Is Halloween Catholic? A Guide To Reclaiming The Holiness Of This Celebration

by October

This is the time of year when many Catholics ask themselves if it is ok to celebrate Halloween. Today we offer a few insights and resources to help you decide how you will participate in the cultural festivities and also remember to keep All Saints Day holy.

The desire for holiness, embedded in the depths of our being, cries out. Yet, so often, we silence it with remarkable determination. How creative we are in our excuses! How dogged we are in our resistance! How cunning we are in our evasion! How intelligent we are in our self-deception!

Can Catholics Celebrate Halloween?

Can Catholics Do Halloween?

“There is a lot that is unsavory about the contemporary celebration of Halloween. What does the singular focus on violence, horror, and death have to say about our culture? The traditional, Catholic Halloween placed these realities within the context of Christ’s victory over sin, death, and the devil. The current secularized version of the festival has no salvific content and has been loosed from its theological moorings. It looks very much like a festival of death for a culture of death, and for that reason I can see why parents might be concerned. But what is the proper response to a culture of death? To lock the Church behind closed doors or to let her out into the world? I think it is time for Catholics to accept the religious liberties that this culture claims to afford them and go public with their own festivals—and to do so dramatically and with a great deal of public fervor. What is holding us back? What are we afraid will happen? The reticence and fear that characterizes Catholics is costing the Church its unique culture and it is allowing the culture of death to flourish. Halloween should not be a day when our churches go dark and Christians retreat into the shadows, but when we fill the darkness with Christ’s light and go out into the culture, inviting everyone to the prepare for the festival of the saints with all the joy we can muster.” – Fr. Steve Grunow, Word on Fire

All Saints Day

The core of All Saints Day is the resounding response of every saint in heaven: Holiness is possible! It is true! It exists! To believe in Christ is to believe in holiness. To believe in his love is to believe in the capacity to become holy in that love. Why don’t you, then, allow this beautiful feast to mark a change in your conception of holiness? Because the quest for sanctity is the quest of quests. It is the adventure of an eternity. It takes root in the heart and blooms in all that we do, no matter our career, our personality, our background, our talents, our defects, Christ takes it all and makes it new in Him.

With this in mind, we would also like to invite each one of you, in your own life and in your initiatives, to truly work so that this celebration, in its authentic sense, becomes once again central in the culture around you. For years now, All Saints Day has been hijacked, put into timeout by the culture’s “old self” that would rather divert itself with horror. The demanding heights of holiness have been substituted with the mediocrity or even with the rejection of such an ideal, representing a sort of division of our humanity, and the destiny which God has bestowed on us.

The idea is not so much to go out and to condemn the mistaken costumes that have arisen, but rather to keep a critical approach towards them, to work so that the authentic meaning prevails and takes root in the lives of others.

More Halloween Resources For Catholics

Resources for Celebrating Halloween with Children

More Catholic Halloween Resources

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