Skip to comments.Ideas for Sanctifying Halloween, All Saints Day and All Souls Day
Posted on 10/19/2001 9:17:06 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
|Jennifer Gregory Miller and Margaret Gregory
|Ideas for Sanctifying Halloween, All Saints Day and All Souls Day
|Publisher & Date:
|Original, October 1999
|Identical text with no graphics.
|Suggestions and ideas to create a Catholic atmosphere in the home (Domestic Church) for Halloween, All Saints Day and All Souls Day. Includes the Litany of the Saints and De Profundis (Out of the Depths), Psalm 130.
|Jennifer Gregory Miller ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Catholic Celebrations of Hallowe'en, All Saints Day and All Souls Day
History All Hallows' Eve [TOP]
Leave the changing of Halloween to the goofy Taliban/Shiite Christians they know who they are.
Unfortunately, the Church (and I'm not just speaking about Catholics) seems quite content in accomodating the worldly practices of it's followers. It's been doing this since Constantine conquered Rome. I don't suppose it will end anytime soon.
The Mexican, "Day of the Dead" is celebrated on the 1st. and 2nd. of November to honor and reconsecrate the dead. For ancient and agrarian societies to dedicate a time for religious activity around harvest time encouraged community effort and participation that helped prepare all for the comming hardship of winter. Happy Holloween.
A ZENIT DAILY DISPATCH
|Christian Celebration Lost in Consumerism
ROME, 27 OCT 1999 (ZENIT).
As October 31 approaches, stores are filled with masks, monsters' costumes, witches gear and pumpkins with terrifying expressions. Halloween is just around the corner and every year it sweeps more countries of the globalized and consumerist world into its net.
History Generally speaking, Halloween is known for its pagan beginnings, which in the course of history have mixed with Christian elements.
The pagan roots of the celebration are attributed to the Celtic celebration of "Samhain," the cult of the dead. It was an established Druid tradition in the British Isles prior to the Romans invasion in 46 A.D. Although little is known about these celebrations, it seems that the Samhain festivities were observed between November 5-7 (midway between the summer equinox and the winter solstice) with a one-week series of events, ending with the feast of "the dead," which marked the beginning of the new Celtic year. During this feast, the Druids communicated with their ancestors hoping to be guided in this life toward immortality.
Christian Beginnings Beginning in the 4th century, the Syrian Church dedicated a day to "All Martyrs." Three centuries later, Pope Boniface IV (615) transformed a Roman temple dedicated to all gods (The Pantheon in Rome) into a Christian temple to "All Saints" -- all those who preceded us in the faith. Initially, All Saints Day was kept on May 13. It was changed by Pope Gregory III (741) to November 1, the day of the "Dedication" of the Chapel of All Saints in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Later, in the year 840, Pope Gregory IV ordered the feast of "All Saints" to be celebrated universally. As a major feast, its "vigil" was kept on October 31. This vigil was called "All Hallow's Eve" from where we get the name "Halloween."
As early as the year 998, St. Odilon, abbot of the Monastery of Cluny in southern France, added the celebration of November 2, as a day to pray for the faithful dead. Hence the Day of the Dead, observed first in France and later throughout Europe.
Halloween's Evolution Obviously, Halloween today has little to do with its beginnings. Throughout history elements have been added like costumes (14th and 15th centuries) during the celebration of "All Saints" Day in France. In addition, during this period Europe was stricken by the "Black Death," which inspired great fear of death. Masses were multiplied for the "Faithful Dead," and many satirical representations appeared to remind people of their mortality.
These representations were known as the "Dance of Death." In a burlesque spirit, on the eve of the commemoration of the "Faithful Dead," the French adorned the walls of cemeteries with pictures of the devil leading a chain of people: Popes, kings, ladies, knights, monks, peasants, lepers, etc. (death respects no one) to their grave. These representations were inspired in plays with people dressed up as famous personalities in different stages of life, including death, which visits all. ZE99102609
|HALLOWEEN: ITS ORIGINS AND CELEBRATION
|The celebration of Halloween has dual origins. The first is in a pre-Christian Celtic feast associated with the Celtic New Year. The second is in the Christian celebration of All Saints Day (Nov. 1st) and All Souls Day (Nov. 2). In the British Isles November 1st is called All Hallows, thus the evening before is All Hallows Eve.
The Celtic Feast
The ancient Celtic peoples who inhabited England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Brittany (NW France) celebrated their New Year's Day on what would be November 1st on our calendar. Prior to their conversion to Catholicism these peoples practiced a pagan religion controlled by a priest class known as Druids. The Druids are most famous for the stone monument of Stonehenge and other astronomical calendars that remain in their former domains.
The period prior to the New Year, as the year wound down, was a time to consider the mystery of human death. It was believed that on the last night of the year the lord of death, Samhain, allowed the souls of the dead to return to their homes. Souls that had died in sin, and in Celtic belief imprisoned in the bodies of animals, could be released through gifts to the lord of death, including human sacrifices. It was also thought that evil spirits, demons, ghosts, witches were also free to roam around this night and could be placated by a feast. They would also leave you alone if you dressed like them and thus appeared to be one of them. Families would also extinguish their hearth fires on this evening to be re-lit from a common New Year's bonfire built on the hilltops, which was meant to symbolize the driving away of darkness and evil with the coming of the new year. The jack-o-lantern as a means of scaring away evil and providing light may be a vestige of this custom. When the Romans conquered Gaul (France) and Britain (excluding Scotland and Ireland) in the century before and after Christ, the bloody elements of Druidic practice were banned.
The Christian Feasts of All Saints and All Souls
During the first three centuries of Christianity the Church frequently had to operate "underground" due to the persecutions of the Roman state against her. During these periods there were many martyrs who died for their faith in Jesus Christ. The most renowned of these were honored locally by the preservation of the relics (if available) and by the celebration of the anniversary of their death, as a feast in honor of their birth into eternal life. As time passed, neighboring dioceses would honor each others martyrs and even exchange relics for veneration, the way the first century Christians kept the clothes and handkerchiefs touched by St. Paul (Acts 19:12).
At the end of the third century and the beginning of the fourth the most vicious of all persecutions occurred, that of the emperor Diocletian (284-305). The martyrs became so many that in some places it was impossible to commemorate even the most significant of them. The need for a common feast of all martyrs was becoming evident. This common feast became a reality in some places, but on various dates, as early as the middle of the fourth century. As far as Roman practice goes it is known that on 13 May 609 or 610, Pope Boniface IV consecrated the ancient Roman Pantheon as a temple of the Blessed Virgin and All Martyrs. Beginning with Gregory III (731-741) the celebration of a feast of All Saints was commemorated at St. Peters on November 1. Gregory IV (827-844) extended this feast to the entire Church.
The feast of All Souls developed more gradually, first with a monastic celebration of their departed on October 1st. This seems to have occurred first in Germany in the 900s. The patronage of St. Odilio of Cluny extended this feast to other monasteries, first of his own Order, then to Benedictines and others, from where it spread to dioceses, including Rome. It was only in 1915 that the special privilege of three Masses was granted to all priests by Pope Benedict XV.
Halloween during Christian Times
The conversion of Celtic peoples to Christianity did not dampen their enthusiasm for the pre-Christian year-end custom of feasts, bonfires, and masks, essentially new year's eve costume parties. The proximity to the developing Christian feasts of All Saints and All Souls resulted in an attempt to move the celebration to the evening before All Souls, when children would go door to door receiving treats for a promise of prayer for the dead of the household. This attempt to associate the Celtic remembrance of the dead with the Christian memorial ultimately failed and the celebration remained a year-end custom (by the old Celtic calendar), though Halloween remains primarily a children's feast.
With the massive emigration of Irish in the last century the All Hallows Eve customs of costumes, jack-o-lanterns and trick or treating, were transported to North America. Scary costumes remain the historical norm for Halloween, though the advent of more sinister and violent times has encouraged many parents to take a gentler approach. Today many families, and even parishes, hold group celebrations, often with costumes of the saints, the poor souls or famous Catholics (such as the Pope, Mother Teresa or the like) and other elements which re-enforce the Christian side of Halloween's origins.
It is an eye opener to my otherwise sheltered children to learn that some people really do hate God and His Church. But it builds up their faith (and mine) because the attacks show us that Satan knows the right address.
I had to dig this up as some other forums I flit around have some Jack Chickites posting :-) Thanks for the resources!
Don' t keep all the fun to yourself. Give me some thread links so I can join in the Jack Chick hunting!
God calls each one of us to be a saint.
November 1, 2006
Feast of All Saints
The earliest certain observance of a feast in honor of all the saints is an early fourth-century commemoration of "all the martyrs." In the early seventh century, after successive waves of invaders plundered the catacombs, Pope Boniface IV gathered up some 28 wagonloads of bones and reinterred them beneath the Pantheon, a Roman temple dedicated to all the gods. The pope rededicated the shrine as a Christian church. According to Venerable Bede, the pope intended "that the memory of all the saints might in the future be honored in the place which had formerly been dedicated to the worship not of gods but of demons" (On the Calculation of Time).
But the rededication of the Pantheon, like the earlier commemoration of all the martyrs, occurred in May. Many Eastern Churches still honor all the saints in the spring, either during the Easter season or immediately after Pentecost.
How the Western Church came to celebrate this feast in November is a puzzle to historians. The Anglo-Saxon theologian Alcuin observed the feast on November 1 in 800, as did his friend Arno, Bishop of Salzburg. Rome finally adopted that date in the ninth century.
BTTT on the Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed -- All Souls Day, November 2, 2006!
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