Halloween as a Teachable Moment

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Halloween traditions often bring about much debate among Catholics. Are we glorifying evil and dead things? Isn’t it just too scary? Is it a pagan holiday? The simple answer to some of these things is…..well, sort of, yeah. But wait….there is (as Paul Harvey would say) the rest of the story.

Halloween can be tons of fun for our families as long as we don’t lose our heads like Ichabod Crane.

Remind our children that the roots of Halloween are to pray for the dead on the Feast of All Souls Day. Explain to them that we all need the prayers and support of the faithful and there may be a soul that has no one to pray for them.

Attend Mass (if at all possible) on the Feasts of All Souls and All Saints.

Explain to kids the difference between magic, which is usually encouraged to obtain something an individual wants (innately wrong as it supersedes God’s will), and miracles, which are asked for by man, but granted only by God as His will determines.

Point out the dangers of making evil look inviting. Scary costumes, horror movies, and messing with demonic things not only invite wrong thinking, but they can cause young people inner stress, or worse, desensitize them to evil in the world. As one television commentator once observed, “How can you watch and enjoy a sadistic movie for two hours and expect to come out of it without any effect on your personality?” We do not want to encourage anything that is not from God to enter our lives. We must be vigilant in protecting ourselves and our students from negative or even evil influences.

Have a Saint Costume Party in place of a Halloween party. Everyone comes dressed as their favorite Saint.

Educate ourselves and our families on the traditions and truths of Halloween. Related articles give thoughtful and insightful information about the Catholic view of what has become a secular tradition.

Enjoy. A little cider, donuts and a party for Halloween always brings smiles and cheer. God bless.

"Halloween as a Teachable Moment" by Mary Lou Rosien (CatholicMom.com)

Image via Pixabay (2016), CC0 Public Domain. Text added in Canva.

© Mary Lou Rosien 2012
Adapted and reprinted with permission from Our Sunday Visitor, where it was originally published.

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About Author

Mary Lou Rosien is a Catholic, wife, mother to seven plus a foster son, RCIA Coordinator and writer/speaker. She is a former columnist for OSV.com and a current contributor to AmazingCatechists.com. In between making Friday cookies and laundry, she has written two books: Managing Stress with the Help of Your Catholic Faith (OSV), Catholic Family Boot Camp (Bezalel Books).

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