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It is Called, "All Saints Day"

The imbalanced celebration of the vigil of All Saints day (otherwise known as All Hallows Eve, or the slang term Halloween) is coming up. I am not going in to the issue about how people fail to observe Holy Days of Obligation, but I do want to point out how confused many people are regarding our attitude to symbolism.

I like a good scary story; I often say it makes my troubles seem mild by comparison! I understand that interest, but I am not now concerned with the gore that is present in many movies today (that is another subject and not as easily answered as this one). What I am more focused on right now is how we present these things to the world. If we portray that we like brutality and horror for its own sake, then we are saying that those things have an inherent goodness, and that is not what we want to tell the world.

A few years ago I saw a protestant congregation that was having a "halloween celebration" and invited all the children to come be a part. Aside from the fact that they apparently did nothing to observe the vigil of All Saints, I was shocked by what they were doing. At the front door of the building, there was someone dressed at the "grim reaper" standing there greeting the visitors. I watched as he ushered a few children (about 5-6 years old) inside.

I presume no one thought of the image that was being presented. The "grim reaper" represents death, judgment, and Hell. So here we have the angel of death welcoming children into his lair. Are they really wanting to say that demons help to bring people there? Was the congregation aware that they were calling their own building "Hell"? And saying that Death itself was bringing people to them? Yeah, no; not what we want to say.

When it comes to something like monsters and scary things, let us be much more careful how we meddle with it. We may not realize that we are doing harm to people's souls. If we portray evil as something we need to endure, but that we conquer it, then that is good. If we portray foolishness as that which leads to destruction, then that is good. If we portray ourselves as a personification of evil that brings people to their demise, then it is likely we are presenting evil as a good thing.


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