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Sunday, October 30, 2011


Christian perspective on Halloween

An Episcopal (e.g. Protestant) Christian's view.

Since the eighth century Christians have celebrated All Saints' Day on November 1 to celebrate the known and unknown Christian Saints. Saints are not just those whom the Church has canonized, but all members of that "cloud of witnesses" who proclaim Jesus as Lord - including you and me!
Almost as old as the celebration of All Saints' Day is the tradition associated with All Hallow's Eve. ("Hallows" mean "saints," both mean "holy ones," as in "Hallowed be thy name." "Eve" means the evening before.) So, Halloween means "the evening before All Holy Ones' Day." Today we call that festival Halloween (Hallow's Eve) and we have many fun secular ways of recognizing it in addition to religious ways. However, it's important to remember that its celebration has a long, positive history in the Church.
What sort of history is that? Like many of the liturgical festivals (Christmas and Easter included), All Saints' Day and All Hallow's Eve have some connection to pagan festivals. People of many races and cultures have remembered their dead and have had superstitions about death itself. Christians remembered death itself on All Hallow's Eve and celebrated Christ's victory over death. During the Middle Ages, Christians would gather in Churches for worship and they would remember the saints' victories over evil. Likewise they would put on little displays showing Jesus' victory of Satan, often using unusual masks and costumes to act out the story.
Thus, the festivities on All Hallow's Eve were the Christian's way of laughing at death and evil, something we can do in certain hope of Christ's victory over the powers of darkness. The Church for centuries, however, has seen All Hallow's Eve not as a glorification of evil, but as a chance to affirm eternal life in the face of the death of our mortal bodies. Just as Easter is a celebration of Jesus' victory over death and evil, so is Halloween!
1995 (with minor corrections and changes over the years)
in response to email castigating for glorifying evil when it was doing anything but that! :-)
For some other perspectives on a Christian Halloween, please see:

I was raised in the Catholic church and we celebrated All Saints Day rather than Halloween at school. Most of our parents did allow us to trick or treat  on Halloween. I think it can be a fun and safe holiday if you keep in mind that kids are kids and they like to follow their peers. It is most difficult in school for children to be set aside because of a religious belief  about Halloween. I have always had a good balance on the subject and my children know the truth! So we do not have a problem with Halloween because we basically handout candy to the neighborhood kids and add a few decorative items throughout our home.
I wanted to share this verse with you today in honor of Charlotte and all the hard work she does to prepare our weekly Spiritual Sunday.
"You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." John 8:322
I have seen this verse being misconstrued in movies and people using it in silly talk! The truth of the matter is Christ is the truth and knowing Him will idea set you free!
Enjoy your day and enjoy your friendships here as well.

Here is a tasty autumn soup to share today. The recipe comes from Bethany M Giles who is also the photographer of this delightful soup:

1 acorn squash
2 sweet potatoes
1 medium pumpkin
2 14 oz. cans of coconut milk
14.5 ozs. chicken broth
salt,ground pepper and ginger to taste
1 lime juiced

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
2. Puncture the acorn squash and pumpkin with a knife and wrap the sweet potatoes in foil. Place them on a baking sheet lined with foil.
3. Bake approximately 2 hours until the skin the pumpkin begins to brown and caves in.
4. Remove the sweet potatoes skins and chop. Skin,seed and mash the acorn squash and pumpkin. Stir in the coconut milk, reserving 1/2 cup for garnish. Add chicken broth. Season with salt, pepper and ginger and the lime juice.
5.Cook over medium heat until heated through. Serve with a lime wedge and a drizzle of coconut milk.

This delightful soup was found at and you may subsitute canned pumpkin for this soup. It is festive for this season!


NanaDiana said...

I agree- We have families that are not allowed to trick or treat and it does make the kids feel set aside and "different". I think as long as they know the truth and can just think of it as a fun day to dress up and pretend to be someone else for a little while...they will understand that.

AND..the recipe looks wonderful!

Heather and Kathy said...

Halloween is just not my favorite holiday. I have never really liked it even when I was a kid. I did like dressing up in a costume, but that was about it for me. I am thankful I don't have children because I don't have to get into the entire hallween debate with them. Halloween reminds me too much of my mother this year and like last year, I am just going to hide in the house. She always loved passing out candy to the little ones and it just hurts too much to do it this year. maybe next year. I don't know.


Theresa said...

I don't do HUGE Halloween but have dressed up in cute costumes in the past! When I worked, we always had a contest and I enjoyed it! We always go to a friend's house for snacks and take the little ones around their neighborhood! That's it for me, I don't like the scary part but cute is OK with me! Big hugs and thanks for the recipe:)

Mevely317 said...

I found this SO very interesting! Growing up in the 50's, my Halloween memories are all happy, giggly ones.
Only a few years ago did I meet a few individuals who won't allow their children/grandchildren to partake -- believing Halloween a pagan rite. Sad.

Sarah (Nikki) said...

Good post and recipe....will have to try that...

Marydon said...

Anne, I love your share on Halloween. We are Catholic also & celebrated All Soul's Day, but had a blast T&T. My NIL won't allow the children to do Halloween, I always feel badly for them.

The recipe sounds deelish!

Wish Nick the best in his upcoming race. Oh, I know that look of pain in a runners face. Prayers & our bset, Nick. Go gettum.

Hope you have a lovely week, sweetie.

BOO-T-ful Halloween wishes ~

Splendid Little Stars said...

I going to try this, but substituting veggie broth. I have a lot of squash and pumpkins from a CSA I belong to. This sounds yummy!