Saturday, November 21, 2020

Sunday, November 1, 2020

All Saints Day and Halloween

On November 1st, the Holy Catholic Church celebrates All Saints Day! It is a Holy Day of Obligation. There is no exact date of origin, but after the legalization of Christianity in A.D. 313, there have been commemoration of the saints, especially martyrs, throughout the Church in the West and the East.

Saints in heaven

Traditionally, the commemoration of all saints was commonly celebrated on the Sunday after Pentecost. The primary reason for establishing this commemoration was to honor the vast number of martyrs, especially during the persecution of Emperor Diocletian because under his rule were the worst persecutions. There were not enough days in the calendar to honor each martyr and many martyrs died in groups, so it seemed appropriate to have one day to commemorate all saints. Over time, November 1
st became the feast of All Saints’ Day, especially when Pope Gregory VII mandated November 1st to be the day of celebration of All Saints’ Day.

Although the world celebrates Halloween embracing the pagan culture, within the Catholic Church, Halloween can be translated into All Hallows’ Eve. The word “hallow” means “to make holy or sacred, to sanctify or consecrate, to venerate.” We say this word every day in the Lord’s Prayer, “Hallowed be Thy Name”. Just as how we have Christmas Eve, we also have All Hallows’ Eve, or All Saints’ Eve. This day was to prepare for the feast day of All Saints’ Day. 

So how can we celebrate both of these days?

  • Go to Holy Mass both days to join the celebration of the Great Sacrifice with all of the saints in Heaven. Pray the Litany of Saints
  • Dress up as saints to show the world that we are all called to be saints.
  • Organize a Holyween party with family and friends. Check out this video!

From this feast day of All Saints’ Day to next year’s feast of All Saints’ Day, choose a saint to be your patron for a year. Ask intercession from this saint each day, learn about this saint, and allow this saint to guide you to holiness for a year.

By Tina Makkanal