Wednesday, 7 November 2012

All Saints’ Eve (Halloween)


Leaflet prepared by a Christian family with young children living in London.

All Saints’ Eve (Halloween)

The meaning of the word Halloween
The word "Halloween" comes from the Christian celebration of All Saints Day; a day set
aside for the solemn remembrance of the Saints and Martyrs.

Hallow is the same word for "holy" which is found in the Christian prayer of the “Our
Father”. While e'en is a short form for the word "evening." The word Halloween itself is
therefore a shortened form of "All Hallows Eve," the evening before All Saints Day.
Today’s evil celebration of Halloween

Commercialised celebration of Halloween is far off from its original Christian meaning. Evil,
death and darkness is celebrated and glorified. Children dress up as devils, vampires, ghosts
and witches etc. Violent and horror movies etc with Halloween settings flood the media
exposing children to horror that could leave psychological and emotional scars. Some
youngsters are engaged in malicious acts "for fun". Others might even get involved in the
dangerous practises of the occult.

A celebration of light instead of darkness

Everyone of us has the internal desire to choose life, happiness and love rather than death,
darkness and horror. It is vital to replace the glorification of evil and darkness with good and
light, and take the frights out of the celebration. The children’s fun in wearing costumes and
receiving sweets can still remain, but instead of wearing costumes that glorify death and
darkness they ought to wear ones that promote goodness and life. As caring parents we must
do our best to make this change happen and to replace any horrible tricks with good deeds
e.g. entertainment such as singing or even a simple prayer, or good wishes, said at the door.

Christian teachings on Halloween

Christian Catholics celebrate the feast of All Saint's on the eve of 31st October and the
following day. Christians reject evil and promise to turn away from "Satan and all his works"
at their baptism. Christians are not afraid of evil because of the victory of Jesus Christ over
evil by His Cross and Resurrection (1 John 3:8). Christ conquered sin and Satan once and for
all. Everyone can share in this victory, and Christian Halloween is in fact a celebration of
those holy men and woman, the Saints, who already won this victory during their lives and
after their death (Colossians 1:12-14; Hebrews 2:14-15 and see Catechism of the Catholic
Church, paragraphs 391, 395, 655).


LET US TEACH OUR CHILDREN THAT THIS EVENING IS A CEELEBRATION OF
LIGHT AND GOODNESS, RATHER THAN ONE OF DARKNESS AND HORROR

St Patrick's Soho Square
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