At first blush, Halloween seems to be the most un-Christian holiday on our calendar. What could be Christian about a night filled with witches, vampires, monsters, and everything dark, eerie, and evil?
It turns out Halloween is one of the most Catholic holidays we celebrate, rivaled only by Christmas and Easter.
Here are top 5 reasons Halloween is a very Catholic holiday:
These are very biblical things. Though always looked down upon, the Bible is full of stories of witches, warlocks, necromancers and fortune-tellers. Read the story of King Saul seeking out the Witch of Endor to conjure up a dead prophet. Tell me that’s not a scary Halloween-worthy story!
You could make the argument that Catholics are a little obsessed with death. Go into any Catholic Church and you will find a prominent image of Jesus being tortured to death on a cross – the most effective instrument of torture devised by man. We talk about death a LOT as Catholics. (Have you ever wondered why Catholics walk around on Ash Wednesday with ashes on their forehead? Just a reminder to us and everyone else that we will eventually be a pile of dirt.) Don’t lie, when you think of what a funeral looks like, you think of a Catholic funeral, correct? We just know how to send someone off in style. While Catholics never just talk about death (there is always the promise of eternal life for those who follow Jesus) but Catholics should feel pretty comfortable celebrating a holiday all filled with death.
Not everyone believes in good and evil anymore. Many people take the attitude that “what’s good for you is good for you; and what’s good for me is good for me.” Not so for Catholics. The Devil is real, and he is a bad dude. Evil is real. Halloween shines a spotlight on the dark things of this world. We acknowledge that evil exists and it’s not pretty. We do not deny it.
Catholics often get a bad rap for being party-poopers. The whole Catholic guilt thing tends to get blown out of proportion. To be fair, we do spend a lot of time in penance. Ever heard of Advent and Lent? These are extended amounts of time that Catholics set aside for prayer and penance – and it’s usually not a lot of fun. On the other hand, Catholics know how to celebrate. Who doesn’t like Christmas and Easter? You can thank us for that! Halloween is actually the night before a major feast day – when you think “feast day” think “party!” Which is why it is so appropriate that Halloween involves hosting special parties and feasting on tons of candy.
The fact that Halloween is connected to a feast day in the Catholic Church leads me to the #1 reason Halloween is very, very Catholic.
The Catholic Church started it!
Halloween literally means “All Hallows Eve.” When the Church celebrates something big, often the evening beforehand is also a big deal. (Think Christmas Eve.) So what is the big event that is so important that we not only celebrate the day but the entire evening beforehand? This special day is called All Saints Day.
All Saints Day is a special day to celebrate all the Saints in heaven. Just as darkness, evil and death are a fact of life; so is light, goodness, and eternal life in heaven to those who follow Jesus.
So go ahead, have a Happy Halloween. The next day when you wake up from your candy coma take some time to think about your eternal destiny. Jesus offers you a life of love, goodness, and peace that will last forever.