Halloween is short for All-Hallows-Even. Even or Eve refers to the evening before the day.
Christmas Eve is the night before December 25. Similarly, Hallows Eve is the night before November 1, the Catholic festival of All Saints.
This holy day of obligation was once known as All Hallows since “hallow” is a more ancient form of “holy.” For example, “hallowed by thy name” means “holy is thy name.” All Saints = All Hallows. In fact, November 1 was once called “Hallowmas.” For those linguists out there, hallowed comes from the Old English word haligra which fell out of use before AD 1500. Those who know German will recognize it’s similarity to heiliger.
Is Halloween Essentially Evil?
There are some Christians who have written off Halloween per se as some sort of diabolical black mass. This interpretation usually includes a legend of how the Catholic Church conspired with druids to corrupt Europe, or some other nonsense.To be clear, it’s the vigil of a Christian holy day: All Hallows’ Eve or All Saints Eve. Has it been corrupted by our culture and consumer market? You bet.
However, Christmas has also been derailed by the culture. Does that mean that we’re going hand over Christmas? No way! Same goes for Halloween. The Church does not surrender what rightfully belongs to her – she wins it back!
Celebrate to celebrate Hallows Eve, but clarify “We don’t celebrate it by glorifying the demonic.” Dress your children as saints and be counter-cultural. Be leaven in the lump. Salt in the world. Be hallowed.
Oh, and don’t forget All Hallows (Nov 1) is a Holy Day of Obligation. It’s a mortal sin not to attend Holy Mass on this day (unless it is lawfully transferred by the bishops).
You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Please sign up for my daily email updates and get a FREE book on Thomas Aquinas by clicking here.