With Halloween coming this Wednesday, every year I get asked if it is OK for Catholics to celebrate Halloween? My response? ABSOLUTELY YES! However, there is a caveat to my endorsement. Celebrate Halloween as a Catholic holiday, not a secular one!! There are plenty of ways that we can celebrate this occasion without violating any of the teachings of the Catholic Faith. Here are three practical ways to do this.
Remember the saints! Instead of focusing only on just fun and merriment, let us emphasize that Halloween is short for All Hallow’s Eve. Halloween is the vigil to the celebration of All Hallow’s Day or All Saints Day – a holy day of obligation. The word “hallow” means holy. So the origin of Halloween is holy! It is a meaningful celebration of the lives of all the saints and these saints include our loved ones who are now in heaven. Halloween is an opportune time to remember the saints with our family and friends. Celebrate Halloween by coming to our 7:00pm Mass on October 31st, the vigil of All Hallow’s Day!
Talk about spiritual warfare! Halloween is full of references of evil spirits and dark forces. The occasion is an opportune time to evangelize others about the reality of these evil elements. We can talk to our friends and family about spiritual warfare. More importantly, we can share with them that God is powerful and He will faithfully protect us from harm. Halloween is a day to reflect on Christ’s triumph over sin, death, and Satan. It is our day to laugh at Satan!
Dress appropriately! There is nothing wrong with wearing a costume to join in on the merriment but we need to keep in mind what the Bible says about dressing modestly. We can still participate in the fun without having to wear something that is shameful in the eyes of God. Similarly, we must be careful about costumes that glorify supernatural evil or superstition. Catholic parents can counteract the costumed characters of violence and darkness by sending their children dressed as one of the saints. Imagine that! A saint showing up at your door instead of a gross bloody Dracula!!
It is true that Halloween has been badly corrupted and hyper-commercialized just like Christmas and Easter, but, just as that should never stop Catholics from fully celebrating the great feast of the Church, neither should it stop Catholics from enjoying Halloween as a celebration of the great feast of All Saints. So, have some fun – and Happy Eve of All Saints!!
Have a blessed week!