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Poll
Question: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
Yes - 77 (40.7%)
No - 78 (41.3%)
Maybe - 14 (7.4%)
Unsure - 13 (6.9%)
Other (Explain) - 7 (3.7%)
Total Voters: 189

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Author Topic: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?  (Read 98513 times) Average Rating: 0
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #450 on: October 29, 2009, 07:24:01 PM »

I will celebrate
Halloween in a haiku
And with some candy
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« Reply #451 on: October 29, 2009, 07:46:46 PM »

Before being consumed by a candy-eating, demonic wizard, perhaps you should seek guidance from Samurai Jack and the Scottsman.  Cheesy
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« Reply #452 on: October 29, 2009, 07:54:50 PM »

Go see "This is it", instead.
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« Reply #453 on: October 29, 2009, 08:02:34 PM »

Actually I've been thinking about going to see Saw VI in the theater either tomorrow or Saturday. I've never seen one of the Saw movies in the theater, though I have them all on DVD. I don't consider them good movies per se, but I think most of them are fine as far as this type of horror movie goes.
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« Reply #454 on: October 29, 2009, 08:32:05 PM »



http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=6595



Russians are not interested to celebrate Halloween – poll

Moscow, October 29, Interfax - Only 4% of Russian citizens are going to celebrate Halloween, sociologists have found out.

Regardless of the fact that this holiday is celebrated in many countries, Russia has not added any more Halloween fans recently, the Levada-Center sociologists told Interfax Thursday based on the results of the all-Russian opinion poll.

According to them, 61% of Russians know that such holiday exists, but are not going to celebrate it. About 35% of citizens have not even heard about it, although this number was 10% larger as long as four years ago.

The survey results show that the most enthusiastic to celebrate the holiday are students (18%), all other surveyed young citizens under 25 (14%), people with higher education (5%), and Moscow citizens (12%).

Halloween is celebrated on October 31. The Russian Orthodox Church has meanwhile repeatedly said that this holiday is alien to the traditions of Russian culture.


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« Reply #455 on: October 30, 2009, 01:46:15 PM »

^^  Well, that is no fun.  Hallowe'en is one of the few holidays I truly look forward to throughout the year.  Tongue
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« Reply #456 on: October 30, 2009, 01:51:23 PM »

Uh oh...I just bought five bags of candy for the neighborhood kids... I'm going for it !
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« Reply #457 on: October 30, 2009, 04:19:29 PM »



http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=6595



Russians are not interested to celebrate Halloween – poll

Moscow, October 29, Interfax - Only 4% of Russian citizens are going to celebrate Halloween, sociologists have found out.

Regardless of the fact that this holiday is celebrated in many countries, Russia has not added any more Halloween fans recently, the Levada-Center sociologists told Interfax Thursday based on the results of the all-Russian opinion poll.

According to them, 61% of Russians know that such holiday exists, but are not going to celebrate it. About 35% of citizens have not even heard about it, although this number was 10% larger as long as four years ago.

The survey results show that the most enthusiastic to celebrate the holiday are students (18%), all other surveyed young citizens under 25 (14%), people with higher education (5%), and Moscow citizens (12%).

Halloween is celebrated on October 31. The Russian Orthodox Church has meanwhile repeatedly said that this holiday is alien to the traditions of Russian culture.



This is the same here in Italy. In truth I don't see any difference WITH or WITHOUT it. Except for alot of teens and of metalheads, this feast is not so appreciated. Or at least, Italians prefer Carnival which is more in our spirit. This feast anyway is losing grip on the appreciation of Italians in the period when an Anglo-American influence is getting stronger in our nation. As for me, I'll spend my October 31 night reading a book in tranquillity while others are outside for a "Trick or Treat" walk-around LOL
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« Reply #458 on: October 30, 2009, 06:24:40 PM »

Uh oh...I just bought five bags of candy for the neighborhood kids... I'm going for it !
Haha.....I already finished an entire bag of peanut M&Ms.  I put the other bags in the freezer so I would be deterred by the possibility of breaking my teeth, but even that may not work.
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« Reply #459 on: October 30, 2009, 10:57:36 PM »

*bump*

Shine a light (or in this case darker color) on it, and the vampire post is revealed!

Ah but many will not solve the riddle of the blank post!

Except that your post isn't blank because the colour ffffff is white, and OCnet posts alternate between white and pale-blue backgrounds in threads.
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« Reply #460 on: October 30, 2009, 11:24:35 PM »

Quote
Haha.....I already finished an entire bag of peanut M&Ms.  I put the other bags in the freezer so I would be deterred by the possibility of breaking my teeth, but even that may not work.

I know where you're coming from. Smiley
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« Reply #461 on: October 30, 2009, 11:37:16 PM »

Quote
Haha.....I already finished an entire bag of peanut M&Ms.  I put the other bags in the freezer so I would be deterred by the possibility of breaking my teeth, but even that may not work.

I know where you're coming from. Smiley

Butterfingers, Junior Mints, peanut M&M's... I'm telling y'all- the devil's working overtime!!!  Cheesy
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« Reply #462 on: October 30, 2009, 11:39:15 PM »

Mmmmm...  Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.  How I pity those with peanut allergies.
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« Reply #463 on: November 14, 2009, 02:16:46 PM »

This year our eldest as Harry Dresden (his own idea and he did his own costuming, borrowing a duster from a friend and having his own fedora) took his little brother, who was an elephant around the neighborhood for a little while.  Mr. Pachyderm doesn't care much for sweets besides vanilla ice cream but he does love to ring doorbells and then say "Trick or Treat!" with a big grin.

Our daughter dolled herself up as a kind of gypsy, glamourous but decent and went by herself rather then accompanie her brothers.
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« Reply #464 on: November 14, 2009, 04:44:26 PM »

From a background of having pagan and wiccan friends growing up, I have to strongly oppose Halloween. If you knew the rituals, you might too. Especially if you knew how many devout Wiccans are out there which take it seriously enough to perform these rituals. As a night which the world glorifies and revels in wicked behavior with candy to sweeten it all up so its easier to swallow, it has roots and followers.
The celebration taking place in Haunted Houses is simply a re-enactment of devlish deeds.
Ritual in the Occult is more about re-enactment than canting. No words have to be spoken. Free-Masonry, which the church openly opposes in some jurisdictions, holds its rituals in the same manner. Silent acting and symbolism are two key components to real Occult rituals.
Kids running from door-to-door to get some candy...all in good fun - just a commercialized encouragement to keep this evil holiday in style.

I I teach my kids that they are different from the world.They are different because they are Christians, not of this world and preparing for the next. I hope they will understand as they mature, the gravity of this understanding. We should not participate in worldly things. We are supposed to be working our our salvation here. Let's ask for God's strength, especially me, because I am too weak to do it on my own.   
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« Reply #465 on: November 15, 2009, 02:38:54 AM »

From a background of having pagan and wiccan friends growing up, I have to strongly oppose Halloween. If you knew the rituals, you might too. Especially if you knew how many devout Wiccans are out there which take it seriously enough to perform these rituals. As a night which the world glorifies and revels in wicked behavior with candy to sweeten it all up so its easier to swallow, it has roots and followers.
The celebration taking place in Haunted Houses is simply a re-enactment of devlish deeds.
Ritual in the Occult is more about re-enactment than canting. No words have to be spoken. Free-Masonry, which the church openly opposes in some jurisdictions, holds its rituals in the same manner. Silent acting and symbolism are two key components to real Occult rituals.
Kids running from door-to-door to get some candy...all in good fun - just a commercialized encouragement to keep this evil holiday in style.

I I teach my kids that they are different from the world.They are different because they are Christians, not of this world and preparing for the next. I hope they will understand as they mature, the gravity of this understanding. We should not participate in worldly things. We are supposed to be working our our salvation here. Let's ask for God's strength, especially me, because I am too weak to do it on my own.   

I totally respect your position. What do you think about my approach as described in reply #437?

Selam
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« Reply #466 on: November 15, 2009, 05:16:14 PM »

Gebre Menfus Kidus - In Peace,

I have never given a second thought until now, regarding doing anything for Halloween. But your statement is of a different sort. I tend to think the Cheesey Christian approach to "Harvest Festivals" vs. Haunted Houses is a bad Idea. But you sir, have gotten creative. And what did our Church Fathers teach us, if not to respond to people with love. These days, if it makes me look like a dork to take that time to confess my faith on Halloween- that's about the most persecution a Christian in America sees from it - than I'm all for Dorkyness.
You say your children don't feel left out by handing out tracts instead of candy? I think I may be o.k. with having a little candy feast next year to celebrate St. John of Krondstadt's Feast Day and focus on that particular aspect of the day instead. When children come to the door, We will hand out candy and maby some little tid-bit of the treasures of Christ's witness as well.
Thanks to you, my kids may feel that they are as important as the children who do get to ding-dong for candy on that day. Better yet, thay will be taught to give rather than recieve. And my wife and I will give to them as well.
Thank You. In Christ's love - Germanus
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« Reply #467 on: November 16, 2009, 03:42:03 AM »

Gebre Menfus Kidus - In Peace,

I have never given a second thought until now, regarding doing anything for Halloween. But your statement is of a different sort. I tend to think the Cheesey Christian approach to "Harvest Festivals" vs. Haunted Houses is a bad Idea. But you sir, have gotten creative. And what did our Church Fathers teach us, if not to respond to people with love. These days, if it makes me look like a dork to take that time to confess my faith on Halloween- that's about the most persecution a Christian in America sees from it - than I'm all for Dorkyness.
You say your children don't feel left out by handing out tracts instead of candy? I think I may be o.k. with having a little candy feast next year to celebrate St. John of Krondstadt's Feast Day and focus on that particular aspect of the day instead. When children come to the door, We will hand out candy and maby some little tid-bit of the treasures of Christ's witness as well.
Thanks to you, my kids may feel that they are as important as the children who do get to ding-dong for candy on that day. Better yet, thay will be taught to give rather than recieve. And my wife and I will give to them as well.
Thank You. In Christ's love - Germanus

Cool! I think your family will enjoy the experience, and the Light of Our Lord will go forth from your home.

Thank you for the encouraging words. I am always grateful to God when something I do or say inspires others in a positive way.

Peace to you. Smiley Smiley Smiley

Selam
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« Reply #468 on: November 16, 2009, 07:23:24 AM »

From a background of having pagan and wiccan friends growing up, I have to strongly oppose Halloween. If you knew the rituals, you might too. Especially if you knew how many devout Wiccans are out there which take it seriously enough to perform these rituals. As a night which the world glorifies and revels in wicked behavior with candy to sweeten it all up so its easier to swallow, it has roots and followers.
The celebration taking place in Haunted Houses is simply a re-enactment of devlish deeds.
Ritual in the Occult is more about re-enactment than canting. No words have to be spoken. Free-Masonry, which the church openly opposes in some jurisdictions, holds its rituals in the same manner. Silent acting and symbolism are two key components to real Occult rituals.
Kids running from door-to-door to get some candy...all in good fun - just a commercialized encouragement to keep this evil holiday in style.

I I teach my kids that they are different from the world.They are different because they are Christians, not of this world and preparing for the next. I hope they will understand as they mature, the gravity of this understanding. We should not participate in worldly things. We are supposed to be working our our salvation here. Let's ask for God's strength, especially me, because I am too weak to do it on my own.   

Hmm. I could be wrong, but from what I've seen (I know some people who claim to be 'Pagan'), these so-called rituals are ersatz attempts to reconnect with some kind of 'folk culture' that precedes Christianity. I am dubious about them, and I very much doubt that they are any kind of genuine survival from a pre-Christian past. To me, Halloween is All Hallows Eve - the clue is in the name. It is the day before the Christian festival for all holy souls, and at least in my part of the world, the time when we remember the dead. Customs like carving pumpkins and so on certainly are part of a folk tradition (as is holly at Christmas time - and, indeed, the date of Christmas!). But they have been part of the Christian celebration for a very long time, and it's only relatively recently that new-age Pagans have decided to 'reclaim' this festival.

Anyway, that's how it seems to me. Maybe I know the wrong kind of Pagans, but ...
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« Reply #469 on: November 16, 2009, 07:50:52 AM »

From a background of having pagan and wiccan friends growing up, I have to strongly oppose Halloween. If you knew the rituals, you might too. Especially if you knew how many devout Wiccans are out there which take it seriously enough to perform these rituals. As a night which the world glorifies and revels in wicked behavior with candy to sweeten it all up so its easier to swallow, it has roots and followers.
The celebration taking place in Haunted Houses is simply a re-enactment of devlish deeds.
Ritual in the Occult is more about re-enactment than canting. No words have to be spoken. Free-Masonry, which the church openly opposes in some jurisdictions, holds its rituals in the same manner. Silent acting and symbolism are two key components to real Occult rituals.
Kids running from door-to-door to get some candy...all in good fun - just a commercialized encouragement to keep this evil holiday in style.

I I teach my kids that they are different from the world.They are different because they are Christians, not of this world and preparing for the next. I hope they will understand as they mature, the gravity of this understanding. We should not participate in worldly things. We are supposed to be working our our salvation here. Let's ask for God's strength, especially me, because I am too weak to do it on my own.   

Hmm. I could be wrong, but from what I've seen (I know some people who claim to be 'Pagan'), these so-called rituals are ersatz attempts to reconnect with some kind of 'folk culture' that precedes Christianity. I am dubious about them, and I very much doubt that they are any kind of genuine survival from a pre-Christian past. To me, Halloween is All Hallows Eve - the clue is in the name. It is the day before the Christian festival for all holy souls, and at least in my part of the world, the time when we remember the dead. Customs like carving pumpkins and so on certainly are part of a folk tradition (as is holly at Christmas time - and, indeed, the date of Christmas!). But they have been part of the Christian celebration for a very long time, and it's only relatively recently that new-age Pagans have decided to 'reclaim' this festival.

Anyway, that's how it seems to me. Maybe I know the wrong kind of Pagans, but ...

I agree, Liz. I'm wondering what evil pagan rituals Americans are up to during Halloween; along with their candy collecting and dressing up.
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« Reply #470 on: November 16, 2009, 08:17:13 AM »

From a background of having pagan and wiccan friends growing up, I have to strongly oppose Halloween. If you knew the rituals, you might too. Especially if you knew how many devout Wiccans are out there which take it seriously enough to perform these rituals. As a night which the world glorifies and revels in wicked behavior with candy to sweeten it all up so its easier to swallow, it has roots and followers.
The celebration taking place in Haunted Houses is simply a re-enactment of devlish deeds.
Ritual in the Occult is more about re-enactment than canting. No words have to be spoken. Free-Masonry, which the church openly opposes in some jurisdictions, holds its rituals in the same manner. Silent acting and symbolism are two key components to real Occult rituals.
Kids running from door-to-door to get some candy...all in good fun - just a commercialized encouragement to keep this evil holiday in style.

I I teach my kids that they are different from the world.They are different because they are Christians, not of this world and preparing for the next. I hope they will understand as they mature, the gravity of this understanding. We should not participate in worldly things. We are supposed to be working our our salvation here. Let's ask for God's strength, especially me, because I am too weak to do it on my own.   

Hmm. I could be wrong, but from what I've seen (I know some people who claim to be 'Pagan'), these so-called rituals are ersatz attempts to reconnect with some kind of 'folk culture' that precedes Christianity. I am dubious about them, and I very much doubt that they are any kind of genuine survival from a pre-Christian past. To me, Halloween is All Hallows Eve - the clue is in the name. It is the day before the Christian festival for all holy souls, and at least in my part of the world, the time when we remember the dead. Customs like carving pumpkins and so on certainly are part of a folk tradition (as is holly at Christmas time - and, indeed, the date of Christmas!). But they have been part of the Christian celebration for a very long time, and it's only relatively recently that new-age Pagans have decided to 'reclaim' this festival.

Anyway, that's how it seems to me. Maybe I know the wrong kind of Pagans, but ...

I agree, Liz. I'm wondering what evil pagan rituals Americans are up to during Halloween; along with their candy collecting and dressing up.

Well, chatting on msn to one of the aforementioned Pagans I know, apparently Halloween is an ancient Celtic festival, celebrated by many devout Pagans through the ages - who, strangely, forgot to leave any trace whatsoever of their part in the recorded customs surrounding the day, except, of course, to those who know. Apparently if you are sufficiently 'spiritually receptive', you can 'sense' the presence of elemental forces when you venture into the darkness of the night.

I am really not making this up.

When we were children, my parents used to make a competition for us, bobbing for apples. They made it quite clear that this was a folk custom - a game - and in fact, as far as I know it's not something that has a particularly long history. I think folk customs, and indeed pre-Christian rituals, are fascinating. But we have to accept that evidence for most of these things is sketchy at best, and people usually make up something plausible as a mish-mash of make-believe and anthropological plausibility. So, I was told that apple bobbing has to do with the apple as a symbol of magic (guess where that might come from?), and the water as one of the core elemental forces (again, the symbolic potency of water is pretty well attested throughout the Bible).

There is this argument I have heard, that the pagan religion must be much older than Christianity (and indeed, than the Bible), and that the Christians came along, bowdlerizing and masculinizing the old culture. The 'proof' that the pagan religion is older is based on the fact that when Christianity came to the West, and Britain, there were 'pagans' to be converted. Therefore, so the argument goes, we must see Christianity as a palimpsest, and we must re-interpret its text to recover the pagan religion. Thus, completely disregarding the fact that the Bible had been around for hundreds of years before it came to Britain and might well precede the Celtic culture found there.

Educate your children to recongize Halloween as a Christian festival with some harmless, relatively modern, and pretty secular games added in, and they won't be taken in.
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« Reply #471 on: November 16, 2009, 08:38:51 AM »

From a background of having pagan and wiccan friends growing up, I have to strongly oppose Halloween. If you knew the rituals, you might too. Especially if you knew how many devout Wiccans are out there which take it seriously enough to perform these rituals. As a night which the world glorifies and revels in wicked behavior with candy to sweeten it all up so its easier to swallow, it has roots and followers.
The celebration taking place in Haunted Houses is simply a re-enactment of devlish deeds.
Ritual in the Occult is more about re-enactment than canting. No words have to be spoken. Free-Masonry, which the church openly opposes in some jurisdictions, holds its rituals in the same manner. Silent acting and symbolism are two key components to real Occult rituals.
Kids running from door-to-door to get some candy...all in good fun - just a commercialized encouragement to keep this evil holiday in style.

I I teach my kids that they are different from the world.They are different because they are Christians, not of this world and preparing for the next. I hope they will understand as they mature, the gravity of this understanding. We should not participate in worldly things. We are supposed to be working our our salvation here. Let's ask for God's strength, especially me, because I am too weak to do it on my own.   

Hmm. I could be wrong, but from what I've seen (I know some people who claim to be 'Pagan'), these so-called rituals are ersatz attempts to reconnect with some kind of 'folk culture' that precedes Christianity. I am dubious about them, and I very much doubt that they are any kind of genuine survival from a pre-Christian past. To me, Halloween is All Hallows Eve - the clue is in the name. It is the day before the Christian festival for all holy souls, and at least in my part of the world, the time when we remember the dead. Customs like carving pumpkins and so on certainly are part of a folk tradition (as is holly at Christmas time - and, indeed, the date of Christmas!). But they have been part of the Christian celebration for a very long time, and it's only relatively recently that new-age Pagans have decided to 'reclaim' this festival.

Anyway, that's how it seems to me. Maybe I know the wrong kind of Pagans, but ...

I agree, Liz. I'm wondering what evil pagan rituals Americans are up to during Halloween; along with their candy collecting and dressing up.

Well, chatting on msn to one of the aforementioned Pagans I know, apparently Halloween is an ancient Celtic festival, celebrated by many devout Pagans through the ages - who, strangely, forgot to leave any trace whatsoever of their part in the recorded customs surrounding the day, except, of course, to those who know. Apparently if you are sufficiently 'spiritually receptive', you can 'sense' the presence of elemental forces when you venture into the darkness of the night.

I am really not making this up.

When we were children, my parents used to make a competition for us, bobbing for apples. They made it quite clear that this was a folk custom - a game - and in fact, as far as I know it's not something that has a particularly long history. I think folk customs, and indeed pre-Christian rituals, are fascinating. But we have to accept that evidence for most of these things is sketchy at best, and people usually make up something plausible as a mish-mash of make-believe and anthropological plausibility. So, I was told that apple bobbing has to do with the apple as a symbol of magic (guess where that might come from?), and the water as one of the core elemental forces (again, the symbolic potency of water is pretty well attested throughout the Bible).

There is this argument I have heard, that the pagan religion must be much older than Christianity (and indeed, than the Bible), and that the Christians came along, bowdlerizing and masculinizing the old culture. The 'proof' that the pagan religion is older is based on the fact that when Christianity came to the West, and Britain, there were 'pagans' to be converted. Therefore, so the argument goes, we must see Christianity as a palimpsest, and we must re-interpret its text to recover the pagan religion. Thus, completely disregarding the fact that the Bible had been around for hundreds of years before it came to Britain and might well precede the Celtic culture found there.

Educate your children to recongize Halloween as a Christian festival with some harmless, relatively modern, and pretty secular games added in, and they won't be taken in.

The Celtic pre-Christian rituals have long died out and though we have little written history regarding Celtic pagan traditions to base any neo-pagan claims upon, we are left with a Christian observance, a Holy Day to remember our dead. Interesting article at http://allsaintsbrookline.org/celtic/samhain.html

With the rise of Christianity, Samhain was changed to Hallowmas, or All Saints' Day, to commemorate the souls of the blessed dead who had been canonized that year. The night before became popularly known as Halloween, or All Hallows Eve. In Scotland and Ireland, Halloween is known as Oíche Shamhna, while in Wales it is Nos Calan Gaeaf, the eve of the winter's calend, or first. November 2nd became All Souls Day, when prayers were to be offered to the souls of all who the departed and those who were waiting in Purgatory for entry into Heaven.

Many ancient Celtic customs proved compatible with the new Christian religion. Christianity embraced the Celtic notions of family, community, the bond among all people, and respect for the dead. Throughout the centuries, pagan and Christian beliefs intertwine in a gallimaufry (hodgepodge) of celebrations from October 31st through November 5th, all of which appear both to challenge the ascendancy of the dark and to revel in its mystery.

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« Reply #472 on: November 16, 2009, 09:06:49 AM »

From a background of having pagan and wiccan friends growing up, I have to strongly oppose Halloween. If you knew the rituals, you might too. Especially if you knew how many devout Wiccans are out there which take it seriously enough to perform these rituals. As a night which the world glorifies and revels in wicked behavior with candy to sweeten it all up so its easier to swallow, it has roots and followers.
The celebration taking place in Haunted Houses is simply a re-enactment of devlish deeds.
Ritual in the Occult is more about re-enactment than canting. No words have to be spoken. Free-Masonry, which the church openly opposes in some jurisdictions, holds its rituals in the same manner. Silent acting and symbolism are two key components to real Occult rituals.
Kids running from door-to-door to get some candy...all in good fun - just a commercialized encouragement to keep this evil holiday in style.

I I teach my kids that they are different from the world.They are different because they are Christians, not of this world and preparing for the next. I hope they will understand as they mature, the gravity of this understanding. We should not participate in worldly things. We are supposed to be working our our salvation here. Let's ask for God's strength, especially me, because I am too weak to do it on my own.   

Hmm. I could be wrong, but from what I've seen (I know some people who claim to be 'Pagan'), these so-called rituals are ersatz attempts to reconnect with some kind of 'folk culture' that precedes Christianity. I am dubious about them, and I very much doubt that they are any kind of genuine survival from a pre-Christian past. To me, Halloween is All Hallows Eve - the clue is in the name. It is the day before the Christian festival for all holy souls, and at least in my part of the world, the time when we remember the dead. Customs like carving pumpkins and so on certainly are part of a folk tradition (as is holly at Christmas time - and, indeed, the date of Christmas!). But they have been part of the Christian celebration for a very long time, and it's only relatively recently that new-age Pagans have decided to 'reclaim' this festival.

Anyway, that's how it seems to me. Maybe I know the wrong kind of Pagans, but ...

I agree, Liz. I'm wondering what evil pagan rituals Americans are up to during Halloween; along with their candy collecting and dressing up.

Well, chatting on msn to one of the aforementioned Pagans I know, apparently Halloween is an ancient Celtic festival, celebrated by many devout Pagans through the ages - who, strangely, forgot to leave any trace whatsoever of their part in the recorded customs surrounding the day, except, of course, to those who know. Apparently if you are sufficiently 'spiritually receptive', you can 'sense' the presence of elemental forces when you venture into the darkness of the night.

I am really not making this up.

When we were children, my parents used to make a competition for us, bobbing for apples. They made it quite clear that this was a folk custom - a game - and in fact, as far as I know it's not something that has a particularly long history. I think folk customs, and indeed pre-Christian rituals, are fascinating. But we have to accept that evidence for most of these things is sketchy at best, and people usually make up something plausible as a mish-mash of make-believe and anthropological plausibility. So, I was told that apple bobbing has to do with the apple as a symbol of magic (guess where that might come from?), and the water as one of the core elemental forces (again, the symbolic potency of water is pretty well attested throughout the Bible).

There is this argument I have heard, that the pagan religion must be much older than Christianity (and indeed, than the Bible), and that the Christians came along, bowdlerizing and masculinizing the old culture. The 'proof' that the pagan religion is older is based on the fact that when Christianity came to the West, and Britain, there were 'pagans' to be converted. Therefore, so the argument goes, we must see Christianity as a palimpsest, and we must re-interpret its text to recover the pagan religion. Thus, completely disregarding the fact that the Bible had been around for hundreds of years before it came to Britain and might well precede the Celtic culture found there.

Educate your children to recongize Halloween as a Christian festival with some harmless, relatively modern, and pretty secular games added in, and they won't be taken in.

The Celtic pre-Christian rituals have long died out and though we have little written history regarding Celtic pagan traditions to base any neo-pagan claims upon, we are left with a Christian observance, a Holy Day to remember our dead. Interesting article at http://allsaintsbrookline.org/celtic/samhain.html

With the rise of Christianity, Samhain was changed to Hallowmas, or All Saints' Day, to commemorate the souls of the blessed dead who had been canonized that year. The night before became popularly known as Halloween, or All Hallows Eve. In Scotland and Ireland, Halloween is known as Oíche Shamhna, while in Wales it is Nos Calan Gaeaf, the eve of the winter's calend, or first. November 2nd became All Souls Day, when prayers were to be offered to the souls of all who the departed and those who were waiting in Purgatory for entry into Heaven.

Many ancient Celtic customs proved compatible with the new Christian religion. Christianity embraced the Celtic notions of family, community, the bond among all people, and respect for the dead. Throughout the centuries, pagan and Christian beliefs intertwine in a gallimaufry (hodgepodge) of celebrations from October 31st through November 5th, all of which appear both to challenge the ascendancy of the dark and to revel in its mystery.



The problem I have with this article (and others like it) is that it cites no sources other than those that refer to the Christian celebration of the festival. I can't tell what of the rest is attested, the best-guess of anthropology, wishful thinking or sheer make-believe.
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« Reply #473 on: November 16, 2009, 11:27:54 AM »

I don't believe Orthodox Christians should celebrate it as some do with skeletons, demons, witches etc...

I think though it may be ok to dress up as a hero of yours or something else non-demonic like a doctor, princess, king, etc... This year I dressed up as a rock star (that is, with Slash's hat, a leather jacket and an AC/DC shirt)... My friends (though not Orthodox) dressed up as a Native American and a Cowboy, and my friend from Germany wore lederhosen (of course, as a joke).

However I don't like the idea of people dressing up as things like serial killers, demons, witches, dead people etc...
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« Reply #474 on: November 16, 2009, 12:15:38 PM »

Liz- have you read Ronald Hutton's The Pagan Religions of Ancient Britain: Their Nature and Legacy and Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain  He is a scholar and professor at Bristol.  He looks at what can actually be known and at folk customs and such.

I know you're not "making it up" with the people who think that Halloween is so ancient and the customs lasted for thousands of years.  I've read that sort of thing, too.  Sigh.
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« Reply #475 on: November 16, 2009, 06:14:39 PM »

From a background of having pagan and wiccan friends growing up, I have to strongly oppose Halloween. If you knew the rituals, you might too. Especially if you knew how many devout Wiccans are out there which take it seriously enough to perform these rituals. As a night which the world glorifies and revels in wicked behavior with candy to sweeten it all up so its easier to swallow, it has roots and followers.
The celebration taking place in Haunted Houses is simply a re-enactment of devlish deeds.
Ritual in the Occult is more about re-enactment than canting. No words have to be spoken. Free-Masonry, which the church openly opposes in some jurisdictions, holds its rituals in the same manner. Silent acting and symbolism are two key components to real Occult rituals.
Kids running from door-to-door to get some candy...all in good fun - just a commercialized encouragement to keep this evil holiday in style.

I I teach my kids that they are different from the world.They are different because they are Christians, not of this world and preparing for the next. I hope they will understand as they mature, the gravity of this understanding. We should not participate in worldly things. We are supposed to be working our our salvation here. Let's ask for God's strength, especially me, because I am too weak to do it on my own.   

Hmm. I could be wrong, but from what I've seen (I know some people who claim to be 'Pagan'), these so-called rituals are ersatz attempts to reconnect with some kind of 'folk culture' that precedes Christianity. I am dubious about them, and I very much doubt that they are any kind of genuine survival from a pre-Christian past. To me, Halloween is All Hallows Eve - the clue is in the name. It is the day before the Christian festival for all holy souls, and at least in my part of the world, the time when we remember the dead. Customs like carving pumpkins and so on certainly are part of a folk tradition (as is holly at Christmas time - and, indeed, the date of Christmas!). But they have been part of the Christian celebration for a very long time, and it's only relatively recently that new-age Pagans have decided to 'reclaim' this festival.

Anyway, that's how it seems to me. Maybe I know the wrong kind of Pagans, but ...

I agree, Liz. I'm wondering what evil pagan rituals Americans are up to during Halloween; along with their candy collecting and dressing up.

Well, chatting on msn to one of the aforementioned Pagans I know, apparently Halloween is an ancient Celtic festival, celebrated by many devout Pagans through the ages - who, strangely, forgot to leave any trace whatsoever of their part in the recorded customs surrounding the day, except, of course, to those who know. Apparently if you are sufficiently 'spiritually receptive', you can 'sense' the presence of elemental forces when you venture into the darkness of the night.

I am really not making this up.

When we were children, my parents used to make a competition for us, bobbing for apples. They made it quite clear that this was a folk custom - a game - and in fact, as far as I know it's not something that has a particularly long history. I think folk customs, and indeed pre-Christian rituals, are fascinating. But we have to accept that evidence for most of these things is sketchy at best, and people usually make up something plausible as a mish-mash of make-believe and anthropological plausibility. So, I was told that apple bobbing has to do with the apple as a symbol of magic (guess where that might come from?), and the water as one of the core elemental forces (again, the symbolic potency of water is pretty well attested throughout the Bible).

There is this argument I have heard, that the pagan religion must be much older than Christianity (and indeed, than the Bible), and that the Christians came along, bowdlerizing and masculinizing the old culture. The 'proof' that the pagan religion is older is based on the fact that when Christianity came to the West, and Britain, there were 'pagans' to be converted. Therefore, so the argument goes, we must see Christianity as a palimpsest, and we must re-interpret its text to recover the pagan religion. Thus, completely disregarding the fact that the Bible had been around for hundreds of years before it came to Britain and might well precede the Celtic culture found there.

Educate your children to recongize Halloween as a Christian festival with some harmless, relatively modern, and pretty secular games added in, and they won't be taken in.

The Celtic pre-Christian rituals have long died out and though we have little written history regarding Celtic pagan traditions to base any neo-pagan claims upon, we are left with a Christian observance, a Holy Day to remember our dead. Interesting article at http://allsaintsbrookline.org/celtic/samhain.html

With the rise of Christianity, Samhain was changed to Hallowmas, or All Saints' Day, to commemorate the souls of the blessed dead who had been canonized that year. The night before became popularly known as Halloween, or All Hallows Eve. In Scotland and Ireland, Halloween is known as Oíche Shamhna, while in Wales it is Nos Calan Gaeaf, the eve of the winter's calend, or first. November 2nd became All Souls Day, when prayers were to be offered to the souls of all who the departed and those who were waiting in Purgatory for entry into Heaven.

Many ancient Celtic customs proved compatible with the new Christian religion. Christianity embraced the Celtic notions of family, community, the bond among all people, and respect for the dead. Throughout the centuries, pagan and Christian beliefs intertwine in a gallimaufry (hodgepodge) of celebrations from October 31st through November 5th, all of which appear both to challenge the ascendancy of the dark and to revel in its mystery.



The problem I have with this article (and others like it) is that it cites no sources other than those that refer to the Christian celebration of the festival. I can't tell what of the rest is attested, the best-guess of anthropology, wishful thinking or sheer make-believe.

It pretty much gels with what I have read. Unfortunately, Granddaughter #1 has commandeered my Celtic history books, so I can't actually confirm sources. Although, in The Ancient Celts, Barry Cunliffe pretty much confirms Samain as this site claims. The Christian adoption of the date to commemorate the dead is well-known; some historians claim that it was because the Church couldn't stamp out the pagan celebration of the festival; in all cases that I have read Pope Gregory IV as being credited with the augmentation.
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« Reply #476 on: November 16, 2009, 06:46:36 PM »

Why are we discussing this now? We've got another 49 weeks before it's relevant. Nativity ought to be our focus during this season.
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« Reply #477 on: November 19, 2009, 09:25:41 PM »

Halloween is the American version of Carnival.  It has become a time when even adults can get dressed up and have some fun.  People need these things in order to relax and have some fun.  America's puritanical past prevented her from either adopting the European carnival or developing her own version of it.  Now that things around here are more secular, people can feel free to have some fun.

Also, about religion not liking Halloween, what do European Christians generally think of the Carnival?  I bet you'd find similar responses among Euro religious leaders about celebrating that holiday as you would among America's religious people when it comes to Halloween time?
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« Reply #478 on: November 20, 2009, 04:25:58 AM »

Now that things around here are more secular, people can feel free to have some fun.

Wow.

Selam
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« Reply #479 on: November 20, 2009, 11:28:18 AM »

Now that things around here are more secular, people can feel free to have some fun.

Wow.

Selam

Fun is anti-Christian.  laugh
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« Reply #480 on: November 20, 2009, 02:01:39 PM »

Now that things around here are more secular, people can feel free to have some fun.

Wow.

Selam

Fun is anti-Christian.  laugh
depending on if by "fun", you mean debautchery or , hanging out with your family and going to church.
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« Reply #481 on: November 20, 2009, 02:11:53 PM »

Now that things around here are more secular, people can feel free to have some fun.

Wow.

Selam

Fun is anti-Christian.  laugh
depending on if by "fun", you mean debautchery or , hanging out with your family and going to church.

What about something in the middle, such as taking in an opera and splitting a bottle of wine over a nice dinner with a few people?
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« Reply #482 on: November 20, 2009, 02:16:19 PM »

Now that things around here are more secular, people can feel free to have some fun.

Wow.

Selam

Fun is anti-Christian.  laugh
depending on if by "fun", you mean debautchery or , hanging out with your family and going to church.

What about something in the middle, such as taking in an opera and splitting a bottle of wine over a nice dinner with a few people?
Oh, now that sounds like fun. Cool
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« Reply #483 on: November 20, 2009, 02:21:58 PM »

Now that things around here are more secular, people can feel free to have some fun.

Wow.

Selam

Fun is anti-Christian.  laugh
depending on if by "fun", you mean debautchery or , hanging out with your family and going to church.

"Daddy! We had fun! Not church fun, but real fun!" - Todd Flanders
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« Reply #484 on: November 20, 2009, 02:29:19 PM »

Now that things around here are more secular, people can feel free to have some fun.

Wow.

Selam

Fun is anti-Christian.  laugh
depending on if by "fun", you mean debautchery or , hanging out with your family and going to church.

What about something in the middle, such as taking in an opera and splitting a bottle of wine over a nice dinner with a few people?
Oh, now that sounds like fun. Cool

Of course it is, but we're just a bunch of bourgoise wannabe Christians Wink
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« Reply #485 on: November 20, 2009, 03:16:30 PM »

I heard somewhere that the word "fun" or anything resembling denoting the concept, did not exist in any language until aroung 300 yrs. ago.
BTW - my idea of fun includes clamming, searching for shells and poking at jellyfish at the beach, wild mushroom and edibles foraging, hiking, hunting, camping, sushi-night with my wife, butchering a nice piece of meat,a killer restaurant night with a few nips of good liquory cocktails, listening to a jazz set at a local venue, tickling the kids, frisbee-golfing at the park, and other such activities...none of which include "sin-ful" behavior. So I wouldn't exaclty include myself in the "Stick-In-The-Mud Club".
....But maybe Asteriktos and GiC would. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #486 on: November 20, 2009, 06:05:23 PM »

I heard somewhere that the word "fun" or anything resembling denoting the concept, did not exist in any language until aroung 300 yrs. ago.
BTW - my idea of fun includes clamming, searching for shells and poking at jellyfish at the beach, wild mushroom and edibles foraging, hiking, hunting, camping, sushi-night with my wife, butchering a nice piece of meat,a killer restaurant night with a few nips of good liquory cocktails, listening to a jazz set at a local venue, tickling the kids, frisbee-golfing at the park, and other such activities...none of which include "sin-ful" behavior. So I wouldn't exaclty include myself in the "Stick-In-The-Mud Club".
....But maybe Asteriktos and GiC would. Roll Eyes

Stick in the mud? Nah. Missing out? Sounds like it. But it's your life. Smiley I hope that, at the end of my life, good Christian folk will condemn me in a similar manner to how Irenaeus condemned the Carpocratians:

"So unbridled is their madness, that they declare they have in their power all things which are irreligious and impious, and are at liberty to practise them... They deem it necessary, therefore, that... [people] should have experience of every kind of life as well as every kind of action... in order that, as their writings express it, having made trial of every kind of life, [they] may, at their departure, not be wanting in any particular."
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« Reply #487 on: November 20, 2009, 06:27:09 PM »

I heard somewhere that the word "fun" or anything resembling denoting the concept, did not exist in any language until aroung 300 yrs. ago.
BTW - my idea of fun includes clamming, searching for shells and poking at jellyfish at the beach, wild mushroom and edibles foraging, hiking, hunting, camping, sushi-night with my wife, butchering a nice piece of meat,a killer restaurant night with a few nips of good liquory cocktails, listening to a jazz set at a local venue, tickling the kids, frisbee-golfing at the park, and other such activities...none of which include "sin-ful" behavior. So I wouldn't exaclty include myself in the "Stick-In-The-Mud Club".
....But maybe Asteriktos and GiC would. Roll Eyes

Psalm 103:15 : ...and that wine may cheer the heart of man.

Sounds like fun to me!  What is fun but the cheering of the heart by engaging in some activity?

By the way, all of those activities could most definitely be "sin-ful" behavior if that behavior interrupts your relationship with God in some way. 

In other words, get off your high horse.
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« Reply #488 on: November 20, 2009, 09:15:58 PM »

Alright, you got me Schultzy! Grin
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« Reply #489 on: November 24, 2009, 09:58:13 PM »

I heard somewhere that the word "fun" or anything resembling denoting the concept, did not exist in any language until aroung 300 yrs. ago.

Fun in the English language: "1685, v., "to cheat, hoax," probably a variant of M.E. fon "befool" (c.1400), later "trick, hoax, practical joke," of uncertain origin. Stigmatized by Johnson as "a low cant word." Older sense is preserved in phrase to make fun of and funny money "counterfeit bills" (1938, though this may be more for the sake of the rhyme); sense of "amusement" is 1727. See also funny."

From http://www.etymonline.com/index.php

However there are other words that fit the concept such as amusement, merry/merriment, pleasant, enjoy/enjoyable for example.  Reading histories and literature from centuries and millenia past and from many cultures also show that there was plenty of the "concept" of fun, with feasts, stories, celebrations and more.  The Ramayana, The Canterbury Tales, The Tale of Genji are just some examples.

 The human race was not some dour, sober and grim group of people until three hundred years ago.
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« Reply #490 on: November 24, 2009, 10:30:19 PM »

I heard somewhere that the word "fun" or anything resembling denoting the concept, did not exist in any language until aroung 300 yrs. ago.

Fun in the English language: "1685, v., "to cheat, hoax," probably a variant of M.E. fon "befool" (c.1400), later "trick, hoax, practical joke," of uncertain origin. Stigmatized by Johnson as "a low cant word." Older sense is preserved in phrase to make fun of and funny money "counterfeit bills" (1938, though this may be more for the sake of the rhyme); sense of "amusement" is 1727. See also funny."

From http://www.etymonline.com/index.php

However there are other words that fit the concept such as amusement, merry/merriment, pleasant, enjoy/enjoyable for example.  Reading histories and literature from centuries and millenia past and from many cultures also show that there was plenty of the "concept" of fun, with feasts, stories, celebrations and more.  The Ramayana, The Canterbury Tales, The Tale of Genji are just some examples.

 The human race was not some dour, sober and grim group of people until three hundred years ago.
The ancient Vesperal Hymn of the Church, "O Gladsome Light", is "Fos Ilaron" in Greek, and "ilaron" is where we get the English word "hilarious" from. Also "St. Euphrosyne" and "St. Euphrosynos", derive their names from "evfroseni" meanining "cheerfulness".
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« Reply #491 on: November 25, 2009, 01:22:26 AM »

. Also "St. Euphrosyne" and "St. Euphrosynos", derive their names from "evfroseni" meanining "cheerfulness".

Now that is funny. Wink
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« Reply #492 on: November 25, 2009, 03:00:56 AM »

. Also "St. Euphrosyne" and "St. Euphrosynos", derive their names from "evfroseni" meanining "cheerfulness".

Now that is funny. Wink
Lost in translation perhaps? Wink
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« Reply #493 on: November 25, 2009, 03:04:19 AM »

I heard somewhere that the word "fun" or anything resembling denoting the concept, did not exist in any language until aroung 300 yrs. ago.

Fun in the English language: "1685, v., "to cheat, hoax," probably a variant of M.E. fon "befool" (c.1400), later "trick, hoax, practical joke," of uncertain origin. Stigmatized by Johnson as "a low cant word." Older sense is preserved in phrase to make fun of and funny money "counterfeit bills" (1938, though this may be more for the sake of the rhyme); sense of "amusement" is 1727. See also funny."

From http://www.etymonline.com/index.php

However there are other words that fit the concept such as amusement, merry/merriment, pleasant, enjoy/enjoyable for example.  Reading histories and literature from centuries and millenia past and from many cultures also show that there was plenty of the "concept" of fun, with feasts, stories, celebrations and more.  The Ramayana, The Canterbury Tales, The Tale of Genji are just some examples.

 The human race was not some dour, sober and grim group of people until three hundred years ago.
The ancient Vesperal Hymn of the Church, "O Gladsome Light", is "Fos Ilaron" in Greek, and "ilaron" is where we get the English word "hilarious" from. Also "St. Euphrosyne" and "St. Euphrosynos", derive their names from "evfroseni" meanining "cheerfulness".

ozgeorge, I almost always learn something cool everyday from you.   Smiley
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« Reply #494 on: November 28, 2009, 03:34:43 PM »

The ancient Vesperal Hymn of the Church, "O Gladsome Light", is "Fos Ilaron" in Greek, and "ilaron" is where we get the English word "hilarious" from.

Yes, indeed.  We have that in the BCP and I have sung various arrangements of the "Phos Hilaron" too.  Thank you for reminding me of this.  Smiley
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