There's always been debate among deeply religious folks on what to do about Halloween. Some insist that faithful people must stay away, as it is a celebration of the devil. Generations ago, the church worked to transform the holiday to one of honoring the deceased and pairing the day with All Saints and All Souls days. One year when I was in Guatemala for these holidays, I saw how the traditions there approached the holidays: on Halloween there were lots of firecrackers (to scare off frightening spirits) and flowers and food for All Saints and All Souls.
I have come to view Halloween as a day in which we lessen the fear by portraying death in ways we can actually deal with. With a frightening costume or a mask, we sort of whistle our way through the graveyard, past the things that could terrify if they were reality. Then we are happy when the ghosts and ghouls come to our door, are given candy, and go on their way. Wouldn't that be great, if our greatest fears could be so handily dispatched.
This Sunday we will explore putting on masks as a taking on of a persona. And the next Sunday we will honor those who have passed on, with our All Saint's Day recognition.
I hope to see you there! Jeannie