St. Peter's United Methodist Church
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Grow - Praise - Serve
 Light the Night
October 31, 2015
St. Peter's Parking Lot




     Since the eighth century Christians have celebrated All Saints’ Day on November 1st to celebrate the known and the unknown Christian saints.  Saints are not just those whom the church canonized, but all the members of that “cloud of witnesses” who proclaimed Jesus as Lord, including you and me!!!


     Almost as old as the celebration of All Saints’ Day is the tradition associated with All Hallow’s Eve.  (“Hallows” means “Saints”, both mean “Holy ones”.  As in “Hallowed Be Thy Name.”)  So Halloween means, “The evening before All Holy Ones’ Day.”  Today we call that festival Halloween and we have many secular ways of celebrating it.  However, it’s important to remember that its celebration has a long positive history in the church.


          Like many of our Liturgical festivals (Christmas and Easter included), All Saints’ Day and All Hallow’s Eve have some connection to pagan festivals.  People of many races and cultures have remembered their dead and have had superstitions about death itself.  Christians remembered death itself on All Hallows’ Eve and celebrated Christ’s victory over death.  During the Middle Ages, Christians would gather in churches for worship and they would remember the Saints’ victories over evil.  Likewise, they would put on little displays, showing Jesus’ victory over Satan, often using unusual masks and costumes to act out the story.

For more on Halloween and All Saints Day click on the sun.

            So, the festival of All Hallows’ Eve was the Christian’s way of laughing at death and evil, something we can do in hope of Christ’s victory over the powers of darkness.  The church for centuries, however, has seen All Hallows’ Eve not as a glorification of evil, but as a chance to confirm eternal life in the face of the death of our mortal bodies.