The Catholic News spoke with Deacon Harold Woodroffe on the topic of Halloween whether Catholics should participate in the “celebration”. He said Halloween was not something he supported and for a long time have not gotten involved with. Despite it also being called All Saints Eve, Deacon Woodroffe feels the culture today has strayed so far from the origins of Halloween and what it means to the Church.
“The overtones that exist even for those who say it’s “okay” is questionable. Today, the way Halloween stresses upon witches and the demonic has coloured what it was intended to be. In the world today there are messages we send knowingly and unknowingly. Whether Catholic or not what messages are we sending when we say we “celebrate Halloween?”
He added, I think we always need to look closely at what we say we are supporting. As Christians let us strive not to send mixed messages where persons have to question what and whom is it we truly support.
The below article article shares another perspective and was originally published by aleteia.org and re-published with their permission
This holiday has Catholic roots, but not all Catholics are comfortable with its modern form
You might have heard from Christian friends that you shouldn’t celebrate Halloween; they might tell you it is a holiday that glorifies demonic forces. And certainly some of the decorations and “celebrations” might prove they have a point. Still, despite its modern renditions, Halloween itself has profoundly Catholic roots.
In an earlier time, Halloween was the first of a triduum of holy days. Called “All-hallow’s-eve,” that is, the evening before “All Hallows” or “All Saints,” it started off three days of remembering and honoring the dead. This is still true today, as Catholics celebrate the Feast of All Saints on November 1 and then the Feast of All Souls on November 2. (And don’t forget that All Saints Day is a holy day of obligation!)
Even though the religious roots of Halloween are no longer the focus, the modern celebration of this day still has much of value for Catholics to enjoy. For one thing, it is the only night of the year when people dress in costume and go door-to-door soliciting treats, a custom which itself dates back to the Middle Ages. Indeed, in many neighborhoods, this may be the one day that you actually meet your neighbors, as the community comes together for some good old-fashioned fun. Furthermore, for Catholics in particular, Halloween can be seen as a time to remember our triumph over the devil through Jesus Christ’s Resurrection.
But if the roots of the day aren’t enough, and the gory and creepy elements turn you off to celebrating this day, no need to worry—go with the alternative option for Catholics. Reclaim the observance of All Saints Day, and have children dress up as their favorite saints. By joyfully celebrating the triumph of the saints in Heaven, children can be encouraged to stick closely to Jesus as the saints did, recalling that death no longer has victory over us thanks to Christ and his sacrifice.