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Poll
Question: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
Yes - 77 (41%)
No - 78 (41.5%)
Maybe - 13 (6.9%)
Unsure - 13 (6.9%)
Other (Explain) - 7 (3.7%)
Total Voters: 188

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Author Topic: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?  (Read 96711 times) Average Rating: 0
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GabrieltheCelt
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« on: October 02, 2007, 10:38:31 PM »

Hey y'all,

 Well, it's that time of year again where folks who're trying to watch their weight are mocked and tempted by aisles and aisles of every type of sugary confection dipped in chocolate. Wink Yep, it's Halloween time. But weight aside, how are Orthodox Christians to deal with this 'holiday' now firmly rooted in our culture? Do we overlook it's pagan origins and provide some wiggle room or do we put our collective foot down and say 'no'. After listening to Fr. Joseph Hunnycut's (sp?) 'Orthodixie' podcast on Ancient Faith Radio, I personally feel that if you've never looked into the 'holiday', maybe you should.

 I did some research on the origins of the holiday as well as looked up some neo-pagan views on the matter and this is what one neo-pagan had to say from www.neopagan.net/Halloween-Origins.html :

 "A student sent me an email asking me to sum up in more personal terms what Halloween means to me and other Neopagans. Here is what I told her:

Halloween is the modern name for Samhain, an ancient Celtic holy day which many Neopagans — especially Wiccans, Druids and Celtic Reconstructionists — celebrate as a spiritual beginning of a new year.
  
Halloween is a time to confront our personal and cultural attitudes towards death and those who have passed on before us.
  
Halloween is a time to lift the veil between the many material and spiritual worlds in divination, so as to gain spiritual insight about our pasts and futures.
  
Halloween is a time to deepen our connection to the cycles of the seasons, to the generations that have come before us and those that will follow, and to the Gods and Goddesses we worship.
  
Halloween is a time to let our inner children out to play, to pass on our childhood traditions to our children, and to share the fun with our friends and neighbors of many other faiths.'


 If you wan't to vote, I hope you'll go ahead and write a little something about how you view Halloween.

 In Christ,

 Gabriel
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« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2007, 11:27:33 PM »

I personally feel uncomfortable with Halloween, based on what I know of the holiday in the light of my Orthodox faith, so I voted 'No' in the above poll.  But I intend to not cast any aspersion on those Orthodox who do participate in the revelry in some seemingly innocent way.
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« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2007, 11:41:35 PM »

ON HALLOWEEN



With regard to our non-participation in the pagan festival of Halloween, we will be strengthened by an understanding of the spiritual danger and history of this anti-Christian feast. The feast of Halloween began in pre-Christian times among the Celtic peoples of Great Britain, Ireland and northern France. These pagan peoples believed that physical life was born from death. Therefore, they celebrated the beginning of the "new year" in the fall (on the eve of October 31 and into the day of November 1), when, as they believed, the season of cold, darkness, decay and death began. A certain deity, whom they called Samhain, was believed by the Celts to be the lord of Death, and it was he whom they honored at their New Year's festival.

There were, from an Orthodox Christian point of view, many diabolical beliefs and practices associated with this feast which, it will be clear, have endured to our time. On the eve of the New Year's festival, the Druids who were the priests of the Celtic cult, instructed their people to extinguish all hearth fires and lights. On the evening of the festival a huge bonfire built of oak branches, which they believed to be sacred, was ignited. Upon this fire sacrifices of crops, animals, and even human beings, were burned as an offering in order to appease and cajole Samhain, the lord of Death. It was also believed that Samhain, being pleased by their faithful offerings, allowed the souls of the dead to return to homes for a festal visit on this day. It is from this belief that the practice of wandering about in the dark dressed up in costumes imitating ghosts, witches, hobgoblins, fairies, and demons grew up. For the living entered into fellowship and communion with the dead by what was, and still is, a ritual act of imitation, through costume and activity of wandering around in the dark of night, even as the souls of the dead were believed to wander.

The dialogue of "trick or treat" is also an integral part of this system of beliefs and practices. It was believed that the souls of the dead who had entered into the world of darkness, decay, and death, and therefore into total communion with and submission to Samhain the lord of Death, bore the affliction of great hunger on their festal visit. Out of this grew the practice of begging, which was a further ritual enactment and imitation of what the Celts believed to be the activities of the souls of the dead on their festal visit. Associated with this is the still further implication that if the souls of the dead and their imitators were not appeased with "treats," i.e., offerings, then the wrath and anger of Samhain, whose angels and servants the souls and their imitators had become, would be unleashed through a system of "tricks," or curses.

From an Orthodox Christian point of view, participation in these practices at any level is impossible and idolatrous, a genuine betrayal of our God and our holy Faith. For if we participate in the ritual activity of imitating the dead by dressing up in their attire or by wandering about in the dark, or by begging with them, then we have willfully sought fellowship with the dead, whose lord is not Samhain as the Celts believed but Satan, the Evil One who stands against God. Further, if we submit to the dialogue of "trick or treat," we make our offering not to innocent children, but rather to Samhain, the lord of Death whom they have come to serve as imitators of the dead, wandering in the dark of night.

There are other practices associated with Halloween which we must stay away from. As was mentioned above, on the eve of the Celtic New Year festival, Druid priests instructed their faithful to extinguish their hearth fires and lights and to gather around the fire of sacrifice to make their offerings to pay homage to the lord of Death. Because this was a sacred fire, it was from this that the fire of the new year was to be taken and the lights and hearth fire rekindled. Out of this arose the practice of the jack o'lantern (in the USA, a pumpkin; in older days other vegetables were used) which was carved in imitation of the dead and used to convey the new light and fire to the home where the lantern was left burning throughout the night. Even the use and display of the jack o'lantern involves celebration of and participation in the pagan festival of death honoring the Celtic god Samhain. Orthodox Christians must in no way share in this Celtic activity, but rather we should counter our inclinations and habits by burning candles to the Savior and the Most Holy Mother of God and to all the holy saints.

In the ancient Celtic rite divination was also associated with this festival. After the fire had died out the Druids examined the remains of the sacrifices in order to foretell, as they believed was possible, the events of the coming year. Since this time the Halloween festival has been the night for participation in all kinds of sorcery, fortune telling, divination, games of chance, and in latter medieval times, Satan worship and witchcraft.

In the days of the early Celtic Church, which was strictly Orthodox, the holy Fathers attempted to counteract this pagan New Year Festival which honored the lord of Death, by establishing the Feast of All Saints on the same day (in the East, the Feast of All Saints is celebrated on the Sunday following Pentecost). As was the custom of the Church, the faithful Christians attended a Vigil Service in the evening and in the morning a celebration of the Holy Eucharist. It is from this that the term Halloween developed. The word Halloween has its roots in the Old English of "All Hallow's Even," i.e., the eve commemorating all those who were hallowed (sanctified), i.e., Halloween. The people who had remained pagan and therefore anti-Christian and whose paganism had become deeply intertwined with the occult, Satanism, and magic, reacted to the Church's attempt to supplant their festival by increased fervor on this evening. In the early middle ages, Halloween became the supreme and central feast of the occult, a night and day upon which acts of witch craft, demonism, sorcery, and Satanism of all kinds were practiced.

Many of these practices involved desecration and mockery of Christian practices and beliefs. Costumes of skeletons developed as a mockery of the Church's reverence for holy relics; holy things were stolen, such as crosses and the Reserved Sacrament, and used in perverse and sacrilegious ways. The practice of begging became a system of persecution designed to harass Christians who were, by their beliefs, unable to participate by making offerings to those who served the lord of Death. The Western Church's attempt to supplant this pagan festival with the Feast of All Saints failed.

The analogy of Halloween in ancient Russia was Navy Dien (old Slavonic for "the dead" was "nav") which was also called Radunitsa and celebrated in the spring. To supplant it the Eastern Church connected this feast with Pascha and appointed it to be celebrated on Tuesday of the Saint Thomas' week (the second week after Pascha). The Church also changed the name of the feast into Radonitsa, from Russian "radost" joy. Joy of Pascha and of the resurrection from the dead of all of mankind after Jesus Christ. Gradually Radonitsa yielded to Pascha its importance and became less popular in general, but many dark and pagan practices and habits of some old feasts of Russian paganism (Semik, Kupalo, Rusalia and some aspects of the Maslennitsa) survived till the beginning of our century. Now they are gone forever, but the atheist authorities used to try to revive them. We can also recall the example of another "harmless" feast - May 1, proclaimed "the international worker's day." That was a simple renaming of a very old satanic feast of Walpurgis Night (night of April 30 into the day of May 1) - the great yearly demonic Sabbath during which all the participants united in "a fellowship of Satan."

These contemporary Halloween practices have their roots in paganism, idolatry, and Satan worship. How then did something that is so obviously contradictory to the holy Orthodox Faith gain acceptance among Christian people?

The answer to this question is: spiritual apathy and listlessness, which are the spiritual roots of atheism and the turning away from God. In today's society one is continually urged to disregard the spiritual roots and origins of secular practices under the guise that the outward customs, practices and forms are cute, fun, entertaining, and harmless. Behind this attitude lies the dogma of atheism, which denies the existence of both God and Satan and can therefore conclude that these activities, despite their obvious pagan and idolatrous origin, are harmless and of no consequence.

The holy Church must stand against this because we are taught by Christ that God stands in judgment over everything we do and believe, and that our actions are either for God or against God. Therefore, the customs of Halloween are not innocent practices with no relationship to the spiritual world. But rather they are demonic practices, precisely as an examination of their origins proves.

Evil spirits do exist. The demons do exist. Christ came into the world so that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the Devil (Heb. 2:12). It is imperative for us to realize as Christians that our greatest foe is the Evil One who inspires nations and individuals to sin against mankind, and who prevents them from coming to a knowledge of the truth. Unless we realize that Satan is our real enemy, we can never hope for spiritual progress for our lives. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph.6:12).

Today we witness a revival of satanistic cults; we hear of a satanic service conducted on Halloween night; everywhere Satan reaches out to ensnare as many innocent people as possible. The newsstands are filled with material on spiritualism, supernatural phenomena, seances, prophecies, and all sorts of demonically inspired works.



It is undoubtedly an act of Divine Providence that Saint John of Kronstadt, that saintly physician of souls and bodies, should have his feast day on the very day of Halloween, a day which the world dedicated to the destroyer, corrupter, and deceiver of humanity. God has provided us with this powerful counterpoise and weapon against the snares of Satan, and we should take full advantage of this gift, for truly "Wondrous is God in His saints."

--Archpriest Victor Potapov

(Copied from the "paradosis" internet email list, and as reprinted from "Parish Life" of the St. John the Baptist Cathedral, Washington, D.C) from http://www.orthodox-christianity.net
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« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2007, 11:42:09 PM »

As long as you dont glorify death, witchcraft of satan and his band of fallen baddies, I guess the candy is cool.  Just explain to the kids " No, you cant dress up as a blood gushing zombie.  I don't care what Billy is doing."  
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« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2007, 12:14:48 AM »

As long as you dont glorify death, witchcraft of satan and his band of fallen baddies, I guess the candy is cool.  Just explain to the kids " No, you cant dress up as a blood gushing zombie.  I don't care what Billy is doing." 
But, according to the article drewmeister cited above, is it possible to recognize that even "innocent", ignorant participation in the Halloween festivities is in itself an unwitting glorification of death, satan, and the occult?  This is why one Orthodox church in my city offers a harvest party for their youth on Halloween night as an Orthodox alternative to the truly satanic holiday Halloween is.  As for the candy, no one in my house of three Orthodox men offers candy to trick-or-treaters, and we keep our front porch light off as a signal that our house is off limits.
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« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2007, 12:18:43 AM »

Quote
This is why one Orthodox church in my city offers a harvest party for their youth on Halloween night as an Orthodox alternative to the truly satanic holiday Halloween is.

I am very thankful for things like that.  Otherwise I would still be going from house to house worshiping satan for candy.  We'd even sacrifice cats in the backyard to the demons.  If it weren't for my parish's harvest festival, I know I'd still be doing that. 
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« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2007, 12:20:47 AM »

I am very thankful for things like that.  Otherwise I would still be going from house to house worshiping satan for candy.  We'd even sacrifice cats in the backyard to the demons.  If it weren't for my parish's harvest festival, I know I'd still be doing that. 
You don't take any of our naysaying seriously, do you?  Why not just express why you like Halloween and disagree with us rather than ridicule us who think differently from you? Wink
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« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2007, 01:04:29 AM »

Perhaps all the games and costumes and candy are making fun of the Evil One? The devil does not like to be mocked. Most people's modern celebration of Halloween truly trivializes the pagan root of it. It's like Santa and reindeer with Christmas and the Easter bunny with Pascha---the revelry has little to no connection with the real meaning of the holiday. So a little candy and dressing up would seem harmless (with parental guidance) unless it includes real occult aspects to it.

Of course, like Peter Aleut says, parents are justified in deciding this matter for themselves.
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« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2007, 01:08:37 AM »

I think it's just cultural.
Don't we Orthodox do even stranger things than go around in fancy dress asking for candy?
Behind our Altars is the life-sized image of the Corpse of a Man Who was tortured to death by being nailed to a Cross. We eat His Flesh and drink His Blood. On Holy Friday night, we carry His symbolic Tomb in procession and venerate it. I was in Crete for Pascha in the late eighties, and they celebrate the Resurrection by hanging an effigy of Judas from a gallows and burning it with a bonfire at Midnight.
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« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2007, 01:15:22 AM »

"Junie Harper says a haunted house is the devil's mousetrap, and fun is the cheese."



"Luanne, just when I think you've said the stupidest thing ever, you keep talking."

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I think it should be left up to what the parent's feel comfortable with.  My parents never got into it since you never saw it in Europe (until very recently), so it was never really something we worried about.  I would just buy a couple bags of candy and sit down for the Coast to Coast AM Hallowe'en show.   Tongue
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« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2007, 01:16:50 AM »

Of course, like Peter Aleut says, parents are justified in deciding this matter for themselves.
I do remember one Halloween while I was in college when I attended all the day's classes with a brown paper bag over my head just like Charlie Brown.  Of course, I also remember another, again while in college, when my campus security team had a devil of a time keeping order on campus that night.  Let's see what I can recall from that night...
  • A band of about 15-20 male students who ran through campus in a military formation wearing nothing but their skivvies and running shoes and with their tee-shirts wrapped around their faces like masks
  • A group of about three other students who thought it funny to moon me on multiple occasions as I made my rounds
  • One or more unidentified students who targeted their paint ball guns on me--they missed with every shot, though one hit the wall just outside my dorm suite.  After I was done with my shift on patrol, I actually had to ask a couple of my teammates to give ME an escort to my dorm just to make sure I didn't get hit by one of those blasted paint balls.
I tell ya, that was one night of fun that I'll never forget. Roll Eyes  (Like I want to remember. Roll Eyes)


NOTE:  This was all on the campus of a private Christian college.  Nothing against the true Christian witness of this institution of higher learning, but boys will be boys regardless of where they are.  The Dean of Student Life did speak with me a couple days later and promised me that he would try to identify those who engaged in the rowdy behaviors and mete out appropriate discipline.
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« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2007, 02:07:33 AM »

Quote
You don't take any of our naysaying seriously, do you?  Why not just express why you like Halloween and disagree with us rather than ridicule us who think differently from you?

Oh, I don't like Halloween in the least.  I think it is a waste of time and money.  By the time I was in middle school I had outgrown it.  I think it is embarrassing for adults to even care about it.  99% of people who celebrate Halloween are kids harmlessly dressing up in funny clothes and looking for an excuse to eat candy.  And now there is a commercial bandwagon since there is money to be made.  Most of these people will grow up to be normal adults and that will be that. 

By adding a mystique and a counter cultural element by calling Halloween satanic or adding any spiritual significance to it, you are only fueling something that otherwise wouldn't exist.  I remember being Peter Pan one year (although for the crowds here, I suppose this means I am a repressed homosexual Roll Eyes if the religious right can attack the Teletubies, he doesn't stand a chance), an astronaut and Luke Skywalker (I think that was it, since my parents were kind of frugal my sister and I used the same costume for as many years as it would fit!).  We got some candy and that was the extent of it (well except for the cat sacrifices in the backyard).

There are many important issues in society in which the Church should serve as a moral beacon.  Wasting our precious influence on what amounts to a mostly non-issue is a travesty.  And then there is that story about a boy and a wolf... so when it comes to a real issue in society, are people going to listen to people who had their knickers in a bunch over kids eating candy?     
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« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2007, 02:17:35 AM »

Didn't the Church try to change the "dress-up" tradition of the pagan holiday by having folks dress as saints for All Saint's Day?

I seem to remember that from somewhere...ring a bell w/anybody?
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« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2007, 02:40:06 AM »

I seem to remember that Halloween is also the anniversary of an event that shattered the Western Christian world.  Does anyone remember Wittenberg?
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« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2007, 02:42:26 AM »

It is also the day before All Saints Day.  Just go to mass and don't worry about it.  It is a holy day of obligation after all. 
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« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2007, 02:52:58 AM »

It is also the day before All Saints Day.  Just go to mass and don't worry about it.  It is a holy day of obligation after all. 
Methinks you're preaching to the wrong choir here. Wink
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« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2007, 02:58:23 AM »

I seem to remember that Halloween is also the anniversary of an event that shattered the Western Christian world.  Does anyone remember Wittenberg?

What a great cause for celebration that the 95 theses were declared this day and helped shatter delusion. We should celebrate it every year by dressing up in costume and playing tricks on those still in delusion if they don't give us a treat.
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« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2007, 08:58:08 AM »

Here is an article that I wrote for our parish newsletter:

I am frequently asked by catechumen and recent converts to the Orthodox Church “What is the
Orthodox practice and teaching about Halloween? The first thing we need to do is to identify
Halloween by its correct Christian title, “All Hallows(Saints) Eve”. Within the Orthodox Church there
appears to be some very different opinions on the subject. As I was researching the topic, I found
every point of view ranging from it being a holy day of the Western Rite Orthodox Church (the eve of
All Saints' Day) to a secular day of fun for children to some calling it a neo-pagan holiday. The Eastern
Orthodox Christian Church, as a whole, has not made an official statement about whether or not to
celebrate Halloween. (It is not a religious Holy Day for us, as Eastern Orthodox Christians celebrate
All Saints on the Sunday after Pentecost.) There are, however, some things to know about this holiday
and basic Church teachings.

Origin of Halloween

"Halloween" is a contracted form of "All Hallows Eve" and is the Old English title for the evening of
All Saints Day (November 1), when Western Christians traditionally remember believers of other
times who are especially good role models of faith; many of whom were persecuted, tortured, and/or
died rather than renounce Christ. The Christian Church kept the Jewish custom of marking a holiday
(contracted form of "holy day") for the twenty-four hours beginning with sundown and ending with
sundown the following day. Even today Christmas Eve is almost as special as Christmas Day; and in our
Eastern Orthodox churches, all feast have Vesperal services attached to them to be done on the eve
of the Feast.

As northern Europe and the British Isles became Christianized, the Church saw that the pagan
festivals still lured Christians to compromise their faith. One such was the Druidic New Year that
began on November 1. In the strictly Orthodox early Celtic Church, the Holy Fathers tried to
counteract this pagan new year festival by establishing the feast of All Saints on that same day (in
the East, this feast is celebrated on the Sunday after Pentecost). Consequently, the Church in those
areas designated October 31 and November 1 as the "Holy Evening" and Holy Day of All Saints Day.
The night before the feast (on “All Hallows Eve”), a vigil service was held and a morning celebration of
the Eucharist. The Church not only sought to give Christians an alternative, spiritually edifying
holiday; but also to proclaim the supremacy of the Gospel over pagan superstition. Rather than fearing
the "tricks" of those who have died, Christians reflected on the lives and deaths of those who were
faithful and used them as role models for their own walks with the Lord; and thanked God for
preserving the saints in the midst of suffering and persecution.

In the United States and Canada, Halloween was adopted more or less as an excuse for a party in the
nineteenth century. In Puritan America, Halloween was little more than gatherings of superstitious
villagers. The general reluctance of folks to go outdoors gave many opportunities to vandals and
pranksters, and another Halloween tradition was born. During the 19th century with the influx of Irish
and Scottish immigrants, the celebrating of Halloween by largely the adult population began to spread
in the U.S and Canada in the areas the Irish and Scottish immigrants settled. By the end of the Great
Depression, 'trick of treating' had evolved into a nightmare for shopkeepers, with vandals wreaking
havoc on property, and many towns imposed curfews. Things eventually settled down as the economy
improved, however, and Halloween began to resemble the holiday we know today, with children begging
for treats door to door (the 'trick' in trick or treat is a reference to the old vandals' cry).

Trick or Treating

The practice of dressing up in costumes and begging door to door for goodies, is largely an American
adaptation of European masquerades, similar to Mardi Gras or the Greek Carnival “Apokria” Season
preceding Great Lent, and the late medieval Christian practice of "souling," when poor folk would go
door to door, receiving food in return for prayers for the dead.

It should be noted that while the wearing of costumes has been allowed by Orthodox people during
the Carnival or Apokria, and by interpretation for Halloween, the wearing of masks is not allowed or
likewise dressing as the opposite gender. Orthodox people should note that during the Greek Carnival
or Apokria, costuming often spoofs prominent political and social figures, as well everyday people,
clowns, etc. It is not the norm to dress as ghosts, skeletons, devils, witches, or what in western
culture we would call “hobgoblins”.

How can we observe the true spirit of All Hallows Eve?

If you are someone who follows the calendar of Western Rite Orthodoxy, it would be very appropriate
to continue to observe All Hallows Eve with the traditional vesperal services in the Church and on the
next day November 1 with morning prayer followed by the Holy Eucharist.
If you are an old Calendar/Julian Calendar Eastern Orthodox Christian, you have the great blessing of
attending the vigil service for St John of Kronstadt who feast day is celebrated on the Julian
Calendar date of October 19 and the Gregorian Calendar date of November 1.
If you are a “new Calendar” Revised Julian Calendar observant Eastern Orthodox Christian, like we
are at St.John’s, you have the opportunity to attend the vespers on October 31 for the feast of the
Holy Unmercenaries, Saints Cosmas and Damianos, celebrated on 1st November. As a proper
celebration encourage your children to look for acts of kindness to do in emulation of Sts Cosmas and
Damianos.

What do we do now?

Orthodox Christians should evaluate Halloween and determine an appropriate response for themselves
and their own families. Orthodox Christians should refrain from any participation that would
compromise one's faith or bring dishonor to the Lord Jesus Christ. A good principle is to look for ways
to become a positive, Christ-honoring voice in the midst of secularism and neo-paganism. However you
choose to handle this issue, it should be done in prayer, in a positive and informative way, one that will
not undermine the teaching of the Church. Take advantage of your children's interest in this holiday
to affirm your own faith in God's loving authority in all areas of life and His approval of all that is
good and helpful. Explain to them the meaning of the Feast in the West and use it to teach your
children about All Saints and the Orthodox understanding of life after death.

Orthodox Troparion for All Saints' Day

Throughout the world, Your Church, O Christ our God, is adorned with the blood of Your martyrs, as
with purple and fine linen. Through them she cries to You: Send down Your pity upon Your people. To
Your Church grant peace, and to our souls the Great Mercy. Amen.

article located at http://www.theforerunner.org/pubdocs/PDF%20Newsletter/Voice1007.pdf

Thomas
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« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2007, 09:06:06 AM »

My eldest son's first costume was St. Dunstan, complete with hammer and tongs.

In our little neighborhood, Halloween is really the only time that everybody meets everyone else. The older kids mostly stay home; the little ones swarm all over the neighborhood. Does it celebrate death, or anything pagan? Not that I can tell. The neo-pagans try to claim it, but given how pathetically little we actually know about pagan religion in Britain, it is a stretch at best. The people who need something to be hysterical about try to claim it too, but the notion that kids collecting candy is somehow effectively acting out an anti-Christian ritual is indefensible. In the end, I have to think that in my neighborhood, at least, the neighborliness and generosity it engenders far outweighs any pagan significance that someone else wants to lay on it.
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« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2007, 09:09:10 AM »

I took a survey while  preparing for my article and the following are how some Orthodox Christians in Texas and other areas responded to my question as to how did they observe or not observe halloween:

a)   One convert family turns off the porch light to assure they have no “trick or treaters” at their door and do a family Akathist service at their Icon Corner for the Repose of their family members who have fallen asleep in the Lord.  This is followed by a festal meal in which old family photo albums are opened and they tell stories about relatives who are asleep in the Lord.
b)   One Greek family has an icon of "All the Saints," showing the "great cloud of witnesses." They put it outside their door on Halloween with a white Vigil candle burning before it. When the kids come trick-or-treating they explain what the icon is all about and give a small homemade treat.
c)   Another Convert family decorates their home with autumn leaves, pumpkins and cornstalks, lights their porch and give out a lollipop with a small  strip of paper attached that simply says  “ Jesus won’t trick you He will treat you!” and then the scripture of John 3:16.
d)   Several families provide goody bags with a small brochure on their parish enclosed inviting the  child and his family to their parish for services.
e)   St. Nicholas Church [OCA]/Mogadore, OH, where there has been a "Fall Family Festival" for nine years. From 4:00 - 8:00 PM, there are games with prizes, candy, a cover-dish dinner, door prizes, entertainment [such as a magician, puppet shows, musicians, etc.], vespers, hayride, and ends with bonfire to roast marshmallows, drink cider, and eat donuts. Everyone in the parish is welcome to attend. A fall theme is used for the decorations: red, yellow and orange colors; multi-colored leaves; bales of hay; bundles of corn stalks; pumpkins, etc. There are no costumes involved.
f)   One family preempts the entire holiday by taking off together for a special trip. They go to another city, or to a hotel with an indoor pool. The children get so much attention and have so much fun that candy and costumes are poor competition.
g)   One family in a smaller town outside of Austin, uses their teenagers to plan and lead a "game night" for children in the neighborhood. They ask that the children dress as Biblical characters, or "fruits of the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22-23). Then organize an hour of active games and a creative scavenger hunt for candy. End the evening with a hay ride that features storytelling and singing.
h)   Another family decided to have absolutely no contact with Halloween. They have advised the school that they do not even wish their public school educated children to participate in any  potentially spiritually compromising activity, such as listening to ghost stories, or coloring picture s of witches.  On October 31st they assure their porch light is off and go out to eat or to a movie as a family.
i)   One priest noted that. "We have decided to tell them (our children) that as a Christian family striving to love the Lord and to do His will, we cannot participate (in Halloween). We can find other family activities for that evening or afternoon of 'trick-or-treat.' If there are school activities for the children, then at least we can set some guidelines and limitations for costumes. The guideline is found in 1 Thessalonians 5:22, 'Abstain from all appearance of evil.'... We do not make this decision lightly. We hope and pray that it will be an experience in which our children learn that sometimes we are called to be different than the world tells us to be when we strive to live God's plan for our lives."
j)   Another priest stated that he felt we should look at Halloween with a “whimsical” eye. A parent should really frown upon allowing their children to dress in costumes of evil people but likewise dressing up as clowns, angels, Bible Heroes, etc would be ok and should be done for fun.
k)   In one outlying community, the family takes their children to a “Children’ Miracle Network” Party where there are games and food with Candy given out as prizes.
l)   One family allows their children to participate fully in Halloween “Trick or Treating” but requires the children to dress in carnival style costumes avoiding spooky or evil costumes.
m)   Other families let their children attend a community party or Fall Festival rather than go trick or treating.
n)   One family prepares food baskets for the needy in their area and "treat" them with the anonymous food baskets
o)   Several families go “Trick or Treating for UNICEF” The United Nations Children's Fund - UNICEF. The funds they collect help needy children throughout the world.


I hope this helps to answer what some Orthodox people do with Halloween.

Thomas
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« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2007, 10:43:50 AM »

I do remember one Halloween while I was in college when I attended all the day's classes with a brown paper bag over my head just like Charlie Brown.  Of course, I also remember another, again while in college, when my campus security team had a devil of a time keeping order on campus that night.  Let's see what I can recall from that night...
  • A band of about 15-20 male students who ran through campus in a military formation wearing nothing but their skivvies and running shoes and with their tee-shirts wrapped around their faces like masks
  • A group of about three other students who thought it funny to moon me on multiple occasions as I made my rounds
  • One or more unidentified students who targeted their paint ball guns on me--they missed with every shot, though one hit the wall just outside my dorm suite.  After I was done with my shift on patrol, I actually had to ask a couple of my teammates to give ME an escort to my dorm just to make sure I didn't get hit by one of those blasted paint balls.
I tell ya, that was one night of fun that I'll never forget. Roll Eyes  (Like I want to remember. Roll Eyes)


NOTE:  This was all on the campus of a private Christian college.  Nothing against the true Christian witness of this institution of higher learning, but boys will be boys regardless of where they are.  The Dean of Student Life did speak with me a couple days later and promised me that he would try to identify those who engaged in the rowdy behaviors and mete out appropriate discipline.

That sounds downright innocent compared to stuff I've heard of, like pummeling the president's mansion with eggs and yobbish behavior like senseless vandalism. Thousands of us DID run around in our skivvies (barefoot, no running shoes---ouch!), but that was at Homecoming a week or two later. But I was at a heathen public university, so it could have been worse.

Halloween can be fun, but if God gives me children, I will definitely make it All Souls, All the Time, with just a little bit of candy and costume thrown in on the 31st.
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« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2007, 10:53:20 AM »

By adding a mystique and a counter cultural element by calling Halloween satanic or adding any spiritual significance to it, you are only fueling something that otherwise wouldn't exist.  I remember being Peter Pan one year (although for the crowds here, I suppose this means I am a repressed homosexual Roll Eyes     

LOL. My favorites were becoming a rubber-masked Bob Dole (while I was trick-or-treating, one middle-aged lady said to me, "If you think for ONE MOMENT you are going to get my vote, you can FORGET IT!" and slammed the door in my face*) and an Arm & Hammer deoderant can.

Halloween was so much fun growing up. But by the time I was 17, it was "kid's stuff."

*She subsequently opened the door in a giggle fit and gave me candy.
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« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2007, 10:55:40 AM »

Didn't the Church try to change the "dress-up" tradition of the pagan holiday by having folks dress as saints for All Saint's Day?

I seem to remember that from somewhere...ring a bell w/anybody?

Yeah, I've seen that before. Parish I went to last Halloween did that. All the kids dressed up as different saints before Mass.

Nice idea, I think.
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« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2007, 11:25:21 AM »

Honestly, I think in this American culture of ours, try as we might, the practice of dawning costumes and dressing up as vampires and werewolves wont go away into the darkness, no matter how much we look back at history, or warn of potential dangers.  As long as we teach our little ones what is acceptable and what isn't, and enforce it, all should be well.  That will, of course be left up to the parish priest and the individual parishoner and his family. 

I came up with an idea some years back of putting kids in light hearted to saintly costumes, hitching a wagon to the back of a big truck, putting kids and a couple of adults in the back of the wagon armed with candy, and instead of knocking on doors, finding trick or treaters and distribute it to them.  It'd be a good way to instill charity, I thought.
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« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2007, 11:30:49 AM »

I am not in a position to judge whether it's OK for an Orthodox to celebrate Halloween, but what I do know is that I, personally, do not celebrate it and do not like it. I just do not like the idea of dressing in weird costumes (that was never attractive to me in any way), and I especially hate, hate, hate the idea that kids should go and extort candies. I do not like kids forming gangs, any gangs, and I very, very much dislike the legitimized begging of something for nothing. Totally, weird, totally wrong, un-attractive, no cultural "bells" ringing in me in association with this "holiday," - just nothing except a permanent thought in my head shortly before and during Oct. 31 that it would be so much better if there was no "halloween." Smiley
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« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2007, 11:45:48 AM »

I wonder if dressing up as a vampire really means anything.  It is not something quite attractive, but boys will be boys.  They also like action figures that fight and video games that has killing and blood.  We have to think much deeply than "it used to be pagan, and partaking of it partakes pagan practice."  A lot of the times we dress things that we know aren't real, for either comical or social purposes, but not religious purposes.  It even brings a community together.

I listened to my own Church bishops give talks against Halloween, and it hit me that a lot of their sources come from fundamentalist Protestant polemics and a poor way of interpret the Bible.  If someone dresses up as a witch and does some sort of incantations, it's un-biblical.  This assumes that the person dressing up as a witch actually believes in those incantations.  Most people act out what they do, and if "acting" is wrong, those actors who take roles as evil prophets and demons in saints' movies that we have are also doing "un-biblical" things.

What is wrong though?  Well, the mischievous acts done by children such as egging houses and cars and throwing toilet paper around trees.  This should definitely be condemned, and I can go further to say that you should bar your children from Halloween if there is an intention by them that they would do such a thing.  Curfews are important as well.  In addition, there is one thing that sticks out on me like a sore thumb that both Protestants and my Church taught.  The candy we buy during Halloween, the proceeds go to the religion of Wicca.  If this is true, where can I buy candy that doesn't fund Wicca, and if there is none, I think this would be well enough grounds for protest against Halloween, not because it jeopardizes my faith, but I am actually helping someone of another faith that I am to be virulently opposed to.

But besides this, I find nothing else about Halloween "inherently wrong."

God bless.
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« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2007, 12:12:23 PM »

Mina, I don't think kids' pranks should be "condemned" - they are the least of my worries about this "holiday." Smiley

What I hate is organized begging, extortion, and bad taste (adults dressing in a looney way).
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« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2007, 02:09:03 PM »

Instead of Halloween, we should all celebrate the feast day of St. John Kucurov (St. John of Chicago) which also falls on October 31.  Grin
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« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2007, 02:56:04 PM »

Mina, I don't think kids' pranks should be "condemned" - they are the least of my worries about this "holiday." Smiley

What I hate is organized begging, extortion, and bad taste (adults dressing in a looney way).

lol...Well, I agree that adults who partake of this event are just stupid, even teenagers imo.  But when it comes to little children, you just can't resist giving them candy  Smiley

My father hated Halloween, but when he saw little children at the door, after three knocks, the chocolate was almost gone...lol

God bless.
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« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2007, 03:24:10 PM »

lol...Well, I agree that adults who partake of this event are just stupid, even teenagers imo.  But when it comes to little children, you just can't resist giving them candy  Smiley

My father hated Halloween, but when he saw little children at the door, after three knocks, the chocolate was almost gone...lol

God bless.

I knew a woman whose father was a very devout Protestant (Free Methodist), one of those selected few scholars who edited the first edition of NIV in the 1970's. She told me that when she was little, her father taught her and her siblings to GIVE candy and chocolate during Halloween, instead of begging for it or extorting it. Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: October 03, 2007, 03:48:39 PM »

In addition, there is one thing that sticks out on me like a sore thumb that both Protestants and my Church taught.  The candy we buy during Halloween, the proceeds go to the religion of Wicca.  If this is true, where can I buy candy that doesn't fund Wicca, and if there is none, I think this would be well enough grounds for protest against Halloween, not because it jeopardizes my faith, but I am actually helping someone of another faith that I am to be virulently opposed to.

HUH?Huh? I didn't know Hershey's kisses and Reese's peanut butter cups were made by Wiccans.  What about Easter Peeps and chocolate bunnies?

Minasoliman - On the whole I really agree with your post,  I love some of the  Halloween alternatives suggested by other OC netters too.  I respect how divisive this issue gets, and what others have done that honors our Lord and his saints on this day.  Years ago I bounced back and forth on my opinion of Halloween, with almost all the negativity coming from the warnings of evangelical protestants whose beliefs are "if it ain't of Jesus it's of the devil".  But honestly, I  could never give up the celebration, because I find it totally fun and silly.  IMO the old-fashioned family type celebration of Halloween is not Wiccan and it's not satanic (and let's give Wiccans a break - they are pagan but not Satan worshipers).   The same arguments against Halloween are the same ones we've had about Harry Potter novels.  

My kids know they are Orthodox Christians.  They do not believe they are one-eyed pirates, dinosaurs, Power Rangers, mummies or vampires.  We all like a fun scare and I like to give that same kind of fun scare to the neighborhood kids by decorating the yard with lights, pumpkin luminarias, white trashbag ghosts, spider webs and funny gravestones.  We'll decorate inside and make some Halloweeny food.  But my kids know it's make believe and a day to have fun.   I love someone's idea about distributing parish bulletins with candy and here's one I may do - Ancient Faith Radio cards with your parish address and website stamped on the back.  Tape a piece of candy to the corner (and don't be, as we say in Tejas, pinche' or cheap - make it a good chocolate, not Dollar General bulk stuff.

I do have a lot of objections as to how some people dress for Halloween - overtly sexy, seductive, or immodest costumes, or too great an emphasis on gore and extreme horror.   Spooky is fun - slasher is violent and not appropriate.   It's the difference between the 1930's/40's Frankenstein or Dracula films and Night of the Living Dead or Texas Chainsaw Massacre (which I did see as an 18 yo college student at Texas A&M on Halloween night 1980, dressed as a baby with a bottle full of tequila - I don't remember the whole thing but that was a horribly evil movie).

I think someone's post about how Halloween brings neighbors and neighborhoods together is right on.  We have a bigger turnout of neighbors on Halloween than National Night Out.  My kids get to meet all their neighbors and we visit more than any other time of the year.  

Just my single little opinion.   This discussion just warms us all up for a good rip-roaring fight about Christmas Trees and Santa Claus.
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« Reply #31 on: October 03, 2007, 04:11:05 PM »

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (which I did see as an 18 yo college student at Texas A&M on Halloween night 1980, dressed as a baby with a bottle full of tequila - I don't remember the whole thing but that was a horribly evil movie).

I saw it when I was 6 years old. Pure poison. It and other films like it did damage to me that took years to heal. After my stepfather committed suicide several years later, I had terrible recurring nightmares of being locked into the coffin with him and buried, face to face, watching him decompose to a thoroughly revolting state, at which point he would reanimate and attack me in various gruesome ways. Not very pleasant dreams to have in the middle of the night in the same house where my stepfather hanged himself upstairs. I lived in fear in that house. Hard to think about even today.

I thoroughly do NOT approve of that kind of Halloween "revelry." Those Saw-type movies are evil.
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« Reply #32 on: October 03, 2007, 04:15:22 PM »

I saw it when I was 6 years old. Pure poison. It and other films like it did damage to me that took years to heal. After my stepfather committed suicide several years later, I had terrible recurring nightmares of being locked into the coffin with him and buried, face to face, watching him decompose to a thoroughly revolting state, at which point he would reanimate and attack me in various gruesome ways. Not very pleasant dreams to have in the middle of the night in the same house where my stepfather hanged himself upstairs. I lived in fear in that house. Hard to think about even today.

I thoroughly do NOT approve of that kind of Halloween "revelry." Those Saw-type movies are evil.

That is horrifying!!! I am so sorry and I hope you have found peace and comfort so many years later.   I am suprised you have any fond memories of Halloween as a child. 
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« Reply #33 on: October 03, 2007, 04:24:19 PM »

Huh I don't know what happened to my original post - one minute it was here and then gone.  I'm sure it wasn't much of a loss but I'm going to try and post again.

In addition, there is one thing that sticks out on me like a sore thumb that both Protestants and my Church taught.  The candy we buy during Halloween, the proceeds go to the religion of Wicca.  If this is true, where can I buy candy that doesn't fund Wicca, and if there is none, I think this would be well enough grounds for protest against Halloween, not because it jeopardizes my faith, but I am actually helping someone of another faith that I am to be virulently opposed to.
But besides this, I find nothing else about Halloween "inherently wrong."



HUH?? I didn't know Hershey's kisses and Reese's peanut butter cups were made by Wiccans.  What about Easter Peeps and chocolate bunnies?

Minasoliman - On the whole I really agree with your post,  I love some of the  Halloween alternatives suggested by other OC netters too.  I respect how divisive this issue gets, and what others have done that honors our Lord and his saints on this day.  Years ago I bounced back and forth on my opinion of Halloween, with almost all the negativity coming from the warnings of evangelical protestants whose beliefs are "if it ain't of Jesus it's of the devil".  But honestly, I  could never give up the celebration, because I find it totally fun and silly.  IMO the old-fashioned family type celebration of Halloween is not Wiccan and it's not satanic (and let's give Wiccans a break - they are pagan but not Satan worshipers).   The same arguments against Halloween are the same ones we've had about Harry Potter novels. 

My kids know they are Orthodox Christians.  They do not believe they are one-eyed pirates, dinosaurs, Power Rangers, mummies or vampires.  We all like a fun scare and I like to give that same kind of fun scare to the neighborhood kids by decorating the yard with lights, pumpkin luminarias, white trashbag ghosts, spider webs and funny gravestones.  We'll decorate inside and make some Halloweeny food.  But my kids know it's make believe and a day to have fun.   I love someone's idea about distributing parish bulletins with candy and here's one I may do - Ancient Faith Radio cards with your parish address and website stamped on the back.  Tape a piece of candy to the corner (and don't be, as we say in Tejas, pinche' or cheap - make it a good chocolate, not Dollar General bulk stuff.

I do have a lot of objections as to how some people dress for Halloween - overtly sexy, seductive, or immodest costumes, or too great an emphasis on gore and extreme horror.   Spooky is fun - slasher is violent and not appropriate.   It's the difference between the 1930's/40's Frankenstein or Dracula films and Night of the Living Dead or Texas Chainsaw Massacre (which I did see as an 18 yo college student at Texas A&M on Halloween night 1980, dressed as a baby with a bottle full of tequila - I don't remember the whole thing but that was a horribly evil movie).

I think someone's post about how Halloween brings neighbors and neighborhoods together is right on.  We have a bigger turnout of neighbors on Halloween than National Night Out.  My kids get to meet all their neighbors and we visit more than any other time of the year. 

Just my single little opinion.   This discussion just warms us all up for a good rip-roaring fight about Christmas Trees and Santa Claus.
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« Reply #34 on: October 03, 2007, 04:30:16 PM »

which I did see as an 18 yo college student at Texas A&M on Halloween night 1980, dressed as a baby with a bottle full of tequila - I don't remember the whole thing but that was a horribly evil movie

Fr. Leo ought to get a kick outta that.  Whoop!
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« Reply #35 on: October 03, 2007, 05:00:00 PM »

That is horrifying!!! I am so sorry and I hope you have found peace and comfort so many years later.   I am suprised you have any fond memories of Halloween as a child. 

Well, I know not to allow my kids to see that poison. I know first-hand what it can do to a child's brain, especially children who have other traumas in their lives. I thank God for his opening my eyes to it.

Fortunately I am able to separate those horror movie experiences from the positive ones, like trick-or-treating with my whole extended family, trading candies with my siblings and cousins (think of the floor of the NY Stock Exchange and you've got the picture), and pumpkin carving (and my mom making pumpkin seeds and pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie out of them). The positive stuff is also bound up with the autumn season (the Apple Festival, October baseball, autumn leaves, harvest, cider and home-made donuts, etc.---I'm sipping some apple cider right now while I type).

I think Halloween can be a part of that, but I think every parent should use discernment about celebrating it. Some things are clearly not good for children.
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« Reply #36 on: October 03, 2007, 05:03:22 PM »

Quote
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This is as good a time as any to crush your Yankee hopes and point out that the Diamondbacks are winning it all this year. 
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« Reply #37 on: October 03, 2007, 05:50:17 PM »

God bless!+

I think orthodox christians should not celebrate Halloween!
It is an abolute pagan feast and usully against christian piety even if it looks innocent!
Thanks to God in europe usually Halloween is not celebrated we have carneval and oktoberfest but this is also against christian piety:o

In CHRIST
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« Reply #38 on: October 03, 2007, 06:08:07 PM »

As I noted before
 

"Halloween" is a contracted form of "All Hallows Eve" and is the Old English title for the evening of
All Saints Day (November 1), when Western Christians traditionally remember believers of other
times who are especially good role models of faith; many of whom were persecuted, tortured, and/or
died rather than renounce Christ. The Christian Church kept the Jewish custom of marking a holiday
(contracted form of "holy day") for the twenty-four hours beginning with sundown and ending with
sundown the following day. Even today Christmas Eve is almost as special as Christmas Day; and in our
Eastern Orthodox churches, all feast have Vesperal services attached to them to be done on the eve
of the Feast.

As northern Europe and the British Isles became Christianized, the Church saw that the pagan
festivals still lured Christians to compromise their faith. One such was the Druidic New Year that
began on November 1. In the strictly Orthodox early Celtic Church, the Holy Fathers tried to
counteract this pagan new year festival by establishing the feast of All Saints on that same day (in
the East, this feast is celebrated on the Sunday after Pentecost). Consequently, the Church in those
areas designated October 31 and November 1 as the "Holy Evening" and Holy Day of All Saints Day.
The night before the feast (on “All Hallows Eve”), a vigil service was held and a morning celebration of
the Eucharist. The Church not only sought to give Christians an alternative, spiritually edifying
holiday; but also to proclaim the supremacy of the Gospel over pagan superstition. Rather than fearing
the "tricks" of those who have died, Christians reflected on the lives and deaths of those who were
faithful and used them as role models for their own walks with the Lord; and thanked God for
preserving the saints in the midst of suffering and persecution.


Halloween is a tradition in the United States as much as is Carnival and the many Wine , Wursts, and beer fests of Europe.  If done with the proper spirit it can be very edifying to those who observe it as it should be observed but as with Christmas and Easter one can choose to celebrate it in ways that are neither edifying nor honoring God. As in everything we are given a choice of to observe or not and how to observe. Does one do it to the Glory of God or to  wet their own passions?

Thomas
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« Reply #39 on: October 03, 2007, 07:59:58 PM »

This is as good a time as any to crush your Yankee hopes and point out that the Diamondbacks are winning it all this year. 
What? *checks calendar* 2001? Noooooooooooo....
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« Reply #40 on: October 03, 2007, 08:30:04 PM »

HUH?? I didn't know Hershey's kisses and Reese's peanut butter cups were made by Wiccans.  What about Easter Peeps and chocolate bunnies?

Well, I don't know about made, but many Evangelicals have said that the money we use to buy the candy in the stores, some of them go to the church of Wicca.  If that is true, I personally would boycott buying the candy.  But I'd like some verification on that one.

I agree that the arguments used are no different than using them against Harry Potter.  In fact, I think Our Life in Christ radio commented on how there are Orthodox Christian themes in Harry Potter itself.

Dear Lubeltri,

God bless you man.  I can hardly imagine what that could have been like.

Dear Thomas,

I would say that celebrating Halloween is equivalent to going to the beach or just sitting around and play some board games with friends and family.  Now, I am called to do all things through His glory, but not to get into a conversation 24/7 about spirituality and theology.  Let's be practical here.  If Halloween was a time for friends and family and neighborhoods to get together in a modest and loving sense, why object?  Is it not the glory of God to simply make peace and friends and be a good example?  I personally wouldn't do so to compromise my own faith.  I think no one disagrees on that.

God bless.

PS I do love the idea about adding some Church bulletins and addresses to candy.  I mean if they do beg for candy, it's an opportunity to plant a seed.  Wink
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« Reply #41 on: October 03, 2007, 08:45:07 PM »

I thoroughly do NOT approve of that kind of Halloween "revelry." Those Saw-type movies are evil.
Lubeltri, may the Lord God bless you and help you with this difficulty!
I totally agree with you. Those movies are perverted, sick, and definately Satanic! Friday the 13th, Saw, any slasher movie for that matter. I also hate 'demonic' movies like The Omen, The Exercism of Emily Rose, Amityville... When we tell ourselves, "Aw, that's just fiction or Hollywood.", it desensitizes us to violence and the occult. While we shouldn't be afraid of these things, what does it profit our souls to play around with them? Why not start playing with a Ouija board? Afterall, it's mass marketed under Parker Brother's board games so what's the harm? Candy Land, Life, Ouija board... no big deal.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #42 on: October 03, 2007, 08:56:49 PM »

Well, the Exorcism of Emily Rose was more of an argumentative movie, a movie that makes you think rather than scary or demonic.  Not that I'm ignoring the Hollywood elements, but I felt it leaned towards questioning exorcism rather than a "The Exorcist" type of a movie.
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« Reply #43 on: October 03, 2007, 09:11:07 PM »

+ Irini nem ehmot,

I don't know, I've always been a sucker for a good horror movie (note the operative word: good).  For me, they are a source of pure entertainment.  I enjoyed Saw although I despised Saw III.  Not sure I want to see Saw II either.  And Saw IV?  What's with that... the man is dead for crying out loud.  I was also a fan of The Exorcist although I disliked the Exorcism of Emily Rose.  The latter was just too odd, and the ending/explanation of the movie just didn't sit right with me. 

As for Halloween in general, I'm all for it.  It's just another commercialized holiday (even though it may have its foundations in pagan ritual) where you get to dress up and let loose.  I remember as a kid having a blast going door to door collecting candy and our neighbors trying to scare us half to death.  Good times.
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« Reply #44 on: October 03, 2007, 09:17:53 PM »

I enjoyed Saw although I despised Saw III.  Not sure I want to see Saw II either.  And Saw IV?  What's with that... the man is dead for crying out loud.

Saw II is alright, better than III.  I is far better.  I agree about IV.  I never watched the Exorcist, and it seems like everyone around me did.

I wonder though if the writer of the Saw movies is really in his right mind.
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Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
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