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Scott P. Richert

Halloween: A Catholic View

By October 24, 2013

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Several years ago, our then ten-year-old son surprised his (non-Catholic) grandparents by announcing, matter of factly, that "We're Catholics, so we have to believe in vampires and werewolves."This bronze statue of Saint Michael the Archangel, executed by Flemish sculptor Peter Anton von Verschaffelt in 1753, stands atop the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome, Italy. (Photo © Scott P. Richert) Needless to say, I had a little explaining to do, both to his grandparents and to him.

He was on to something, though. Saying that we believe in vampires and werewolves was his way of saying that, as Catholics, we believe in the reality of evil. And we have to believe in the reality of evil in order to believe in the reality of good--a point made a few years later by William Peter Blatty, the author of The Exorcist. (See The Exorcist, Horror, and Faith.) Modern Christians, including many Catholics, who try to downplay or erase the reality of Hell and of Satan and of evil often don't realize that they're also diminishing the importance of what it means to be a saint. If man is innately good, and there are no "principalities and powers" trying to capture his soul for all eternity, then what's the point of making the sacrifices that saints make?

Much of the modern aversion to Halloween, I think, stems from the same unwillingness to acknowledge the reality of evil. But there's a reason why we dress up as ghouls and goblins on the night before we celebrate the feast of All Saints Day, and, despite the claims of supposed satanists and Wiccans and anti-Halloween Christians like Jack Chick, it's actually a Christian reason: We believe in a world that extends beyond the one that we can see, a world in which angels and demons do contest for the souls of men, and the Prince of Lies grows in power by convincing people that he does not exist.

If for no other reason than the fact that it reminds us that, as Hamlet tells his friend, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, / Than are dreamt of in your philosophy," Halloween is worth celebrating.

(Saint Michael the Archangel, a bronze statue executed by Flemish sculptor Peter Anton von Verschaffelt in 1753, stands atop the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome, Italy. Photo © Scott P. Richert)

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Comments
October 23, 2007 at 8:22 am
(1) Marianne says:

Excellent explanation here of why we celebrate Halloween. Unfortunately, the images of demons, etc, which previously held much meaning for people are now “out of touch”, if you will, for modern folks.

December 5, 2007 at 12:42 pm
(2) erica says:

gay

October 21, 2008 at 6:04 am
(3) Rita says:

I totally agree. We get much too comfortable in our own little worlds and forget about what else is out there, and always present.

October 21, 2008 at 9:03 am
(4) mary johnson says:

I agree about Halloween too. I remember being in Catholic grammar school and drawing pumpkins and having treats on Halloween. So it is our belief that there is a life beyond what we can see or imagine. Have a great day and a Happy Halloween.

October 25, 2008 at 11:45 pm
(5) convoy says:

I am growing averse to Halloween not because I don’t like to face the reality of evil, but because I don’t enjoy seeing a child enthusiastically putting on an evil persona.

October 27, 2008 at 11:55 pm
(6) Julia says:

I am not scared to see those costumes. It’s just weird to know people, especially Catholic, are so happy to be dressed up like a demon, a devil etc, and having a joyful party with a group of pretended evils. What is the purpose of celebrating these things? There’s no need to celebrate Halloween in such a way to remind us there is life beyond. Jesus tells us about it in a different way.

October 15, 2009 at 5:02 am
(7) Clement Uzo Chukwudifu says:

Halloween! Halloween! Why should a Catholic Christian celebrate ‘evil’? If Christ taught that there is evil, is that enough reason to make an evil day an occasion to celebrate? “Deliver us from all evil…” we say in Our Lord’s Prayer. It is not right for us to get involved in what we should be delivered from. It is good to know that evil exists but for Catholics to celebrate EVIL sounds abnormal. This celebration of evil is gaining grounds because the evil one has convinced people that he does not exist. There is a snare there! Catholics watch out for the evil one who prowls like a ion looking for people to ensnare and devour is about and around.

October 27, 2011 at 9:42 am
(8) Cori says:

That’s just silly. We should not be so scared of evil that it needs to be kept out of our lives. Halloween is not a celebration of evil…what about the kids dressing up as angels…just sayin. You say that evil is gaining ground because it is not exposed. So, should we no expose it! I feel like the churchs should do more to embrace the holiday and turn itin to a time of self assessment for its parishioners. I mean every once in a while it wouldn’t hurt to stop and look at where evil is winning in our own lives.

October 30, 2011 at 11:26 pm
(9) odelia says:

I think we should be scared of evil, because the devil shows himself in a way of an angel. If we celebrate evil, evil will live within us.
I would take part of anything that has to do with evil. And yes, you are absolutely right, Halloween is evil. We are co-participants with the devil in this celebration.
Also you are correct in your research about the origins of Halloween, but as you know, human tend to distort everything to its own beliefs, or what is more convenient. We live in a secular world. Right now everything is about making money, regardless of who gets hurt.

October 15, 2009 at 10:14 am
(10) Scott P. Richert says:

Clement, you write, “Why should a Catholic Christian celebrate ‘evil’?” We should not, but nowhere have I suggested that we should.

You’ve come to that conclusion through a series of assumptions that clouds the discussion. You assume that celebrating Halloween is celebrating evil because you assume that Halloween itself is evil.

But in the article that I’ve linked to in this blog post, I discuss the Christian origins of Halloween and expose the myth that Halloween arises from evil pagan practices. It does not; it is the Vigil of All Saints Day—or, to use the traditional English title, All Hallows’ Eve, from which we derive the word Halloween.

Halloween has no meaning by itself—that is, separate from the Feast of All Saints. That said, over the centuries, Christians—not pagans!—invested Halloween with significance by seeing the three days (the Eve of All Saints, All Saints, and All Souls) as a period in which we acknowledge the entire Catholic cosmology.

On the Eve of All Saints, we acknowledge—not celebrate—the reality of evil; on All Saints, we celebrate Christ’s triumph over evil, manifested in the lives of His saints; and on All Souls, we pray for those who, like us, still suffer from the effects of evil in this world. It’s all there—Hell, Heaven, and Purgatory.

You write, “This celebration of evil is gaining grounds because the evil one has convinced people that he does not exist.” You’re half right. Evil is gaining ground because the Evil One has convinced people that he does not exist. Halloween is not a celebration of evil, but one way to remind us that evil does indeed exist—and the attack on Halloween, therefore, may well be one way in which the Evil One advances his plan.

October 15, 2009 at 3:25 pm
(11) A. Cjhristian says:

Using Halloween for a fun time for children is wonderful. However, when you bring this kind of foolishness into the church which Christ died for, you are going a little bit too far. It is a man made holiday, the early church in the New Testament did not celebrate Halloween and Christmas as holy days. If they did, please give me the book, chapter and verse in the Bible. I don’t believe that tradition takes precedence over the written Word. A Christian celebrates the life, death and resurrection of Christ every day of his/her life. Setting only one or two days aside each year to remember Christ is so sad.

October 29, 2009 at 8:54 pm
(12) Dennis says:

Do we worship God or Jesus by dressing up as them? No. So allowing children to dress up as a ‘little devil’ or ghoul is in no way worshiping or celebrating evil.

Also, just because we have images of Saints or Crucifixes, do we worship them? No.

October 31, 2009 at 12:43 pm
(13) Mike says:

WWJD – Does dressing up as a goblin or devil sound like something Jesus would do? I think all the stuff about “one way to remind us that evil does indeed exist” is just an excuse to join in what has become a pagan “holiday” regardless of its origins. No matter how something started and whether or not it was a “christian celebration” we as Christians should not participate in something that is perceived as worldly by most people: “Let not your good be evil spoken of” Do you honestly think that Christians need another reminder that evil exists? Watch the news; that’s enough reminder.

November 3, 2009 at 1:27 am
(14) SSHolmes says:

During service after our fellowship participated in festivities they call alternative fun for the family, “hallejuah night” an alternative adventure for children to come and get candy and dressup in other costumes.

My first statement is that you can have this alternative gathering any day of 365 days that is called a year… why particularly on Oct 31st.

During worship. the Sunday after this event, their was such deep weeping for the church as a whole, the people being so dull ..being such a ready participate to walk in to a slumber around such holidays.

We song a sound that renders a chours, O! How he loves us.. I hear yes, I love you but you still are not responding to me as I have asked you too. My translation does the decieved know they are decieved

During the sharing their was such a mix drink being poured out upon the people. I hear they are drunk, dull because of all the “fun” they had the night before and that posture was giving permission for the slumbering spirit to press into thier minds and rock them to sleep on the percepts of what God is desiring to pour out upon thier souls. Taking liberties, eating food from their idolatrious living. I began to pray for the Helmet of Salvation to be placed upon the head of those professing to be Christ like.. praying for the sanctification process to have a sure and steady growth progression in their lives and that the reading and absorbtion of the word changes our condition (Prov 4.20-…

Lord help our condition may we see that the claok of humanity is a death trap and can only be abridiged by the Blood of Jesus and we must run this race at a pace that confirms Jesus’ triumphant posture over evil. May we live to assure our eternal destination. May we live to be pleasing to God, not to ourselves or the things of the worlds system. In Revelation it says we must run from her, we must break away from the grip of Harlot Babylon.

Halloween.. may we not purposely be decieved.

October 18, 2010 at 1:25 pm
(15) Kristian says:

I believe that it is all about how we perceive the costumes and the traditions of Halloween. If we truly see Halloween as a celebration leading up to the feast days of All Saints and All Souls then it can be a great holiday. Even non- catholics can celebrate the holiday with a positive outcome by having good clean fun. Of course this holiday will bring out those who choose to worship evil, but are we just going to sit in fear in our homes or are we going to get out there and laugh in the face of the evildoers. I say we get out there and show the world the right way to celebrate the lives of those who have gone before us. Pray, celebrate, and have fun!

October 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm
(16) Ashley Groome says:

From the Children’s perspective Halloween is an occasion to dress up in funny costumes and go trick or treating for sweets and treats – hopefully, time spent with friends and family – in a nurturing environment, learning that there is more to life than what you can see and touch – a celebration of things that are scary and things that go bump in the night. We don’t celebrate Halloween here in Australia – although commercial interests are really starting to “push” the idea as a hugely potential moneymaker. Personally I see Halloween as an opportunity to celebrate the lives of those souls who have gone before us. Over-thinking the event and worrying about a few idiots who choose to concentrate on the dark side only serve to wreck the feast day. Relax, keep it simple, spend time with your loved ones and “A Happy Christian Halloween” everybody.

October 23, 2010 at 2:29 pm
(17) Ash2 says:

Biggest deception of the 20th century was Satan convincing the world at large that he did not exist.

October 25, 2010 at 10:57 pm
(18) Mg says:

I like Halloween and I really enjoyed your blog on it. It’s just the truth! let those who have ear s, big or small listen.

My only gripe about Halloween is that it iis becoming like all special days celebrating the seasons, ruined and spoiled by commercialism and influenced by worldly attitudes. I do not like the gory and sleazy costumes they sell in those halloween stores. I liked it when we made our own consumes using our imaginations.

As human beings, we need to be human, to celebrate the seasons that God has created. The seasons are a reflection of our souls journey. There are seasons of light and seasons of darkness. And all of it is good!

November 2, 2010 at 7:08 pm
(19) Mark says:

Halloween is a wrong holiday it brings back the celebration of the devil and that should not teach the correct catholic religon

October 31, 2011 at 9:53 am
(20) David M. says:

A celebration of the devil?? My daughter is going to be a ladybug this year, and she’s going to get some candy and have fun. This celebrates the devil?? Wow and wow…Halloween is both a day for kids to dress up and get candy, etc…and for teens and adults to dress up, party if they wish, and have fun as well. If someone chooses to dress as a vampire or werewolf, etc…then umm…I still don’t think they are celebrating the devil. They are having silly ‘pretend’ fun. That’s all, don’t read into it things that just aren’t there.

October 5, 2011 at 11:58 pm
(21) Albufeira says:

Halloween, wasn’t it a day to remember that evil exist in the spiritual world and that good over powers evil? Wasn’t it an acknowledging that when we die our souls may be attacked by evil and so we need to that God will save our souls?
So turn to God and evil, which does exist can not touch you?
That’s what I taught growing up in the 1970′s.
I have heard comments such as Halloween is the devil’s birthday! Funny! I thought in order to have a birthday one has to have a mother. So who is the devil’s mother? Birth is a blessing from God! So, how can a Christian make the comment that Halloween is the devil’s birthday, and since Halloween is only celebrated in a few countries, does that mean that it’s not the devil’s birthday in countries which it isn’t celebrated or acknowledged? Also, what does a Christian say to their child if their child’s birthday falls on Halloween? Are they associated with the devil also? I’m a catholic mom, with children who were born on Halloween, no one religion has hurt my children’s joy on their birthday except for some cold hearted Christians who tell my children that they share the devil’s birthday! After my ones come home with a smile turned upside down because of Christian bullies who say they are evil because their birthday in the U.S.A happens to be Halloween, my response to them is, go tell those mean unchristian children that if they bully you again that you are witches and warlocks and will put a so ell on them. Ridiculous how this country has a bunch of so calked Christians attacking little children because they happen to have a birthday on gallows eve! So, if my kids were born on good Friday, what would the so called Christian world call them then? Bunch of ridiculous thoughts in this country! Have a candy this hallows eve to sweeten up your lives, I know I will! And so will my little witch and warlock! Oh, yes! I’ve been called the devils wife because I gave birth to kids on hallows eve. Too funny!

October 31, 2011 at 6:11 pm
(22) Oscar says:

I feel sorry for those so called christians that offended your children and your family over the day your children were born. Every day belongs to the Lord. It is not the day or hour we are born that makes a difference but our deeds and believes. Scriptures are very clear in that the Lord rewards and will judge everyone according to their deeds: thoughts, actions, inactions, every spoken word and so on. It is not the day itself that we need to avoid because this is obviously impossible. However, it is in the power of christians to avoid participating in Holloween.

October 13, 2011 at 6:31 pm
(23) Juan Francisco del Cervantes Baidu says:

This essay is a perfect argument, case in point, for the phenomena of religion as a collective neurosis.

Religion allows a collective group of individuals to believe in public, what only a madman would believe in private.

If you wake up tomorrow convinced that lord Hades and his minions of the underworld are pining for your immortal essence, and that the only way to safeguard your soul is to sacrifice animals to lord Zeus, you have lost your mind.

If you believe the following, almost indistinguishable assertion, you’re just a Catholic:

“We believe in a world that extends beyond the one that we can see, a world in which angels and demons do contest for the souls of men, and the Prince of Lies grows in power by convincing people that he does not exist.”

It is scarcely possible to believe that any moderately moderately educated individual could make the above assertion with a straight face.

The tragi-comical worldview that is proposed by tge Catholic belief system, one in which an invisible “Prince of Lies” and his invisible minions are constantly at war with the forces of good over the fate of human “souls” (whatever it is imagined that a soul is), is made distinguishable from a passage in Harry Potter or the Lord of the Rings only by tge names of the gods and demons involved. Coincidently, there is precisely the same evidence for the reality of the Lord of the Rings worldview as the Biblical worldview: both are not validated by a scrap of sound evidence or consistent reasoning, both are based entirely upon text of a book, and both fly in the face of literally every single scientific fact that is known.

More depressing than the simple adherence to the nonsense proposed in this article, however, is the following nihilistic assertion:

“If man is innately good, and there are no “principalities and powers” trying to capture his soul for all eternity, then what’s the point of making the sacrifices that saints make?”

October 13, 2011 at 6:35 pm
(24) Juan Francisco del Cervantes Baidu says:

First, it is important to note that the idea that man is “inherently good” has nothing to do with the significance of the argument. Man is inherently capable of being both moral and immoral, and most human lives are a collection of both moral and immoral actions. To say otherwise is to reject, a priori, almost all of the collective knowledge of what it means to be human.

Second, the real tragedy of Scott’s assertion is that it implies (perhaps it is more appropriate to say: explicitly makes the claim) that good deeds are meaningless unless there are “…’principalities and powers’ trying to capture…” the souls of mankind. Again, this claim is psychotic, because there is no evidence whatsoever to support it, but it also proposes a sort of moral nihilism because it suggests that good deeds are not good in-and-of themselves.
In other words, following Scott’s logic, saving a small infant from drowning, preventing the rape of a young girl, abolishing torture and alleviating poverty are inherently meaningless if the “Prince of Lies” does not exist. Of course, the simple truth is that good and bad deeds can be so described, and only have significance at all, because the have consequences for conscious agents in the here and now. Morality is only given significance when conscious agents are involved. The here and now is more than sufficient to give all the weight to any discussion of morality in any meaningful way.

October 13, 2011 at 6:35 pm
(25) Juan Francisco del Cervantes Baidu says:

Saving a drowning infant matters, not because of the supposed existence of demons or angels, but because it is an action with profoundly positive consequences for a thinking, feeling, conscious human being. Killing an innocent human being matters, not because of a fantastical “Prince of Lies” or “Lamb of God”, but because this action has profoundly negative consequences for a thinking, feeling, conscious human being. Scott was correct in one of his contentions, however. Some “sacrifices” of the saints are indeed made in vain. Sacrifices such as priestly celibacy (more often preached, than adhered to), abstinence from contraception and the condemnation of homosexuals are indeed meaningless in terms of morality. Indeed, that is the true tragedy of a supernatural, fantasy-laden pseudo-basis for morality: it gives people bad reasons to do good things, and good reasons to do bad things.

October 14, 2011 at 12:50 pm
(26) Adam Birchenough says:

Juan,
Hey man I can see that you are very fired up about this whole thing and I can see you have a range of grievances against religion as a whole and the Church in particular. I think it would be best to split up your points into several well researched and linear arguments. I think those topics should be: 1) Spiritualism and the Effects on the human arts 2) Morality, law, and the human condition, 3) The Bible: Its creation and application, 4) The conflict between things that are natural and things that are super-natural 5)The operations of international organizations 6)Human sexuality and the effects on human psychology 7) The history of human thought and religious development.
Lastly, it may be most beneficial to discuss these ideas on blogs not committed to holidays or festivals of any kind. Either way we have alot of reading to do.

October 20, 2011 at 12:33 pm
(27) Catholic says:

Brother and sisters:

Halloween comes from All Hallows evening. But Halloween as is celebrated nowadays is a sad neo-paganism. This night, all occultism and satanists make black masses and sacrileges against the Holy Body of our Lord Jesus Christ really present in Eucharist. They rob the Holy Host for this purpose, and in US is very easily to do it, because in our church we take Host in our hands. And, meanwhile we are teaching to our children that Halloween night is to get fun.
What’s kind of experience we give for our children if they are in contact with this kind of things and we tell them that they can be comfortable with it? So they will also be comfortable with ouija, or satanic sects, or mediums, and this is incongruous with our faith. How can tell our children that is ok to be naughty once in a year?.So in future, I can big and mortal sins once in a year…
As Catholics we should go against world. And ” against world” doesn’t mean fight with people, because this is not catholic. We should give the original sense of Halloween, that is to pray for our people that passed away. We can say to our children: Instead to ask candies: “Trick or Treat” we can give candies for poor children, so they can learn that the best thing is give than receive. We can use positive costume about people that is really to be admired: Our Saints. We should tell the real history of Halloween, and if you don’t know, brothers and sisters, read about it, so you will know about Samhain, Jack o lantern, druids, Celtics, and after that, you reflex in your heart and think if its correct to celebrate Halloween. And overall we should teach our children that during that day, many people make bad things against our Jesus and we should pray to redress His heart.

October 24, 2011 at 10:54 pm
(28) Reginald W. Smith says:

My problem with the way in which Halloween is celebrated dawned on me when I had two children attending a ‘Catholic’ grade school.
I was rather surprised at the emphasis given to the eve of All Saints Day.
Do we celebrate Christmas or do we celebrate Christmas Eve?
As Catholics our focus must remain on the main celebration, All Saints Day. I am not any longer against acknowledging Halloween, but I am disturbed by the way in which All Saints Day is ignored, even in a ‘Catholic’ school.

Dominus vobiscum, Reg.

October 25, 2011 at 6:01 am
(29) Debbie G says:

Juan, I will be praying for you, that your heart may be opened to our Lord’s love and forgiveness.

October 25, 2011 at 6:26 pm
(30) Kirt Higdon says:

Little kids (or for that matter adults) dressing as evil characters on Halloween is a mocking of evil rather than a celebration of it. We do not fear the devil and his minions because we know Christ has triumphed. Who would open their door and hand out candy if they thought that real devils, werewolves and vampires awaited outside?

October 27, 2011 at 9:37 am
(31) Cori says:

This is always how I have viewed the holiday….as a triumph over evil. We celebrate the saints after we remember that god has enabled us with the power to do so. We recognize the saints for being able to do this more then we have and look to them to find areas we can improve ourselves. In no way do I think that dressing up as a devil means a child loves the devil…I think it means that they have the ability to overtake the devil with the light inside them that god has provided.

October 27, 2011 at 12:09 pm
(32) Susan says:

I absolutely disagree with your belief that we Catholics should celebrate halloween. NO! That day happens to be the day before a high feast day on the Catholic calendar, All Saints Day, and traditionally Catholics fast and pray the evening before a high feast day. How is celebrating akin to fasting?
Also, St. Paul himself tells us to avoid all evil. If you are not with Jesus, you are against HIm. We Catholics should take not part in any for of celebration or merriment on the high Satanic holiday of halloween.
Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.

October 27, 2011 at 12:46 pm
(33) Scott P. Richert says:

Susan, you’re correct that “traditionally Catholics fast and pray the evening before a high feast day,” with one small exception: Traditionally, we prayed the day before a high feast day, because the feast day itself began at sundown the previous day.

In the modern world, that distinction has been lost, because we think of days running from 12:00:00 A.M. to 11:59:59 P.M. But traditionally, that is not how Catholics marked the day, nor the feasts and fasts associated with particular celebrations.

Which is why, even when fasting was still prescribed on the eve of All Saints Day, Halloween could still be and was celebrated by faithful Catholics.

October 27, 2011 at 12:46 pm
(34) Scott P. Richert says:

Your characterization of All Hallow’s Eve as “the high Satanic holiday of halloween” is unfortunate, because you have bought into the myth of the satanic origins of Halloween—a myth that, as I have explained in Should Catholics Celebrate Halloween? was specifically anti-Catholic in its origins. Halloween was first celebrated by Celtic Christians centuries after they had converted to Christianity. It was first banned by the virulently anti-Catholic Puritan Parliament in post-Reformation England, along with All Saints Day and even Christmas.

In other words, the Puritans attacked Halloween not because they regarded it as satanic but because they—correctly—regarded it as Catholic.

Here in the United States, Irish Catholic immigrants revived the tradition of Halloween (just as German Catholic immigrants revived the tradition of Christmas, which was not celebrated by the English settlers of North America), and it was gradually adopted by other Catholic immigrant groups, before spreading to the population at large.

When Halloween came under attack once again in the late 1970′s and early 1980′s, it was at the hands of such virulently anti-Catholic fundamentalists as Jack Chick, whose argued that the proof that Halloween was satanic was that it was Catholic.

Sadly, over the last 30 years, many good and faithful Catholics have adopted a view of Halloween that was developed and promoted by our enemies.

October 31, 2011 at 9:55 am
(35) David M. says:

This catholic family is going to celebrate Halloween, and your twisted views on this day will have no bearing on what we do, thank god!

October 28, 2011 at 7:47 pm
(36) Mathilde says:

The only problem I ever had with Halloween costumes was when the pastor of my former parish was dressed as Satan, complete with horns, a tail and a pitchfork. He greeted the children at my son’s elementary school (K-8) gleefully. I thought that was taking the concept a bit too far. In my mind, a SHEPHERD should maintain a certain decorum at all times. I left the parish not too long after this event (and many other instances of poor judgment on the part of the same pastor).

October 31, 2011 at 5:50 pm
(37) Oscar says:

Catholics and christians should not participate in Holloween. This open doors to bad spirits. God allowed me to see evil spirits roaming in a house and warned me in a dream not to participate in Holloween anymore.
Holloween is a pagan festivity and christians are called by our Lord to abstain from pagan rituals and celebrations.
Satanic followers seem to understand this celebration very well but christians seem to be very naive about it. Satanic people commit horrible deeds and crimes on this night. Christinas are called to do just the opposite, pray, go to Mass and read bible. It is best to stay home this night. I do not need to celebrate a pagan festivity to know evil exists. Read bible to the kids and explain how the Lord Jesus expelled demons from people. This is sufficient.

October 31, 2011 at 6:25 pm
(38) Scott P. Richert says:

Oscar, you undercut your argument when you make it clear that you do not understand the origin of the word “Halloween.” To refer to “Holloween” is to miss the Christian origins of this vigil, and it is no surprise, then, that you fall for modern anti-Catholic attacks on Halloween.

But remember this: Those attacks are bound up with attacks on All Saints Day and indeed on the Catholic veneration of saints. Fall for one, and you are in danger of falling for the other.

December 9, 2011 at 3:54 am
(39) Nazare says:

Here in Portugal, a Catholic country, people and kids do not actually celebrate Halloween, at first we mistook the arrival of children at our gate for just that but of course it was not 31st Oct, it was 1st of Nov and they were celebrating All Saints day by collecting candies from all the villagers.

The use of pumpkins is purely for soup and other meals.

October 5, 2012 at 2:55 am
(40) marleo says:

Mr. Scott Richert..thanks for the info. My 8 year old came home from catechsim class crying…so upset because the teaher said that we are not allowed to celebrate Halloween. and I was wondering ..if this was a new “pope’s order”…or the “teacher’s personal opinion.” Thanks for giving some comfort to a Catholic who doesn’t want to deprive her kids from participating in such a fun holiday..that I myself grew up with.

I just think it’s unfortunate that this issue brings yet again more division between us all..An already divided America.Instead of Halloween simply being an excuse to visit your neighborhood…in a fun and friendly context…it becomes an issue that divides us.I think God wants us to find things in common with eachother and not argue over who’s right all the time!
I see Halloween as a fun Hoilday where we dress up and share time with friends and family.A European tradition that followed immigrants over to this continent.Now, a very intrinsic part of American culture.For me growing up..Halloween was never “of the devil”
In my experience it has been the Christians in recent years that have now villanized the holiday…and this is just stiring up trouble everywhere .I wonder what God would think about all this division amongst us Americans. I will say one last thing.. I do wish that those who choose not to celebrate Halloween would do so if they so desire discretely…but leaving out the judgement they now place on those who do choose to celebrate.This air of superiority that I now get from those who choose not to celebrate…I find may not be that pleasing to God either. After all… Let ‘s not forget…
Thou shalt not judge.

October 6, 2012 at 8:27 pm
(41) Sass says:

Can I ask why Catholics are praying for those who have passed away on All saints day and are these the people who have died in Christ because if they are I can’t understand why they would need our prayers because if there flesh has perished but their soul beleived in Christ wouldn’t they be living in paradise with him? There is no reference to this Catholic made up holiday in the Bible, The bible says “to live is Christ to die is gain” Halloween is a pagan holiday celebration also know as Hallows eve it is not Chrisitan it is when Pagans believe that the veil between the living and the dead is the thinniest and the living can communicate with the dead and vica versa. It should not be celebrated by CHRISTIANS but since Catholics are not Christians you all can continue to pray for the dead and celebrate a satanic day. Please guard your souls with the word of God (the Bible) and study to show yourself approved do NOT just take what your priest or bishop tells you. God wants to reveal his Kingdom to you but he cannot if you continue to weigh so heavily on rituals.

October 14, 2012 at 12:28 pm
(42) Joe Friday says:

Well put – but I would suggest the Halloween is pretty much commercialized much in the same way Christmas is. If you deprive your children of the fun thew will grow up resenting you – especially when the figure out that those little guys and gals asking for candy are not devil worshipers.

October 18, 2012 at 1:03 am
(43) k says:

I don’t think we need to encourage our children to dress up like the devil and other such evil things as a necessity to have them understand that there is evil that exists. And I don’t think God would desire that either. Can you see Blessed Mother dressing Jesus up as a ghoul? I think not! Let’s not give people any more of an idea that Catholics are not really christians!

October 18, 2012 at 7:28 pm
(44) Tony Sagun says:

Please do not try to twist the facts. Be Biblical in your explanation. The Bible, clearly, acknowledges the existence of evil but to justify and encourage the activities on Halloween because of an erroneous claim will not help people in their spiritual growth.

October 26, 2012 at 3:26 pm
(45) Revert says:

Well. Can’t stay out of this discussion. First, Hallowe’en [I]does[/I have pagan origins. It was later co-opted by the Church to help the faithful drop the old ways and grow in their faith with All Hallow’s Eve. EWTN has a very short article about it here: http://www.ewtn.com/library/ISSUES/ZHALLOWN.HTM

Second, I too have a pagan/new age/witchcraft history and want you to know that for witches and especially satanists, Halloween is their HIGH HOLY DAY, the equivalent of what Easter means for us. This is the night of black masses (and truly foul desecration of the Eucharist), ritual sex and ritual sacrifice.

Third, I know someone who summed it up rather nicely by saying our culture today “puts a smiley face on witchcraft, satanism and the demonic”. It desensitizes to us, and our children, to evil.

October 27, 2012 at 7:46 am
(46) MA RAMSAY says:

I liked the explaination about Halloween! As Scott points out, there is lots of evil in this world. Those that say it doesn’t exist are not dealing with the real issues. There is the visible world, we humans see which is limited. There is also the unseen world where the battle is joined to defeat evil.

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power of God -
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.

Amen.

October 30, 2012 at 4:56 pm
(47) Lisa says:

What a load of BS. If, as Catholics, we need to be reminded of things beyond this world so as not to get all cosied up in our cosy catholic way of life, why look to the dark stuff? Why can’t we look to the Saints. Why can’t we reflect on sacred Scriptures, especially the Gospels. The PROBLEM is that we, as Catholics, don’t and are not encouraged to ‘dabble’ in prayer, spiritual reading, daily frequenting of the Sacraments. All we need to know about our enemy will be found in these, and also we will enrich our spiritual livesgrowing closer to God. Ironically, the closer we let ourselves get to God, the more we WILL experience and realise the darker side IS real by way of tempation and assault in various types of ways. We don’t need to embrace halloween in order to acknowledge and thus try to understand the truly existing dark spiritual world. As St. Paul says, our real enemies are not humans, but forces and principalities not of this world. I don’t have time to look the scripture reference up. As Catholics, we don’t need or should not celebrate this horrible ‘festival’ that celebrates superstition, paganism and the occult.

October 30, 2012 at 5:18 pm
(48) Scott P. Richert says:

“As St. Paul says, our real enemies are not humans, but forces and principalities not of this world. I don’t have time to look the scripture reference up.”

Or, apparently, the time to read this post or the articles linked from it before jumping down to the comments to condemn it. Otherwise, Lisa, you might realize that I cited Saint Paul’s discussion of the “principalities and powers.”

Every year, I never fail to be amazed by the number of Catholics who think that they understand something that centuries of their Catholic ancestors did not. How sad to think that generation upon generation of Catholics were led to the dark side by celebrating Halloween, until anti-Catholic bigots like Jack Chick came along to reveal the dark satanic origins of this holiday!

Or maybe, just maybe, our Catholic ancestors were right, and the anti-Catholic bigots—and the Catholics who have let themselves be bamboozled by them—are wrong.

October 31, 2012 at 3:21 pm
(49) Tara Brown says:

I am saddened that so many put so much into such a simple thing. My kids will be going out even my 17 year old because it is fun. How dare anyone suggest we are any less of a catholic because we do. My kids are going as supergirl, wonder woman, and alice in wonderland ( queen of hearts). I hope they never run into some of you saying they are evil for celebrating. They have fun getting to go outside in the dark, getting candy, and dressing up. Nothing more nothing less. If other people choose to do evil on this day it means they will do evil on any day.

October 31, 2012 at 6:21 pm
(50) Jen says:

When you talk about saints and there sacrifice you are misled. There was only one sacrifice that saves us and that is Jesus’ sacrifice. Praying to the saints and worshipping angels is idolatry. No one is greater than Jesus and we are saved through him. That’s exactly what the apostle’s were telling everyone. They didn’t want to be worshipped but wanted you to worship the true God. Not physical materials, not other humans but God himself.

November 3, 2012 at 7:49 am
(51) Nate says:

Jen, we Catholics completely agree with Christ’s “Once for All” sacrifice. WE DO NOT WORSHIP MARY, THE SAINTS OR OBJECTS.

Please do your research on what Catholicism ACTUALLY believes and not not rely on the liars Jack T Chick, Lorainne Boettner or Dave Hunt.

P.S., by research, I mean PRIMARY sources like the Bible, the Catholic Catechism and Church Council documents… not your ‘pastor’, not that ex-catholic in your congregation and not a poorly catechised Catholic. I suggest starting here: http://www.catholic.com

God Bless

December 9, 2012 at 11:23 pm
(52) BlueCornMoon says:

This whole ” devil’s birthday” satanic stuff has nothing to do with the real origins of Halloween. It started as an end of summer festival with the English Druids & there’s even a Christian element. Check it out here http://www.history.com/topics/halloween . There’s no mention of satanists or the devil in that article. I never heard of that nonsense growing up as a baby boomer. We had parties at home,church & schools & went out trick or treating. We had fun. Nowdays this satan business has folks cancelling it at schools & talking about the devil. In today’s world, kids have far fewer chances to have a lot of fun & be the free range tree climbing, creative game playing, bike riding for miles, outdoors all day kids we used to be. Many can’t play outside because of gunfire,gangs & predators. They play video games so much that many aren’t good at group play because they don’t know how to invent games or play the old traditional games we had. Everything has to be politically correct. Now the naysayers are out after Halloween. They’d be better off being upset about crime in the streets& how adults are ruining childhood by not allowing kids to be kids & enjoy being a child. This mess about Halloween parties really celebrating evil & the devil makes as much sense as saying a person born on the same day as Hitler has no right to celebrate their birthday because they’re really celebrating Hitler’s birthday.If you’re celebrating imaginariy creatures,telling scary stories & having fun dressing up like we did back in the day then THAT’S what you’re doing. I’m sick of these politically correct idiots that complain if they see Halloween parties, Christmas trees,Nativity scenes, Menorahs,etc. They want to take the joy & fun out of life because of their own personal misery.

December 24, 2012 at 4:44 am
(53) NL says:

I’m not catholic. Two years ago I just simply asked the Lord to show me where there was idolatry in my life. He gave me two visions, back to back, of a hand-drawn ghost. A few hours later, I found a Halloween object on top of the refrigerator, which my husband had gotten at a Halloween party the previous day. On it was the hand-drawn ghost! I took it and dumped it in the trash. From that day, I have been free of Halloween. My child even surprised me by asking if he could return his Halloween costume this year. He was all prepared to go trick or treating but decided last minute not to. It’s wonderful to be free and see my family be free of man-made traditions/days like Halloween. I’ve let go of Christmas and Easter too. They all have pagan origins anyways.

It’s hard to admit that I was an idolater simply because of the “holidays” I deemed child’s play. But ignorance is no excuse. I finally saw the light through a lot of prayer and study, including Bible Study. I needed the Lord to transform my mind, to give me the mind of Christ. I wanted to live victoriously and be a better witness for Christ, but first I had to let go of idolatry. Praise the name of Jesus!

“I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands.” Psalms 119:176

December 24, 2012 at 5:43 am
(54) NL says:

Two years ago I just simply asked the Lord to show me where there was idolatry in my life. He gave me two visions, back to back, of a hand-drawn ghost. A few hours later, I found a Halloween object on top of the refrigerator, which my husband had gotten at a Halloween party the previous day. On it was the hand-drawn ghost! I took it and dumped it in the trash. From that day, I have been free of Halloween. My child even surprised me by asking if he could return his Halloween costume this year. He was all prepared to go trick or treating but decided last minute not to. It’s wonderful to be free and see my family be free of man-made traditions/days like Halloween. I’ve let go of Christmas and Easter too. They all have pagan origins anyways.

It’s hard to admit that I was an idolater simply because of the “holidays” I deemed child’s play. But ignorance is no excuse. I finally saw the light through a lot of prayer and study, including Bible Study. I needed the Lord to transform my mind, to give me the mind of Christ. I wanted to live victoriously and be a better witness for Christ, but first I had to let go of idolatry. Praise the name of Jesus!

“I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands.” Psalms 119:176

July 11, 2013 at 9:05 pm
(55) kmvufox26.com says:

Hi there, this weekend is good for me, because this point in time
i am reading this great informative article here at my residence.

August 8, 2013 at 6:31 am
(56) lupko says:

Hello to everyone,i was searching for some facts about Halloween and came upon this article.Here is my point of view:
I live in Croatia,a small country in Europe where 90% of people are Catholics(more or less).My mother is Croatian and my father is British so me and my sisters have always “celebrated” Halloween.We didn’t dress up or go trick or treating,we would just carve a pumpkin,put a candle in it and take pictures.All of our family friends who are Catholic thought it was interesting and funny.My grandparents who are nearly 100 years old and very traditional and conservative,they think Halloween is funny too.My grandfather has a farm and every year he plans special pumpkin seeds because he knows we will need a pumpkin for October the 31.All this fuss about “people who celebrate Halloween are saitanists” is ridiculous.I’m Catholic all my life,I believe in God,go to Church every Sunday and celebrate Christmas and Easter.Last year me and my sister made a pumpkin and my own uncle threw it away and told us we are saitanists.The biggest irony is that my uncle,the same one who called us that is a very evil man.He and his wife are what we call “religious fanatics”They say and do bad things to people and then go to church and think they are good Catholics.I am very afraid of them and people like them who think they are good,but in reality their souls and minds are full of evil.

August 8, 2013 at 6:41 am
(57) nihon1994 says:

In my country we have people who are Muslims and Ortodox and they celebrate ther holidays and our government says we should respect their holidays,culture and religion.So why is Halloween different? My parents raised and tought me to never judge other people no matter how they look or what religion they are.Of course I have some personal opinions but I keep them for myself because they are PERSONAL. Another thing that is very interesting is that in my country we have a “holiday” similar to Halloween,it happens in February and we call it CARNIVAL.People dress up like ghosts,princesses,Supermans,vampires etc. and we eat doughnuts,dance,have parades and have fun.Children dress up and knock on doors and expect money (not candy) in return.Very simmilar to Halloween and people don’t judge you at all.Accually a couple of decades ago the Church was against Carnival too,but now it’s OK to celebrate it.So why is Halloween different? I think the main reason why Catholic people don’t celebrate is the fact that the day after Halloween is The all Saints Day,one of the most important holdays among Catholics.Our priests say that we do not respect the dead if we celebrate it.If Halloween were on any other day maybe it would be accepted as a holiday but right now it is impossible.This year I’m going to make a pumpkin,have some fun and take some pictures.I have nothing against people who don’t celebrate Halloween and I respect them,so please respect us who celebrate Haloween and don’t judge us by what you think is the truth or hearing some ridiculous stories.
Thank you and I hope I haven’t offended anyone this is just my personal point of view. :-)

October 25, 2013 at 1:26 pm
(58) Barbara says:

I am an Australian and a Catholic. We never had Halloween in Australia, but over the last several years the shops and supermarkets have been dolling out their shops and selling their ugly costumes and wares for children. It serms to me that the original religious meaning of Halloween has been lost. I cannot imagine that the children tricking or treating are doing so with religious sentiments and with prayer celebrating Christ’s victory over evil. It is now only a commercial enterprise. I doubt very much whether the reality of evil even comes into it, and it seems far more of an occult thing for children to have fun than anything Christian. If anything, it is downplaying evil and making it seem more fun than anything else. It is not something that Christ and His apostles would have approved of.

October 25, 2013 at 3:08 pm
(59) Salvy says:

And, I wouldn’t waste my money either on some satan mask or obama costume or some other silliness.

October 26, 2013 at 8:32 pm
(60) OzarksUSA says:

Samhain (Halloween) is a is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year. It is celebrated from sunset on 31 October to sunset on 1 November. It makes up one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals, and is Pre-Christian. Contrary to a popular Internet-based (and Chick Tract-encouraged) rumor, Samhain was not the name of some ancient Celtic god of death, or of anything else, for that matter. Religious scholars agree that the word Samhain (pronounced “sow-en”) comes from the Gaelic “Samhuin,” but they’re divided on whether it means the end or beginning of summer. After all, when summer is ending here on earth, it’s just beginning in the Underworld. Samhain actually refers to the daylight portion of the holiday, on November 1st. It is the “Witch’s New Year,” and it is a time when we Pagans remember our ancestors. We don’t believe in hurting animals, people, or releasing evil spirits, contrary to internet rumors. Samhain is a somber holiday, again, that is a time of remembrance of those who came before us. Not all Pagans celebrate Samhain, either.

October 26, 2013 at 8:50 pm
(61) Salvy says:

So, if Samhain is a harvest/winter celebration and means either the end or beginning of Summer how does that make it Halloween?
I here catholic commentators say halloween means holy evening. Are all these guys lying?
And as far as the real underworld, friend, I think summer is all year round and about 10 thousand degrees.

October 27, 2013 at 10:49 am
(62) P. McCoy says:

In the Russian Orthodox Church, one honors the Apostle and Evangelist St. Luke on Oct 31th/Oct 18th old style while preparing that night for the vigil for St. John of Kronstat. It is a great antidote to the satanic Halloween where more is dedicated to Satan than to anything else. In addition the clergy stressed the importance of praying to St. Michael as well as blessing one’s entire dwelling with holy water and saying prayers to ward off demons. Halloween has ruined October in the United States- no longer is it a time of thankfulness for the harvests for food etc; but rather from late August on, one sees the devil images of the Spirit stores looming on nearly every billboard. For me, it’s yes to the Orthodox Christian celebrations and NO to Halloween.

October 31, 2013 at 6:24 pm
(63) Cristobal Trejo says:

Unfortunately, no matter how sound, reasonable, intelligent, and as non-arguementive the explanations can be about Halloween not being evil, there will be people that will be closed minded and stubborn to facts about the origins of certain aspects of our faith. The Pope, nay, Jesus Christ himself in his infinite wisdom could say the same thing this article stated and there will still be Christians of every denomination saying, “No! You’re Wrong! Halloween is evil!”

In my own opinion, I choose not to celebrate Halloween, but I’m not out there ruining it for others that want to. In the end, if celebrating this holiday was wrong, we will individually be held accountable for our actions, thoughts, and words by the ONE being whose opinion truly matters.

To those who celebrate Halloween, have a fun and safe evening and God bless you. To those who think it is an evil holiday, your opinion is your opinion. people can argue with you until we’re blue in the face and nothing they say will change your mind. All I ask is please do not be Captain bring down to the kids. We may not agree on this issue, but that doesn’t mean we must be hostile to one another for it. Go in peace with our love and the Love of our Lord Jesus who dies for ALL our sins.

October 31, 2013 at 7:47 pm
(64) Lisalle says:

Can we just let kids be kids and stop bombarding them with our ridiculous, over-the-top, religious ideals? They are just having fun. That’s all.

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