Yesterday in the church calendar year was All Saints Day. Two nights ago was Halloween, and Micah had a great time trick-or-treating in our neighborhood. These two things are related, and we have to understand the meanings of our words in order to understand why. All Saints Day, November 1st, is also known as All Hallows Day. The day before All Saints Day, which began with vespers on October 31st, was thus given the name All Hallows Eve, which later evolved into the name, Halloween. In some writings it was shortened to Hallow E’en. It is now obvious how we get to the word Halloween. What is my point with this word exploration, outside of me being a geek that loves etymology? As Christians, we should not secularize religious holidays but rather we need to honor our Christian traditions. We can go trick-or-treating, visit with Santa Claus, and even the Easter bunny. However, if we don’t look at the real reason behind these days our lives lose meaning.
All Saints Day is to celebrate the saints of the church, especially those that have moved on to the next life. A part of this coming Sunday’s liturgy does this. We will especially lift up those that have died in the last year, but I also leave a space for all the saints in your life that you still feel connected to (or that you simply are missing).
Peace be with you,
Pastor Ken Mantler