes a whole lot of sense when we think about the agony and suffering Jesus went through before His own resurrection. The martyrs, who so selflessly followed in the footsteps of Jesus shared so deeply in His suffering that made them then co-heirs with Him in their winning of the Heavenly crown. We can therefore see the vigil of All Hallows somewhat akin to "Good Friday & Holy Saturday vigils" for the martyrs where their deaths are commemorated as giving way to the glory of their Easter triumph over death on All Saints Day. Extending this to all whom have been declared Saints makes evident the interplay of sacrifice and redemption so clearly & exemplarily evident in their lives, which is why it is just so awesome to get to know them as friends and follow their example.

All Souls on November 2nd shows an extraordinary exhortation to all - that we should all embrace the sacred promise conferred upon us at our baptism - to follow in the footsteps of Christ and all the Saints in the sanctification of our earthly lives so that we too can share in the joy and abundance of our Heavenly reward for all eternity. As mercy is such a great component of our call by God to serve others with charity and love, remembering in prayerful union with our loved ones who have gone before helps us to anchor our hearts in that place of charity which recognises the importance of cherishing the sanctity of life, and in it's earthly shortness when compared with eternity, be able to comprehend it's preciousness and love it precisely because of this for this is what God seems to be saying by as in the smaller things of life, how much more in the bigger.