Halloween at church


#1

I am absolutely staggered. I went to Mass yesterday and as I left a women at the the door was selling tickets for a Halloween Children’s Party:eek: Again she was selling tickets at the adjacent Catholic school this morning. And yesterday’s parish newsletter even advertised this Halloween Fancy Dress Party!!!

I am nonplussed. I’m a convert from evangelicalism and my family are yet to follow. Most are quite anti-Catholic and if they knew about this I think my proselytising attempts would be killed off. Some would say that this says all they need to know about the Catholic Church.

But what is my parish priest and the school thinking of? Supposedly it’s all ‘a bit of harmless fun’ and they don’t want the children to miss out. Am I supposedly meant to send my kids dressed as the Devils, his demonic cohorts from hell, maybe Beelzebul, a witch perhaps, maybe as Freddie Kruger or some chainsaw killer dripping in fake blood.

Sorry, but I’m with Jack Chick on this one! And I think Pope Benedict too; after all, he soundly condemned the Harry Potter demonic garbage. Should I post the newsletter to the Bishop?


#2

First of all, His Holiness never condemned Harry Potter. There are numerous threads on here about that.

Secondly, Halloween has become such a secular holiday; I don’t share your discomfort. If it bothers you, don’t allow your children to attend. Maybe you could also approach your priest about why he’s allowing this–I’m sure he could give you his reasons.


#3

I don’t have a problem with Halloween in general, my son dresses up and has a good time. But he goes to Catholic school and comes home singing some song that goes “black cat, black cat, where is the witch” or something. I’m like why is he being taught songs about wtiches and demons etc… at Catholic school? Carved pumpkins into Jack-O-Lanterns, costumes, parties, they seem to put more emphasis A LOT more emphasis on Halloween than they are for All Souls Day, and All Saint’s Day (I asked my son he has no idea what these are). I expected more from a catholic school frankly.


#4

You join the Jehovah’s Witnesses in your dread of this secular party day. Catholic and other Christian kids have been ndoing holloween fun for well over a century in the U.S. Don’t know anyone who ever left a church over it. Of course some of the stuff is’nt fun and some costumes very inappropriate.


#5

I’m with you,
I do not like churches getting into halloween. it bugs me.

Once again, however, we much remind ourselves that our church is run by human beings who do not do everything perfectly. They make wrong decisions in the name of “fun”. I try to avoid sharing this information with my protestent friends because it’ll start a long train of accusations on how the cathlic church started halloween and all that rigamarole.

if I were you, I’d say something to the priest and then drop it. pray about it, but you probably won’t change any minds over night. trust me, I tried to be a lone crusador last halloween. I set out to let all my friends from church know what the problems are with the (un)holliday and I ended up being told “Oh you’ll change your mind once you have children.” and talked down to (by my friends) and looked at funny and it’s just not worth it. at lest, not to me.

oh and you know what buggs me? is the term “Jack O Lanern”. where did this come from? the actual word used to be “Jackle lantern” and the lazy english tongue turned it into something cute and funny, when it’s derivativ is not cute and funny at all. once again, people will look at that and go “she’s nuts”. so I Just smile at my friends and say “have fun carving your jackle faces in pumpkins” and drop it. but I don’t participate in it either.


#6

Sorry, but Halloween is a holiday with decidely Catholic roots. Like Jack Chick, that is why many of my neighbors growing up didn’t celebrate it - too Catholic. :smiley: The only thing “wrong” with Halloween is the way it has turned into a celebration of the grisly and gory. I think we Catholics need to “take back” Halloween as a fun and family oriented All Saints eve celebration.

So your relatives are going to be upset that a Catholic parish is acting too Catholic!?!

It is likely that the parish and school have rules against the Freddy Kruger type costumes. My own kids are a knight and a Stars Wars character this year. No evil there. :wink:


#7

How about dressing them up as there favorite Saint, The Vigil of All Saints Day? The Circle of Friends at our parish sponsor a Fall Festival which also serves as a fund raiser for the St. Vincent de Paul and the admission is one canned food item per person for Catholic Charities. This program provides the children a Catholic Festival. God Bless


#8

It’s okay - it’s All Saints’ Eve - (“Hallows” are Saints) and it’s perfectly all right for Catholics to celebrate it.

I am nonplussed. I’m a convert from evangelicalism and my family are yet to follow. Most are quite anti-Catholic and if they knew about this I think my proselytising attempts would be killed off. Some would say that this says all they need to know about the Catholic Church.

Don’t judge the Catholic Church by Evangelical standards - they don’t apply. The Catholic Church was founded by Christ - Evangelicalism is Man’s opinion of what Christ ought to have said. And Christ never said, “No fancy dress parties.” In fact, I’ll bet He even went to some. :slight_smile:

But what is my parish priest and the school thinking of?

A fun aspect of our Catholic tradition.

Supposedly it’s all ‘a bit of harmless fun’ and they don’t want the children to miss out. Am I supposedly meant to send my kids dressed as the Devils, his demonic cohorts from hell, maybe Beelzebul, a witch perhaps, maybe as Freddie Kruger or some chainsaw killer dripping in fake blood.

Actually, the majority will be dressed up as their Patron Saints, or as something fun, such as a clown or a favourite cartoon character.

Welcome to the Catholic Church!! :slight_smile:


#9

Why would you assume the costume party is all about dressing up as

Devils, his demonic cohorts from hell, maybe Beelzebul, a witch perhaps, maybe as Freddie Kruger or some chainsaw killer dripping in fake blood.

???

Why not something a little more benign and fun!?!
Astronauts, firemen, angels, and gorillas seem pretty fun an innocent to me!!

Our parish “celebrates” Halloween/All Saints Day every year… in fact, yesterday after Sunday school they had the “Saints parade”, when the kids dressed up like saints and marched to “When the Saints go marching in”… (My son was St. Peter :thumbsup: … proudly wearing his golden key around his neck!)

Sounds like good holy Catholic fun to me! :smiley:


#10

Obviously, Jesus never said “no fancy dress parties.” Then again did he need to say “no dressing up as devils kids!” I suppose I’m making an assumption about what a Catholic Halloween Party might be like. If the fancy dresses ALL avoid the witch, hobgoblin and Beezebul theme then I’ve no problem with it.

Nevertheless, I’ll make no bones about it. Halloween is an important day for pagans and satanists! dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=413213&in_page_id=1770

I had the displeasure of having my lunch today at a certain bar in London. The whole place was decked out in a witches and demons theme. There was a bubbling cauldron on the bar with a plastic lower leg cooking away. Can’t help feeling that a necrophiliac and cannibal like Jeffrey Dahmer would have approved. Digusting, degenerate, demonic!

Frankly, my opinion is that any “Catholic” parents allowing their kids to participate in the witches and ghouls stuff are cafeteria catholics, totally nominal and either unbelievers there for the free schooling or just totally ignorant.

Yes, the evangelicals have erred in certain doctrines, but they still know the difference between the Prince of darkness and the Prince of Light.


#11

So you are qualified to judge on the basis of who enjoys Halloween who is a cafeteria catholic?? rotfl
If you wish to continue evangelical beliefs be my guest, but don’t inflict your eroneous holdover beliefs on the rest of us.
Our Catholic Church ran a haunted hospital for 10 years and raised thousands for charity. It wasn’t staffed by “nominal” catholics, but by the entire parish.


#12

#13

My oldest son dresses up as Death every year, complete with fake blood and a plastic scythe. Am I a cafeteria Catholic?

Instead of being a cafeteria Catholic, I simply have a different take on this issue then you. Halloween is a time to celebrate the fact that we as Christians have power over death through Christ. We don’t have to fear it. In fact the whole issue of dressing up in what one fears is a very empowering experience.

As far as dressing up as demons and witches…I would guess that most people who do so, have no respect or admiration for Satanists or Witchcraft and are certainly not doing so to emulate any dark forces but are instead simply having fun. Or perhaps they are making fun of such things.

Sometimes I think that we Christians are actually giving Satan power by seeing him in the most innocent type of fun.


#14

I wonder if you are aware that most of todays holidas came from the pagans, including Christmas. Im also betting you think Satanists worship satan. This is not the case.Satanism of the sort where believers consciously worship Satan as an evil entity or an enemy of the Christian God appears to be confined to rumor, disturbed teenagers, and bad Heavy metal music.


#15

Being against a Witches and Ghouls Halloween is not evangelical. Don’t bother with that ridiculous slur:-

French Catholics march against Halloween

01 November 2003 21:25
In France hundreds of Catholic children and their parents turned out in Versailles in costume for what they called their first ‘March of the Saints’ in protest against what organisers called the 'black message of Halloween.‘
The light-hearted rally, held on All Saints’ Day, was intended to show disapproval of the tradition of Halloween with its overtones of witchcraft, fear and evil.

[quote=cmon]Our Catholic Church ran a haunted hospital for 10 years and raised thousands for charity. It wasn’t staffed by “nominal” catholics, but by the entire parish.
[/quote]

This is a wind-up right? Your parish raised money for charity charging people to get scared by a haunted hospital? Loony alert or what. Or do you just just mean you had to persevere in working at a hospital that was haunted?

Maybe you could read what Roman Catholic
J. Domínguez, M.D.
religion-cults.com/Occult/Magic/MAGIC.htm

has to say about Halloween, one of the 8 times yearly “Sabbats” in the Wiccan Calendar, key phases in the seasonal progress of Mother Earth to harmonize with the rhythm of nature:

**I commend Catholics who organise anti-Halloween nights, Festivals of Light etc. **

Yes I am as qualified to judge who is an cafeteria catholic as anyone. I have a MA in Catholic (not evangelical) Theology. I know the Bible. I know the CCC.

A cafeteria catholic is obviously one who doesn’t mind dressing his kids up as Satan or a witch merely 'cos they can’t bear missing out on a fancy dress party or going against society’s mores.


#16

People saying it’s a pagan holiday need to get over themselves seriously. If you’re that against pagan holidays, you can get rid of Easter eggs, yule logs, Christmas trees too. Christmas is ~ the Winter Solstice, St. John the Baptists feast day is on the Summer solstice, nearly every pagan holiday coincides with a Christian holiday.

Don’t be selective get rid of it all, it all has pagan influences. If you’re that weak spiritually that’s your problem. I admit it can go overboard,a nd I wish my sons school would focus on all Saints Day and all Souls Day a little more. But since I don’t believe in witches or ghosts it’s not that big a deal. Early Christians had no problem moving Christian feast days and adopting harmless pagan customs as long as it brought converts, and Christians could center a once pagan holiday around a Christian theme.


#17

Well it need bug you no longer. Jack-O-Lantern’s have nothing whatever to do with Jackels. It’s from an old Irish story.

An Irish legend tells of Jack, a lazy but shrewd farmer who used a cross to trick the Devil, then refused to free him unless he agreed to never let Jack into Hell. The Devil agreed. When Jack died, the Devil wouldn’t let him into Hell. So, Jack carved out one of his turnips, put a candle inside it, and began endlessly wandering the Earth for a resting place. He was known as “Jack of the Lantern”, or Jack-o’-Lantern.
There are variations on the legend. Some of which include:
[LIST]
*]The Devil mockingly tossing a coal from the fires of Hell at Jack, which Jack then places in the turnip.
*]Jack tricking/trapping the Devil a variety of ways, including placing a key or other item in the Devil’s pocket when the Devil is suspended in the air or plucking an apple from a tree. Some versions include a “wise and good man” or even God helping Jack to prevail over the Devil.
*]Jack’s bargain with the Devil being different. In some variations, the deal is only a temporary bargain, but the Devil, embarrassed and vengeful, refuses Jack entry after Jack dies.
*]Jack is considered a greedy man and is not allowed into either Heaven or Hell, without anything having to do with the Devil.[/LIST] Despite the colorful legends, the term jack-o’-lantern originally meant a night watchman, or man with a lantern, with the earliest known use in the mid-17th century; and later, meaning an ignis fatuus or will-o’-the-wisp.[1] The names “Jacky Lantern” and “Jack the Lantern” persist in the oral tradition in Newfoundland, refering to the will-o’-the wisp type phenomena, rather than the carved pumpkin jack-o’-lantern.


#18

Well, I’m ceretainly glad you’re not to one who decides who is “Catholic” and isn’t “Catholic” then.


#19

My worst fear would be a satanic, ritual child abuser. Should I dress up as one for ‘an empowering experience’? Maybe as Jeffrey Dahmer and carry a plastic arm to munch. Maybe I’d go as Aleister Crowley and carry a “joke” cup of cat’s blood to toast the evening.

As far as dressing up as demons and witches…I would guess that most people who do so, have no respect or admiration for Satanists or Witchcraft and are certainly not doing so to emulate any dark forces but are instead simply having fun. Or perhaps they are making fun of such things.

Sounds like a dictionary ready definition for “dabbling in the occult” to me.

Sometimes I think that we Christians are actually giving Satan power by seeing him in the most innocent type of fun.

If you can’t “see” the demonic in grisly, bloody, wiccan outfits maybe you’re spiritually blind.
2 Cor 4:4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
1 Thess 5:22 from all appearance of evil abstain ye;

C’mon, you girls just can’t be for real.


#20

I’ve learned more stuff researching this topic this year.

First off, Halloween or All Hallow’s Eve, including All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day, are all a Catholic co-opting of a pagan holiday of Northern Europe and the British Isles. All Saint’s Day is there because the pagan holiday was there and a positive spin on it was needed…nobody was going to keep the locals from having their festival, so the festival had to be converted, too. This fit in with the need to have a feast day for all the saints who wouldn’t fit on the calendar.

As nearly as I can tell, the pagans used to dress up as all sorts of fantastic animals for this festival, a festival in which they imagined the spiritual world, including the world of the dead, was very close.

One of those fantastic animal types would be a ram or a bull, which was symbolic of the masculine…and whether that was abstract aspects of one divinity or not, who knows, because they didn’t write any of this down.

The human with the horns, then, became the symbol of evil when the Christians did their dress-up, because it was a recognizable version of the pagan diety. Christians would dress up not just as saints, but as angels, demons, and, as nearly as I can tell, virtues and vices. It was kind of like a morality play run amok. The festival became one in which one would keep in mind one’s eternal fate.

Interestingly, the natives in Mexico had a similar festival in mid-summer. When the Christian missionaries arrived, it was moved to coincide with the European All Saint’s and All Soul’s Day, which is why the Mexican Days of the Dead now fall at the same time.

If one dresses up as a devil for Halloween, the whole point is to remind people that their present choices have eternal consequences! Remember, we used to have gargoyles and demons depicted on our cathedrals and churches.

Jesus did, you might remember, allow the demons to speak occasionally…just occasionally. Remember, also, that he was accused himself of being allied with demons because he was able to cast them out. Confronting our fear of evil is not in and of itself evil.

What children must learn to avoid is seeking to have power in anything other than God. Dressing up like a devil is not the same as consulting tarot cards or ouija boards or casting spells with the intention of working one’s own will through supernatural or spiritual means. When we are in the world of the spiritual, we need to be certain that the only spirit guide we will accept is the Holy Spirit.

As for the satanists, there appear to be two kinds, both of which are small groups. One is a bunch of atheists who like to tweak the noses of Christians by doing exactly what the Christians won’t do. They don’t believe a word of it, but they like the fear and consternation they can provoke by doing it. The other group, which appears to be even smaller than the first, are as nearly as I can tell a bunch of sociopaths and psychopaths who are mentally incapable of understanding what love is on an emotional level. I won’t go into it any more except to say that they are some sick cookies. This is not something a normal kid is going to go do.

There are very few people like this, but they are the people who make it necessary to lock the tabernacles.

Those who attempted to re-create the European nature religions did go back to celebrating Halloween, but theirs is nothing like the secular blood and gore thing. The wiccan celebration attempts to make contact with the spirit world. They don’t do trick-or-treating or dress up like ghouls. Wicca is a religion with a sense of being under persecution and a religion that can be practice privately. It concentrates on ritual and finding one’s own personal unique connection to the universe, as well as a sense that one can make a difference in the world through spell casting. It seems to have a great attraction to young people who feel disaffected from organized religion or to those who don’t have a mystical tradition in their own religion.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.