Monday, 31 October 2011

Lighting a candle on All Hallows Eve

The approach to Hallowe'en found below  is thought provoking and rather gentle - educational in all sorts of ways. Everyone knows about Halloween, but how many know that Halloween owes its existence to and has its roots in Christian traditions, being the Eve of the Feast of All Saints, followed by All Souls?
Every year, on Hallowe’en, I sit on the front porch of my house with a bowl of candy, a box of beeswax candles, and a large icon for the Feast of All Saints. Every child who comes to the house gets a piece of candy, and may also light a candle and place it before the icon. Very few kids (even the jaded teenagers) turn down the opportunity.For those who ask, I tell them that the meaning of the word “Hallowe’en” is “the eve of the Feast of All Saints”.
If they press me on the point, I tell them that they can think of the true meaning of Hallowe’en as being that, because of Christ, they can dress up like ghosts and goblins and whatnot, because we do not need to fear those things any longer. I wish I had a few photos of the kids in Satan masks, lighting a candle and placing it before the icon…

I found this post on Silouan - and, with the ghosts, ghouls and goblins ringing on my door as I type, I wish I could see the dressed up kids and teens  lighting candles too!


  1. Sounds a great idea! If course, some of us were actually in church tonight, commemorating St Martin Luther. Today is the anniversary of the publication of his theses that started off the Reformation. He objected to the Pope, who he said was 'as rich as Crassus' asking the poor to sub the rebuilding of the Vatican instead of paying for repairs out of his own deep pockets. He also didn't like the idea that the rich could buy absolution and therefore get to heaven sooner than the poor. He was just trying to start a debate, but the Church got all huffy and he lost his position.

    Good thing none of this could happen today....

    Iffy Vicar

  2. Thanks for passing on that thought-provoking post, Sue. I love All Saints and All Souls, one of my favourite times of the Christian year.

  3. Seems too logical to be accepted!