Friday, October 31, 2014
QUARITUR: Should I allow my child to celebrate Halloween?
Should I allow my child to celebrate Halloween?
Yes, though maybe by next year I might change my mind.
When I was a child Halloween in England might have had a few cut out witches and string spiderwebs, and that was it oh, plus a ghost story or two and for some reason 'apple bobbing'.
I am sure Halloween was connected to the bonfires and effigy burning of November 5th.
Halloween is a strange festival, an anti festival really, All Hallows we celebrate the absolute certainty of the Saints enjoying the blessed of Heaven and on All Souls we remember and pray for the dead, who suffer, having to wait for Heaven, being purified by the burning love of God, and by their yearning for that which they might have lost.
Halloween is about being lost, cut off from God. Once in a year we play at what it must be like; the terror of the darkness and being lost in it. It seems very healthy to play at devils and spooks, axe murderers and the living dead and then to wash of the make-up, put away the costume and celebrate All Saints. It seems very healthy to wander in darkness like some lost thing for a few hours, then to return to warmth of the Father's house.
If I were a parent, my possible children would thank God I am not, it strikes me that Halloween is a good time to teach children about Hell, about the real possibility of losing Heaven, about the disorder of sin and its consequences.
Benedict, Dominic John-Vianney Blake along with their sisters Immaculata-Maria and Maria-Mediatrix-Gratia would celebrate the most gruesome and horrific of Halloweens, of course after singing 1st Vespers of All Saints with their loving Papa. With their friends they would be cast out into the darkness, the door closed behind them and sent to beg from the unresponsive neighbours some of whom might be persuaded to cry from their Christian homes, 'Begone foul Hell-fiend, return to the place from whence thou came', some might even throw buckets of (play) Holy Water at them. How eager would be their return home after a night of play, how instructive the conversations of the world where Grace is unknown, how acute the attendance at Compline, how their little faces would be turned to the crucifix at the words of Compline, "Fratres: Sóbrii estóte, et vigiláte: quia adversárius vester diábolus, tamquam leo rúgiens círcuit, quaerens quem dévoret: cui resístite fortes in fide." How intense and heartfelt their Te Lucis ante terminum. How lovingly they would clasp their cuddly toy miraculous medals in their warm Christian beds and how reverently would they recite their pre-somnial Paters and Aves. I suspect they might even say, "Papa rather than our normal reading of Aquinas as our bed time story would it possible to hear Blessed Augustine Civitatis Dei".
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