Do you believe in Christian Halloween? Be ready. All week long you’ll be having the “Halloween or no Halloween?” conversation with all of your friends, be they Catholic, Protestant, or otherwise.
For Protestants without a tradition of All Saints Day, it sometimes becomes “Halloween vs. Reformation Day,” the latter being the celebration of the Martin Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses on Oct 31 (click for podcast). Even some Catholics are concerned that Halloween has become “evil.”
Well, here are ten ways to keep good ol’ Halloween fun and sacred.
Top 10 Christian Halloween Ideas
10. Don’t call it “Satan’s Holiday”!
There are many Christians who have written off Halloween as some sort of diabolical black mass. In reality, 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!
9. Don’t feel that you have to opt for an Christian Halloween alternative.
Many churches (particularly Protestant ones) are now how hosting “Fall Festivals” on Oct 31.
That’s like saying, “commercialism has destroyed Christmas, so let’s instead celebrate a “Winter” Festival” on Dec 25. (By the way, I really do believe that Christ was born on Christmas – click here for the article).
It’s All Hallows Eve. Don’t change the name.
Unless you have seriously hesitations about your neighborhood, why not join your neighbors? It could be a great opportunity to get to know them and spark up some relationships. I’ve gotten to know some neighborhood dads as we stand out on the curb and watch our kids go up and the ring the door bells of every house on the street.
8. Have fun, don’t force converts.
Look, nobody likes to get a religious tract in their candy sack. Don’t pass out religious literature in place of candy. Give out big handfuls of candy and the extra large candy bars, if you can. In the long run, you will make more converts with your charity. After all, you’ll be known as “the house that always gives out good candy.” If you have a Halloween after party, maybe that’s the place to give away Rosaries (October is the Month of the Rosary!).
7. Be salty.
Try some subtle evangelism. Don’t drop the Evangelical approach: “Do you know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior? Would you like to be baptized tomorrow?” Instead, ask people if they know the origin of Halloween. Talk about “saints.” It’s a great “ease in” approach to having a spiritual conversation with your neighbors.
6. Be hospitable – Why not host the neighborhood party?
Christians are supposed to be hospitable, right? It’s in the Bible. Check out Romans 12:13. Why not host a Halloween after party at your house with hot chocolate and coffee for the adults? Open up your house or back yard for games. Remember bobbing for apples? Bean bag toss? Pin the tail on the Leviathan?
5. Don’t be turned off by the ghoulish-ness of Halloween.
Every great Catholic cathedral has gargoyles carved into its stone work. Illuminated manuscripts are also full of ghouls in the margins. Catholics are into this kind of stuff. Why? Because Christ has conquered death and the devil. After Christ, death has lost its sting.
Also, All Saints day is followed by All Souls day so it’s okay to be a little macabre. (By the way the word “macabre” comes from Maccabees – those two books in the Catholic Bible that Protestants threw out.) And if you live in an Hispanic area like I do, you’ve got the whole Dia de Muertos to play up.
4. Have a bonfire!
We Catholics used to specialize in bonfires. A Christian Halloween calls for a fire pit. If you have the land and it’s legal, stoke up a blaze. If you’re kids are older why not set out a bunch of glowing jack-o-lanterns and roast marshmallows over a blazing-hot fire? If someone can play the fiddle, all the better.
3. Carve some fine looking Jack-O-Lanterns.
This is a no-brainer. Download some fancy cutting patterns from the web. Spend time as a family carving out some pumpkins. Put some candles in them and let them burn outside your house for a week or so before Halloween. My kids always like to see who has jack-o-lanterns in front of their house. Do you want to make friends in the neighborhood? Have a carving party and give a prize to the best jack-o-lantern.
2. Visit the graves of your loved ones.
This applies more to All Souls Day (Nov 2) than it does to All Saints Day (Nov 1). Still the point is to remember our loved ones and to pray for those who have died marked with the sign of faith. Death is not the last word. Christ has overcome death by His own sorrowful passion and death through the resurrection. That is is the source of our hope and strength of all the saints.
The All Souls Indulgence runs from November 1-9.
(If you’re a Member of the New Saint Thomas Institute, we just put up a great video course on Indulgences with Dr Moorman and me. It’s getting great reviews. Click here to learn more about the New Saint Thomas Institute.)
1. Be holy.
If you persevere in the love and grace of God, you too shall be a capital “S” Saint. The whole point of “All Hallows” is to remind us to be “hallowed” or “sanctified”. Most of us won’t have our own particular feast day and so All Saints Day will be our feast day. It is the feast day for most of the Church’s saints, those who lived peaceably, followed Christ, loved their families, accomplished their duties in life and passed on to the next life. May their prayers be with us.
Have a happy Christian Halloween!
Question: Have other Christian Halloween ideas? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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