I am a bit mortified at the whole "scary" business during Halloween. For heaven's sake, this is supposed to be a childrens' celebration! Why on earth would you put something on that would scare the pants off them and then go out in public!?! Honestly parents, we need to do a better job on this. If your kid is going out looking like death on a stick, maybe it's time to have a sit down talk with him/her.
The name "Halloween" comes from Old English. It began with the English reference to All Saints Day (November 1st) on the Catholic calendar. The English referred to the All Saints as "All Hallows." You've heard the term before right? "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name..." It's just another way of saying "holy" or "sanctified." All Saints Day (November 1st) is the day on the liturgical calendar when we honor all those who have died in Christ and now LIVE in heaven. It's a celebration of eternal life! The night before All Saints Day is All Saints Evening, but the English would refer to it as "All Hallows Even." Gradually, over time, the name morphed into "Hallow'even" and eventually into "Halloween." A similar thing happened with the word Christmas, which is an abbreviation of the term "Christ's Mass" in reference to liturgical celebrations for the "Feast of the Holy Nativity" observed on December 25th in the Western Christian calendar.
Now the historic customs surrounding Halloween come from various sources, and most of them involve immigrants to the United States and there cultural distinctions in dealing with the celebration of All Saints Day (Nov. 1st) and All Souls Day (Nov. 2nd). Most of what we do today comes from the Irish and the French. Trick-or-treat actually evolved from a sad prank English Protestants would play on English Catholics on Guy Fawkes Day (Nov. 5th). Americans simply bumped the date back to October 31st, and turned it into something fun for everyone. In recent years it has become in vogue for some Evangelical Christians to boycott Halloween. This is misguided and unnecessary. The day (and the night) belongs to us. It is our celebration - a Christian celebration - or at least it's supposed to be. Ancient Pagans knew nothing of Halloween or the modern customs we have associated with it. As Christians, it is not our place to curse the darkness, but rather shine a light. It's time to change the spirit of Halloween back to something more in tune with our Christian heritage. Instead of all the creepy stuff, decorate your home in cheerful and playful items that celebrate life. Typically in our home, we put out happy face jack-o-lanterns with cheerful scarecrows along with decor appropriate for harvest season.
Of course we understand that wherever you go, we're going to see somebody who's made a haunted house or some other macabre display. On that we just use our best judgment. If it looks ridiculously violent or occult, we just stay clear and move on to the next place. We don't scare our children with haunted houses or frighten them with scary movies. In fact, we generally don't watch scary movies in our home anyway.
What's important is that our children understand the meaning behind all of this. We are celebrating life, particularly eternal life with God, and in doing so we are honoring all those who have gone into heaven before us. Thus, we like to make sure they go to mass the following day - All Saints Day.
(BeliefNet) - We’ve all heard the allegations: Halloween is a pagan rite dating back to some pre-Christian festival among the Celtic Druids that escaped church suppression. Even today modern pagans and witches continue to celebrate this ancient festival. If you let your kids go trick-or-treating, they will be worshiping the devil and pagan gods.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The origins of Halloween are, in fact, very Christian and rather American. Halloween falls on October 31 because of a pope, and its observances are the result of medieval Catholic piety...
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