Thursday, October 31, 2013

Being Catholic on Halloween

My name is Megan. I'm Catholic, and I recently rediscovered my love for Halloween. Last year I wrote about how uncomfortable the holiday makes me, but that is largely in part due to parties and having attention on you for your costume and all that jazz. Things have changed in the past year.

There are a lot of stereotypes/misconceptions about being Catholic and celebrating Halloween. That we aren't supposed to celebrate it because it glorifies evil and the works of the Devil.

Yes. I believe that evil exists. I'm not going to pretend like I don't believe that.

Halloween has never, ever, been about that for me. Yes it's fun to tell spooky stories and to try to scare your roommates (oh, I have plans, Sam and Lauren!), but it's a holiday much more than that for me, now that I have gotten past the whole costume thing.

It's really about the kids. Let the kids have their candy. Let them dress up as someone else for a day, run around the neighborhood with their friends and collect their favorite candies. Let them dump out their pillowcase and trade candy with their siblings. Let them fall asleep in their costume, passed out from the sugar overdose.

Where does Catholicism tie into this? Well, for one, tomorrow we celebrate All Saints day. It is when Catholics (and other Christians) celebrate all the saints, known and unknown. It is sort of like the church version of Veteran's Day. We celebrate the ones who paved the way for us to celebrate our faith. We ask the saints to watch over us and for their guidance.

There are THOUSANDS of Saints. And there are thousands more who should be saints but are not. (Cough Catherine McAuley cough). Saint Megan is the patron saint of abused victims. There is very little information about Saint Megan, but from what I have read, she's pretty rad. I also dig St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, who established the first Catholic school in the US, and Saint Bridget, who is known for her dedication to serving the poor, and also for performing miracles (seriously, rad).

And then, on November 2nd, Catholics celebrate All Souls Day. This is where we pray for those who have died but have not been totally cleansed of their sins (aka, Purgatory). We pray for them so that they may go into Heaven. It's also a day to reflect on those who have passed on and celebrate the lives that they led.

No matter your beliefs or faith, there is no denying that this is a special time of year. Give the kids a smile as you pass out candy tonight and let yourself remember your childhood Halloween memories.

To end this post, I want to share a prayer that was sent to me form the Mercy Alumnae Office today. Happy Halloween, and enjoy your candy.
Halloween Prayer  (Adapted by a prayer from Fr. Edward Hays)

God and Father of Fools, Lord of Clowns and Smiling Saints,
We rejoice in this playful prayer
That You are a God of laughter and of tears.
Blessed are You, for You have rooted within us
The gifts of humor and lightheartedness.
With jokes and comedy, You cause our hearts to sing
As laughter is made to flow out of us.
We are grateful to Your Son, Jesus,
Who daily invites us to be fools for Your sake,
Calling us out of the hum-drumness of our daily lives
Into joy and adventure,
and freedom to live in communion with others and with You.
Help us to join in the fun and foolishness of life,
so that Your holy laughter
may ring out, through each one of us
to the edges of the universe.

1 comment:

Samantha May said... Add Reply

What's funny is that I went to Catholic school from K-Senior year and they always had little Halloween celebrations for us!

I guess if you're on the outside looking in though, it seems like we aren't supposed to enjoy the holiday :P