Friday, October 29, 2010

"For all the saints..."

As everyone knows, this upcoming Sunday is Halloween in the United States. Most of you know that the reason for this is due, at least in part, to semantics. For those who don't know, allow me to explain. Halloween is on October 31st. The next day, November 1st, is All Saints Day on the Church's calendar, so years past, this night before was called All Saints Eve or, in the older English, "All Hallows Even", which was shortened to "Hallow's E'en" and, eventually, "Hallowe'en". On the secular side, this night has long been infused with a large amount of popular associations with spirits and gouls, associations which may even predate the introduction of Christianity to the British Isles. We here in the U.S., derive our celebration of this secular holiday from our British heritage.

I should add here a very sincere "thank you" to all of the volunteers who helped to work at the haunted house at The Library on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. John Desler and his crew at The Library combined the two best possible themes of the week: fun for kids and raising money for charity. Thanks to the help of many good students, The Library was able to raise alot of badly-needed money for Interfaith Compassion Ministry. When I find out the final tally, I'll post it. Many of you put in many hours and I know that I won't have the opportunity to thank each of you personally, but I hope that you know that your help was truly appreciated.

So, the fact remains that Halloween is linked intimately with the Church calendar. If you, strong in your Catholic faith, choose to poke fun at superstition and fear of death and evil by dressing up and making merry on Halloween, more power to you. I trust you'll be smart, be safe and not forget your faith when you don your costume. Heck, I know my wife and I will be taking our little ones trick-or-treating in our neighborhood after the 5:00 Mass. And, after a happy Halloween, you might even make an extra effort to go to Mass on All Saints Day.