Things I’ll tell my kids about Halloween:
1. “Hallow” means to “sanctify and venerate.” Tonight is the vigil for venerating the saints and our beloved dead who are in heaven.
3. Legend has it that during this vigil of All Saint’s Day, the veil between Purgatory and earth is made thinner and the souls of the dead become more visible. Hence the association of All Hallow’s Eve with ghouls and ghosts….
4. Trick or treating started as “souling” where children and the poor would go door to door asking for food in exchange for singing and praying for the dead of the households. All Catholics should demand prayers from their Trick or Treaters. :)
5. “Harvest Festivals” set up as alternatives to Halloween are really more similar to the pagan feast of Samhain (a Celtic Harvest celebration) than the All Hallow’s Eve of Christian tradition. Ironic, huh?
6. Halloween, kind of like Christmas, is a fundamentally Christian holiday that has picked up pagan, secular, and commercial baggage over the years. Most of the bad stuff has been created by opportunistic marketers trying to make a buck.
7. Unlike centuries ago, we have the luxury of laughing at fear and superstition. Our faith makes lasting fear unnecessary. The fact that fright is fun on Halloween speaks to the power of God’s saving grace.
Traditionally, you can obtain a partial indulgence for the souls of your loved ones by reciting this prayer from Psalm 130. Pray early and often.
Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice.
Let Your ears be attentive to my voice in supplication.
If You, O Lord, mark iniquities, Lord, who can stand?
But with You is forgiveness, that You may be revered.
I trust in the Lord; my soul trusts in His word.
My soul waits for the Lord more than sentinels wait for the dawn.
More than sentinels wait for the dawn, let Israel wait for the Lord,
For with the Lord is kindness and with Him is plenteous redemption;
And He will redeem Israel from all their iniquities.