St John's Q&A

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Feast of All Saints

Today is the solemnity of All Saints, a Holy Day of Obligation. The remaining Mass at St. Andrew's is at 7:30 pm.

The following is a homily excerpt for November 1st by Fr. Tommy Lane (who I know from MSM seminary):

The day before All Saints is called Halloween in the secular world. The name is Christian, Halloween means the eve of All Hallows, the eve of All Saints, but that is the only Christian element in it. All the rest that accompanies Halloween is of pagan origin so it goes back to the time before Christianity. It was a pagan Celtic feast. They believed that after sunset on Samhain, which we now called Halloween, the spirits of the dead and evil spirits roamed the skies seeking to harm humans, especially if the dead had been harmed by them. To protect themselves people disguised themselves by dressing up in costumes and carried lights inside in turnips. In order to turn a pagan feast into a Christian feast the Church placed the feast of All Saints on 1st November, to coincide with the pagan celebration. Children have fun on Halloween now and it is OK but it would be a pity if children did not know the Christian feast at this time, the feast of All Saints.

So if your children are celebrating Halloween and know nothing about All Saints, please explain All Saints to them. We are Christians now, so let us not celebrate as pagans. The Church has tried to turn a pagan celebration into a Christian celebration. Is the reverse happening again now? Let us celebrate All Saints.

This homily was delivered when (Fr Lane) was engaged in parish ministry in Ireland before joining the faculty of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Maryland.


  • AMEN!!!
    I use to be "Queen Halloween" and didn't stop to think what I was absent mindedly passing on to my kids. This year no decorations, my kids did go trick or treating AS St. Anthony and as a Angel. As a Christian, I want the celebration back. It is SO hard is this secular world! Wheww, now getting back to the true meaning of Christmas!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:38 AM  

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