Do Catholics celebrate Halloween differently?

I know it’s not even October yet, but someone just asked me to give out candy this Halloween. I converted last year at Advent, so I don’t know how Catholics celebrate Halloween differently from the rest of the American population, if at all. I know the next day is All Saints’ Day (I’m not sure how we celebrate that), and that’s about it. So I have a few questions:

Am I allowed to celebrate the traditional American Halloween?
Do Catholics do anything extra (rituals, prayers, etc.)?
Are there any traditional American Halloween practices I must avoid?

Welcome home! :slight_smile:

So I have a few questions:

Am I allowed to celebrate the traditional American Halloween?

Yes, certainly! :slight_smile:

Do Catholics do anything extra (rituals, prayers, etc.)?

If it’s available at your parish, you can attend the Vigil Mass for All Saints’ Day. You can also pray the Evening Prayer from the Divine Office for All Saints’ Day. Neither of these is required, although depending on where you live, All Saints Day may be a Holy Day of Obligation, and going to the Vigil Mass (assuming there is one) would fulfill the obligation.

Are there any traditional American Halloween practices I must avoid?

I can’t think of any - obviously, one should avoid the company of those who actually think they are “witches” and any of the practices that they get involved with (Tarot cards and the like) but there is nothing wrong with playing a bit of dress-up, and making fun of the Devil, and witches, and ghosts, etc. :slight_smile:

One year my oldest son dressed up as a priest. We took him to the rectory for trick-or-treat.

I wish there was a facebook “like” for this post.

We celebrate Halloween every year. We have decorated our yard as a “pet semetary”, had about 10 carved pumpkins lining the sidewalk, passed out oodles of candy, and for several years, I have worked at a Haunted House, scaring the you know what out of people! It is so scary that it is not recommended for ages 12 and under! Nothing satanic or occultish - just really terrifying! We go for the suspense and then…the…SCARE! It is GREAT fun for me!

The funniest part of my Catholic School teaching job is showing my students pictures of me in my makeup and costume AFTER the fact and telling them about my Halloween and my scaring people! This middle aged woman garners a whole lot of respect from the pre-teen boy set! :smiley: Then in following years, as they get older, they come out and I get to scare THEM! It is really funny to hear the groups say, “Was that Mrs. …? No way…YEAH, it WAS! OMG!!” It is a riot! :thumbsup:

Awesome. :slight_smile:

It’s a calling! I wish I could still do that, but I’m too old now and Trick-or-Treating now might make me look like a cheap miser attempting to get free food (that’s actually my intention if ever I decide to trick-or-treat again).

I celebrate All Saints and All Souls day, I don’t celebrate Halloween :slight_smile:

We had a Saints party for our little ones. Considering what Carl Jung said about ‘masks’ and the ‘personna’ I for one am loathe to dress any kids in the likenesses of the adversary. I’m just sayin’…:shrug:

Halloween (Hallowed Evening) is a Catholic tradition. In the past, people would celebrate the vigils of feasts much more than we do now. So the night before All Saint’s day, families would go out to clean and decorate the graves of their loved ones (since those loved ones were hoped to be in heaven and therefore some of the “all saints”). Traditions grew into things like scaring away the devil with masks, preparing special foods and treats for that evening’s dinner, etc. Catholics are generally a party-happy bunch. :smiley:

Obviously through many twists and turns, this morphed over the centuries into the American practice of kids going door-to-door for candy. There is nothing wrong with that part - except the dentist bills. :wink:

This problems today are that any chance to dress-up over the age of about 8 has become a chance to be “sexy”. Halloween parties for teens and adults are usually bad news, not because of Halloween but because of the secular culture.

And those folks who think they really are ‘witches’ and those who just like to get a rise out of the puritan-leaning Christians have adopted Halloween as a satanistic event. That is not the origin, but both sides (the witches and the puritans/evangelicals) get a lot of play out of that.

So to really celebrate, go out to a cemetery to tidy up and then have all your friends and neighbors over for a big dinner and lots of dessert.

Partially correct as I understand it- Catholics co-opted the Pagan equivalent (All Hallow’s Eve) that dealt with the return of the dead during the solstice when the veil of life and death was the thinnest -if memory serves.

We Mexicans have the tradition of building shrines for the dead on All Souls Day. We call them ofrendas .

My mom was Irish Catholic and she said, “We invented Halloween!” Our parish was started by Irish immigrants and there’s loads of ghost stories and Halloween tales to this day about the church, the area, and the original residents. Scaring away the devil is great fun! Carving pumpkins is a great fun tradition with only good will attached to it. And I agree with the previous poster that today it’s all about being sexy. I have teen-aged daughters… oh my!!! Halloween is right around the corner and everyone here is gearing up for a great night of fun. The veil between the living and the dead is the thinnest and I sure hope my (now deceased) parents pay a visit!

Our parish has a “Saints Alive!” party. All the kids come dressed as a saint. Lots of St. Michaels, lots of St. George (and sometimes little brother is the dragon). I usually dress up too. I’ve been Padre Pio, St. Martin de Porres, St. Juan Diego, etc.



Halloween was fine back when it was an innocent time for kids to dress up and have some fun. Then the adults took it over and it got to be a popular and not so innocent party night for some.

I like Halloween but hate how gory it’s become for some people. Has anyone gone into a Halloween store and seen some of that merchandise?
That said, we celebrate Halloween every year. Our daughter is 26 so she obviously doesn’t Trick or Treat, lol, but our friends still have young kids so they have a pretty big gathering on their driveway/garage and everybody brings something to add to the food table. We give out candy to the Trick or Treaters and have a lot of fun.

No Catholics don’t celebrate Halloween any differently then normal. Halloween is not a religious Holiday so therefore, it doesn’t matter what religion you are. You can celebrate Halloween however you want it doesn’t matter.

Are you kidding that Halloween is NOT a religious holiday when witches and warlocks are out in full force just before All Saints Day? :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

For me, I attended the All Saints Day Vigil Mass at 8pm on 31st October 2011. So it is definitely a religious holiday for me.

What is the greatest horror faced by Catholics on Halloween?

Clue - It was perpetuated on 31st October 1517 at the front door of a cathedral by an Augustinian priest.

Answer: (Look at this picture)

From a kid’s perspective - the greatest horror would not being able to go trick or treating!
From an adult’s perspective - running out of candy to hand out!


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