The Vigil of the Feast of All Saints is also known colloquially as ‘Halloween’ (from the old English ‘The Eve of All Hallows’). This day has become synonymous with ‘ghosts & goblins & witches’ — all of which is contrary to the Catholic origins of this day. The following is entitled ‘The True Meaning of Halloween’ — an article which every parent has the duty to read. Parents must not allow their children to participate in the pagan celebrations now commonly associated with this day. On the contrary, parents must organize truly Catholic parties for their children.
THE TRUE MEANING OF HALLOWEEN
To most everyone, Halloween has become synonymous with harmless fun-making and masquerading; sadly many Catholics (even some who profess to observe the traditions of our Faith) regularly participate in (and even host) the annual pagan-like celebrations which nowadays have become associated with Halloween. It is then, necessary to clarify the true meaning of Halloween. The etymology of the word HALLOWEEN indicates to us clearly its true meaning. It comes to us from medieval English: ‘HALOWEN’ or ‘HALWEN’ which means literally: to make holy, to sanctify; and as well: to reverence, to honor as sacred, to venerate. The very root of the word reminds us that Halloween is the ‘holy-evening’; it is the eve (the vigil) of the feast of All Saints — ‘All-Hallows’ (celebrated Nov-ember 1st). Thus, it is a day of preparation for the glorious feast on which we honor and venerate the men, women and children who through the merits of Our Lord’s cross have attained to the eternal bliss of paradise. What association with Halloween therefore have witches, goblins, ghosts and other such grotesque figures?
The answer is found easily in any reputable encyclopedia.
The Druids, a group of pagan priests in ancient Gaul and Britain, believed that, on Halloween, witches, ghosts, spirits, fairies and elves would come out to harm people. They also believed that the cat was sacred and that cats had once been human beings but were changed as punishment for evil deeds. FROM THESE DRUID (i.e. PAGAN) BELIEFS COMES THE PRESENT-DAY USE OF WITCHES, GHOSTS, AND CATS IN HALLOWEEN FESTIVITIES. The Druids also had an autumn festival called Samhain. It was an occasion for feasting on all the kinds of food which had been grown during the summer. THE CUSTOM OF USING LEAVES, PUMPKINS AND CORNSTALKS AS HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS COMES FROM THE DRUIDS.
Faithful Catholics must then not imitate these pagan customs. Those Catholics who have become regular participants in the pagan-like celebration of Halloween must cease and desist from such non-Catholic festivities; they must return to the true meaning of Halloween (i.e., the preparation for the feast of All Saints). They must teach their children to understand how these pagan customs are diabolical in origin (for a pagan, by definition, is a worshipper of false gods; i.e., the devil). They must not allow their children to masquerade as witches, ghosts or other such figures but rather should teach them of the lives of the saints and encourage them to imitate the saints not only in costume but most especially in the practice of the virtues.
The more the world, and those who follow the spirit of the world, show their disdain for the things that appertain to Almighty God, the more must we show our love for Him and for His teachings. The more the world profanes the sacred (e.g. the violation of Sundays and holy-days, the commercialization of Christmas etc.) the more must we venerate and sanctify them. The more the world scorns us for so doing the greater shall be our reward in heaven.
Catholics then, should refuse to attend any and all parties that treat Halloween as a pagan celebration and should on the contrary, band together to celebrate the triumph of the saints in heaven. This then is the true meaning of Halloween.