It’s that time of year again. TV channels are running horror movies every night. Stores are selling costumes, candy, and macabre “decorations.” And folks are putting up plastic skeletons, “ghosts” made from bedsheets, fake spider webs, and other things in their yards that at any other time of year would probably have their neighbors calling the police on them! Yes, ’tis the season of Halloween. Here’s a capsule account of this weird holiday’s history:
Christians are divided on the issue of whether it’s acceptable to celebrate Halloween. Some Christians feel that trick-or-treating, putting up scary decorations, or doing anything else connected to Halloween is a sin because of the holiday’s pagan roots. On the other hand, other Christians see it as harmless fun. The charismatic evangelical churches I grew up attending tended to fit in the former category. My sister and I did go trick-or-treating a time or two when we were small children, and a few times our family handed out candy to kids that came to our door (at least once the candy we gave out had a Christian tract included with it!). Eventually, however, my parents decided not to do anything to celebrate Halloween, feeling that to do so would be honoring paganism. It seems that Catholics, on the other hand, don’t seem to have any compunctions about Halloween–at least as a general rule, so far as I can tell. My parish, for instance, holds a Halloween party each year. (Perhaps this is because of the Catholic Church’s establishing the feast of All Souls’ Day–or All Hallows–in the first place?)
How do you feel about it? And does your church celebrate Halloween in any way?
And I’ll close with a little YouTube Halloween humor. Check out this jack-o-lantern carving itself:
Let that be a lesson to all of us: If you want to make a jack-o-lantern out of yourself, take your liberty, but don’t try to carve someone else!