When our friend, who knows that we are a “hardcore” Catholic family, asked if I would “let our child celebrate Halloween,” my immediate reaction was “No!” Instead, I said, “I’m not sure, I haven’t considered it.” At first thought, Halloween is sinful, right? Goblins, witches, ghosts, the evil one, gluttony (candy!), vampires, haunted houses and evils spirits. (Don’t fret, that is what the economy wants you to think.) Halloween is actually OUR holiday. History proves that Halloween is a Catholic holiday!
Therefore, my husband and I have decided that we are going to let our son partake in our version of Halloween. This decision is mostly because Halloween is a “holy mockery of the devil” and as St. Thomas More said, “the proud spirit cannot endure to be mocked.”
The History of Halloween
Halloween comes from the phrase “All Hallows Eve.” Hallows means Holy or Saints and “All Hallows Eve,” or “Hallowe’en” is really just the night before a very important Holy Day of Obligation in the Roman Catholic Church: All Saints Day!
In 609 AD, Pope Boniface IV established All Saints Day on May 13th and then in the mid-eighth century, Pope Gregory III moved All Saints Day to November 1st. All Saints Day is a day which is dedicated to the saints of the Roman Catholic Church, which includes everyone in heaven.
The day after All Saints Day is All Souls Day. All Souls Day is dedicated to those souls who have died and not yet gone to heaven and is annually observed on November 2. As this year is the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fátima, let us remember how our Blessed Mother told the three children that “there were many souls in purgatory that had no one to pray for them.”
To me, not being able to reach heaven after my life on Earth is finished is scarier than any Haunted House in the entire world. Even the Haunted Labyrinth in Cranston, R.I. (which benefits the Rejoice in Hope youth center.)
How We Celebrate Halloween
Last year, our son was roughly 10 months old and was a Lion for Halloween. This really meant that I took three photos of him in his costume until he had a meltdown and wouldn’t settle down until I took the costume off. He then happily played with the tail and the mouse that came with the costume.
This year, our little love will be a Franciscan Friar for Halloween. I am making his costume and hopefully it will come out well. I will be sure to post pictures (regardless of the outcome) on social media when it is finished!
Like last year, we plan on visiting with family and friends and forgoing trick or treating or any Halloween parties.
When he is older, he may want to go trick-or-treating and he may want to go to Halloween get-togethers, but for now, we are enjoying a more quiet and simple holiday.
How We Don’t Celebrate Halloween:
We don’t mess around with Ouija boards, spells, séances or anything of the sort.
‘Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 19:31
“Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD; because of these same detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you.” Deuteronomy 18:10-12
I think God is pretty clear on that point. But, if you’d like more bible quotes on that topic, click here.
Last week, my son and I were taking a walk when we spotted a cat in the neighbor’s yard. My son LOVES animals and immediately started to call after the cat and use some hand signals that we use for our cat. He couldn’t understand why the cat was outside though. He kept “baby babbling” that the kitty was outside and that our cat was inside. When we got home he kept running after our kitty and pointing outside. I explained to him that while our cat lives inside with us and is considered an “indoor cat”, some other people have “outdoor cats” and the cats live both inside and outside of the home. I am really hoping he got the message and doesn’t try to push our cat outside the next chance he gets.
What does this have to do with Ouija boards? Just as I explained to our son that some people decide to let their cats live both outside and inside, we made a different decision. As our son gets older, I want him to understand that some families make different decisions than we do and it doesn’t mean that they are bad just because their decisions are different. So, while his friend may have a Ouija board, he will be told (and I pray he listens) that he should not “play” with it ever. Maybe his parents have no idea how terrible these boards are and perhaps my son will be the light that brings them to the truth.
We also don’t forget the “reason for the Halloween season”, which is All Saints and All Souls Day.
While our little love is still too little to completely understand it, we make it a point to highlight All Saints Day and All Souls Day. In addition to taking him to Mass with us, I show him prayer cards of saints and explain to him that we must always pray that our family members and friends who have passed away make it to heaven and that they need our prayers to get there faster. One qualm I have with those who say that Catholics “worship” or “idolize” saints is that they don’t realize that we love the saints as if they were our family members and we ask for their help from time to time. You don’t “worship” your sweet Uncle Joe that passed away a few years ago, you just love and miss him and hope that he is in Heaven watching over you and your family members.
I would love to have our son dress up as one of our favorite Saints for Halloween or All Saints Day one year. I can imagine how adorable he would be as St. John the Baptist, St. John Paul II, Saint Francis of Assisi, Padre Pio or Saint Maximillian Kolbe. Perhaps one year we will host an All Saints Day party and invite all our Catholic Mom Rhode Island friends!
Now that I know Halloween is actually a Roman Catholic Holiday, I won’t feel as bad eating most of the candy that my son is given when he is older. Just kidding, gluttony isn’t worth missing out on Heaven.
How will you celebrate Halloween and All Saints Day? Please, share with us on Facebook!
As always, thank you for reading and May the Blessed Virgin Mary be with you always.
Why Catholics Should Embrace Halloween. Catholic Answers, 14 July 2016, www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/why-catholics-should-embrace-halloween.
All Saints' Day - Saints & Angels. Catholic Online, www.catholic.org/saints/allsaints/.
Thompson, Father Augustine. “The Catholic Origins of Halloween.” UCatholic, 31 Oct. 2016, www.ucatholic.com/blog/the-catholic-origins-of-halloween/.