Halloween or Samhain? by Jon Sorensen

That time of year again…

The belief that Halloween is pagan in origin is a myth. Many neo-pagan websites claim that it was an attempt by early Christians to “baptize” the Gaelic harvest festival of Samhain. Because of this persistent myth, some Christians are hesitant to participate in anything associated with Halloween. Brad Winsted of the Christian Broadcasting Network explains:

[quote]Even a cursory look at the origins of Halloween will reveal satanic rituals played out in trick and treating, jack-o-lanterns, witches, ghosts, the dead, and on and on. If you’ve ever taken time to research any of these Halloween practices you’ll see the satanic background from the Celtic tribes of Scotland and Ireland.

Like other claims that Catholicism adopted pagan practices and beliefs, this myth is also based on bad research and propaganda that developed after the Protestant Reformation. Given the contempt of the reformers for the Catholic doctrine of purgatory and prayers for the dead, this development is not surprising.


Ah the holidays are upon us…

It is only a matter we get the annual “telling children about Santa is lying” threads.

Ah, we always count on some of our fellow CAF posters to take the joy out of everything.


dubble yup :smiley:

Where’s my candy-corn and that evil fruit-cake… can you give the fruit-cake to the trick-or-treaters? Maybe… fruit-cake made with the candy-corn?

Funny. Our parish secretary’s husband gives out ketchup packets from fast food places to trick-or-treaters.
Our Deacon says he gives out cans of spinach. :smiley:

LOL! Did any of those kids return to their house the next year?! :smiley:

triple yup! :smiley:

I hate that time of year when you go to the stores and see Christmas themed merchandise right next to the Halloween. Blah! Hate seeing it. Turns me off completely. A lot of that stuff has little electronic music playing- its such din to hear the Halloween spooky noises coupled with “here comes Santa Claus” and other Christmas tunes… Totally makes me ill, I can’t be around it. I don’t know how anyone can shop near those isles during that time. Just to see the mass amount of stuff they have to sell makes me sick too. Are last year’s decorations not good enough anymore? Have to throw them away and buy all new? Where does this stuff go?

Through the years, I’ve eased up on Halloween just because I know its fun for the small ones to get dressed up or see something decorated in a fun way.

Nope. Mission accomplished. He’s a bit of a curmudgeon. :wink:

CANNED spinach? That’s gotta be child abuse :jack_o_lantern:

I tried carrot sticks once, but now I just leave the light off…

Just this year I was introduced to the idea of putting your Christmas tree up in early October and- wait for it- initially decorate it with a Halloween theme! Then shortly after Halloween take those decorations down and redecorate with Christmas stuff.

I thought it was a fun idea, a good way to get multiple uses out of the tree and a way to more smoothly keep the tree up for an extra month. I might do that at some point- I don’t think of a Christmas tree as being sacred or set apart in any way, it’s just a tree that I can decorate one way and then later I can decorate it another way.

But that’s just me. It also makes me feel a little better about Halloween and Christmas being right next to each other in a store, the retail part of me kind of wants an excuse to cross-merchandise.

Not to be a jerk, but uh…anyone actually want to comment on the article?

Well, I can’t help but notice that the article makes no mention of Reformation Day.

The larger point of the article, from what I can tell, is that there are 365 days in a year (on average) and just because multiple things are associated with a particular day, that doesn’t mean all of those things are meaningfully linked. It can’t be helped that Samhain and Halloween and Reformation Day all happen to fall on the same day, and it is a mistake to assume that just because somebody does something on that day, they are celebrating everything that has ever had anything to do with that day.

This is made just a little more obvious when you imagine saying “Happy Halloween” to another Catholic and they say something like “Ok, what, does this mean you’re celebrating the Reformation too?” Um, no, those are clearly separate things. Ok, does this mean you just get to pick and choose which things about October 31 that you’re going to celebrate?

Yes, actually. Yes it does.

I’ll also go ahead and quote one paragraph that is really the main takeaway from this article (imo).

“Virtually all of the customs associated with the modern secular celebration of Halloween developed only in the past 500 years and have very few (if any) connections to ancient pagan religious practices.”

Assuming that stands up to more rigorous historical inquiry, that is bound to be a very effective and important argument. And I might add- the modern secular celebration of Halloween developed in the past 500 years, you know what else has been developing right alongside it in the past 500 years? Oh no, it’s the Protestants! But this is really just another example of temporal association that doesn’t necessarily imply causation or any specific and meaningful relationship between two things.

In ancient times, there lived an ancient race… of people… the Druids
No one knows… who they were… or… what they were doing…
But their legacy remains… hewn… into the living rock… of Stonehenge…

What a great time of year!

Date of article: October 28, 2013
It has already be debated.
The concepts therein have been discussed for, well, too many years to count and is highly polarizing and quite frankly, boring, the same arguments and counter arguments that I"ve heard and used myself for almost 4 decades. .:yawn:

Here’s my take on it… we have hundreds of saints… what a great opportunity to evangelize! Every year the “ticket to heaven” shows up at my door ( I know we’ve all seen these little cards :smiley: ) and every year I hand out prayer cards or saint cards, toss in that Lighthouse CD/DVD that I’ve already listened to (I make sure it’s one that I would want my younger children to listen to - or hand it directly to the parents!)… and a business card with my parish name and the contact information for RCIA that I print up with the following questions:
“Do you want to know Jesus Christ and his Church?
Do you want a close personal relationship with Christ?
Do you want to learn about the true historical background behind your faith in Christ?
Contact (RCIA-Coordinator Name) RCIA coordinator with (Parish Name) at (telephone and email)”

The kids… we dress them up as Saints (although we have had a witch or two, a lion, scarecrow, tinman, dragon, pooh-bear - it’s a masquerade party. I’ve even dressed as the angel of death (convert of course - white wings not black :rotfl: )…
"KNOCK - Happy Halloween - Trick or Treat - candy - and who are you…
I’m (saint of the day), really who’s that?.. and the kids know these Saints and tell the 5sec bio.
As for the older ones that want a tad of gore…
Saint Hippolytus - torn apart by horses, Saint Ignatius - Lions, Saint Lawrence BBQ (:D), oh and few dozen more. Almost have the Pastor convenced that we should do a “Saint’s House” using these :smiley: with a little bio at each “scene” telling each Saint’s story!

Let’s take back our holidays and start using them to evangelize the Catholic faith

Happy Halloween

and Merry Christmas!

Funny how we Lutherans missed all of this nonsense. When I was a kid, we would have a “Luther League” Halloween party in the church: dunking for apples, costume contest, games, food, etc.

Then one of the adult sponsors would come out dressed like the pope and scare all the kids into a panic.
kidding :smiley:

Seriously, the author of the CBN article wants to celebrate Luther and the Reformation.
Perhaps he would like to start with the Small Catechism. You know, infant Baptism, Confession, and the Real Presence. :cool:


There are worst items than canned spinach that have been given out to trick or treaters.

Want to know what it is?

…drum roll…

Chick tracts


The funny, it goes up to 11…

Couple of problems with this ,the Druids were not a race but a particular class of people with specific responsibilities within certain cultures. Also Although they have may used Stonehenge it was built long before them.

Google up the movie: This is Spinal Tap


Smell the glove!

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