It's official. The Catholic Knight is retired.  I'm hanging up the helmet and passing the torch. There will be no more articles, no more commentaries, no more calls to action. THIS BLOG IS CLOSED. I've spent a very long time thinking about this, I believe the time has come, and is a bit overdue.  I want to thank my readers for everything, but most especially for your encouragement and your willingness to go out there and fight the good fight. So, that being the case, I've spend the last several weeks looking for bloggers who are fairly active, and best represent something akin to the way I think and what I believe.  I recommend the following blogs for my readers to bookmark and check on regularly. Pick one as your favourite, or pick them all. They are all great..... In His Majesty's Service, THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT

Sunday, October 31, 2010

SURPRISE! Halloween Is Not Pagan After All !!!

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: So go ahead and dress those kids up and send them out for some fun. Of course if they're young you'll want to make sure they have some adult supervision. I would also recommend staying clear of anything that glorifies violence or the occult. That's the real problem with Halloween. Popular (Secular) culture has tried to ruin it, just like Christmas, by getting the focus onto anything other than what it's supposed to be about. By glorifying violence and the occult, Halloween has turned into something nasty. It doesn't have to be. For my kids, it's a night of dress up and make believe. My daughter usually goes as a princess or animal character. My son like superheros and Star Wars characters. One time my son asked if he could go as a skeleton, and I said "no" because Halloween is a celebration of life, and we don't want to use it to glorify death. So he decided to be Iron Man instead. When my daughter asked if she could dress up as a witch, again I said "no" because witchcraft (Wicca) is an occult religion, and we don't honor such things. She decided to go as a cat instead. Now maybe I'm being a bit strict here, but I think it's a fair adjustment. The kids get to celebrate the occasion, and the family doesn't have to worry about sending the wrong kind of message. These are just some personal family rules, but I imagine some variation of them would probably serve most Catholic families well. Some Catholic families might be okay with skeletons and witches, provided they are more cute than scary or occult.

I am a bit mortified at the whole "scary" business during Halloween. For heaven's sake, this is supposed to be a childrens' celebration! Why on earth would you put something on that would scare the pants off them and then go out in public!?! Honestly parents, we need to do a better job on this. If your kid is going out looking like death on a stick, maybe it's time to have a sit down talk with him/her.

The name "Halloween" comes from Old English. It began with the English reference to All Saints Day (November 1st) on the Catholic calendar. The English referred to the All Saints as "All Hallows." You've heard the term before right? "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name..." It's just another way of saying "holy" or "sanctified." All Saints Day (November 1st) is the day on the liturgical calendar when we honor all those who have died in Christ and now LIVE in heaven. It's a celebration of eternal life! The night before All Saints Day is All Saints Evening, but the English would refer to it as "All Hallows Even." Gradually, over time, the name morphed into "Hallow'even" and eventually into "Halloween." A similar thing happened with the word Christmas, which is an abbreviation of the term "Christ's Mass" in reference to liturgical celebrations for the "Feast of the Holy Nativity" observed on December 25th in the Western Christian calendar.

Now the historic customs surrounding Halloween come from various sources, and most of them involve immigrants to the United States and there cultural distinctions in dealing with the celebration of All Saints Day (Nov. 1st) and All Souls Day (Nov. 2nd).  Most of what we do today comes from the Irish and the French. Trick-or-treat actually evolved from a sad prank English Protestants would play on English Catholics on Guy Fawkes Day (Nov. 5th).  Americans simply bumped the date back to October 31st, and turned it into something fun for everyone.  In recent years it has become in vogue for some Evangelical Christians to boycott Halloween. This is misguided and unnecessary. The day (and the night) belongs to us. It is our celebration - a Christian celebration - or at least it's supposed to be. Ancient Pagans knew nothing of Halloween or the modern customs we have associated with it. As Christians, it is not our place to curse the darkness, but rather shine a light. It's time to change the spirit of Halloween back to something more in tune with our Christian heritage. Instead of all the creepy stuff, decorate your home in cheerful and playful items that celebrate life. Typically in our home, we put out happy face jack-o-lanterns with cheerful scarecrows along with decor appropriate for harvest season.

Of course we understand that wherever you go, we're going to see somebody who's made a haunted house or some other macabre display. On that we just use our best judgment. If it looks ridiculously violent or occult, we just stay clear and move on to the next place. We don't scare our children with haunted houses or frighten them with scary movies. In fact, we generally don't watch scary movies in our home anyway.

What's important is that our children understand the meaning behind all of this. We are celebrating life, particularly eternal life with God, and in doing so we are honoring all those who have gone into heaven before us. Thus, we like to make sure they go to mass the following day - All Saints Day.
(BeliefNet) - We’ve all heard the allegations: Halloween is a pagan rite dating back to some pre-Christian festival among the Celtic Druids that escaped church suppression. Even today modern pagans and witches continue to celebrate this ancient festival. If you let your kids go trick-or-treating, they will be worshiping the devil and pagan gods.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The origins of Halloween are, in fact, very Christian and rather American. Halloween falls on October 31 because of a pope, and its observances are the result of medieval Catholic piety...

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