The question “Should Catholics celebrate Halloween?”, is a well disputed question. Certainly, we should avoid inviting in or glorifying the cult of evil or emulating the mutilation of life. After that, as a Catholic, I say game on to Halloween and here’s why!
Christian History of Halloween
Legend (aka. History) has it that our the early Christian ancestors intentionally instituted the celebration of All Souls and All Saints day in direct contrast to the pagan celebrations that would take place during harvest time. Similar elevations of pagan celebrations could be notedly transformed by the light of faith into Holy Days/holidays such as Christmas and Easter. These Holy Days elevated cultures as they focused on bringing the eternal to the temporal. But, as we have experienced over the years, these Holy days are feeling more like pagan celebrations once again.
As Catholics, the fullness of the Faith makes us key holders to turning the light on for our culture. Why is the Faith spread all over the world? Because Catholics unlocked their doors, and emboldened by the spirit of the Lord, went out into the darkness of the cultures and even in threat of death became lights to their neighbors. So, I renew the proposal to celebrate Halloween on our own terms this year. Not just to focus on keeping evil from ourselves, but to go out and bring light to others around us.
Let’s Be Light on Halloween Night
Isn’t the best thing about secular Halloween that we have an invitation to knock on any one’s door with their light on and ask them for free goodies.? I like to go trick or treating just so I can finally meet my neighbors! Here we have the possibility of elevating the act of trick or treating into a moment of profound love of neighbor. We can give every piece of candy out in Jesus’ name. The act of giving can be a prayer for our neighbor when we give in His name. If we are tempted to judge someone by their appearance, we can give them extra candy and Mercy in the name of Jesus.
We can let our neighbors know we are there for them with the kindness of our face and the generosity of our smile. Likewise, the act of receiving this hospitality should be full of graciousness and gratitude. We can educate our children to receive their treats in the name of Jesus for the edification of their neighbor. As we walk the neighborhood, we can remind them of how we are pilgrims here on a journey serving each other and bringing each other towards heaven. If we focused on these two simple acts this Halloween, we would bring light and grace into our neighborhoods.
But we don’t have to stop there. In true Catholic fashion, we can DIY our neighbors towards heaven by using the temporal means to guide them towards the deeper meaning of All Souls Day. All Souls Day should be a celebration of the sacredness and the mystery of life during which we pray for all Souls, living and dead. God in His goodness saw fit to give man a Body and Soul, so that by living a life in the Light of Truth, Beauty and Goodness, we can choose to spend an eternity with God. This is God’s ultimate desire for mankind. So instead of fearing evil, let us fear God this Halloween, as the gift of the Holy Spirit allows us, so that we may not only get to heaven ourselves, but acknowledge the communal aspect of achieving heaven. No one gets to heaven by themselves and no one goes to heaven without bringing another with them.
Catholic Halloween for Kids
Whether you decide to give out candy corn or holy cards, dress your kids up as nuns or ninja’s, freak out your neighbors by dressing up as a monk and playing chants surrounded by candles, or DIYing 100 Saint pumpkins in your front yard as you blast let the Saints go marching in, let’s decide to bring the light of Christ, the Hope of Heaven, and Love of neighbor into this Holy Day in whatever crafty way you are inspired.
We want to hear what you do! Share your Halloween of Light moments or pictures with us below.