I am taking time today to discuss a very important subject to me, and in all likelihood, important to most people recently…..Halloween.
Now, I have been a cleric for almost a decade…and have seen many militants on both sides of the fence duelling over who started Halloween, who’s holiday it really is, and whether or not Christians are supposed to celebrate it.
I myself was asked by someone yesterday if I “Believed in Halloween”…sorry…no…no I do not “believe” in Halloween…I believe in GOD, Jesus as my Saviour, and that we all have to pay taxes and die sometime…but “believe” in it? Nope.
Let me explain…
I have written several sermons on Halloween, and it’s origins, practices, beliefs in said subject…but I have never SAID I “believe” in it the way….say…someone would believe in Angels, or Demons, or Ghosts….no…there is a HUGE difference between “Believing” in something and “Celebrating” something.
See…I CELEBRATE it…for one VERY important reason…TO REMEMBER THE DEAD.
Memento Mori…I use that day to remember all of those who have passed, and those who hope for salvation…
Perhaps if I explain it from Wikipedia’s way, you would understand it a little better…
Memento mori (“remember that you have to die”) is a Latin expression, originating from a practice common in Ancient Rome; as a general came back victorious from a battle, and during his parade (“Triumph”) received compliments and honours from the crowd of citizens, he ran the risk of falling victim to haughtiness and delusions of grandeur; to avoid it, a slave stationed behind him would say “Respice post te. Hominem te memento” ( “Look after you [to the time after your death] and remember you’re [only] a man.”). It was then reused during the medieval period, it is also related to the ars moriendi (“The Art of Dying”) and related literature.
Memento mori has been an important part of ascetic disciplines as a means of perfecting the character by cultivating detachment and other virtues, and by turning the attention towards the immortality of the soul and the afterlife.
In art, mementos mori are artistic or symbolic reminders of mortality.
In the European Christian art context, “the expression… developed with the growth of Christianity, which emphasized Heaven, Hell, and salvation of the soul in the afterlife.”
As a Christian, we are told to be mindful of our present selves…to strive for honesty, virtue, and sanctity…we are also taught of Devils, demons, Satan, and the evils of this world on both a physical, and spiritual plane, sin and redemption, and thinking of others and being of service to others before ourselves.
Now, as ANY Christian will tell you “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” – 1 Peter 5:8 (KJV)
Many common Christian practices involve reminding people of those who are in “Hell” and those who are “Suffering the fires of purgatory”…is it so wrong to take one day out of the year and combat those evils that are seeking to sway the heart of a Christian…?
By taking this particular day to remember the departed, pray for them, and perhaps have a little jocularity does not seem such a sin (as I was told I was doing making light of the holiday itself) as it does a DUTY, an OBLIGATION.
Did I ‘dress up’ and do the common social things that others do during that day? Nope…
I simply donned my robe …which, if you know this world and the way it views clerics of ANY kind lately… is the ONE DAY I can walk freely among the people in my robes of office and BLESS THE MASSES OF PEOPLE and PRAY FOR THEM OPENLY without having a bottle or rock thrown at my head!
This world has spiralled into a hatred of anything religious…I have seen religions pitted against each other, feuding over who’s right, who’s wrong, and there are some who take this action to EXTREME lengths.
I , in the interest of safety for myself and others, must wear common clothing when walking outside my own home here in Britain!
So tell me…how does it make me ‘evil’ or ‘heretical’ if I don my robe ONE DAY out of the year openly to help, pray for, and bless, those same souls we are TOLD TO PRAY FOR…?
Remembering those asleep in God’s Peace, chasing away evil, blessing people openly….
Sorry….I cannot find a wrong in there….
Now, I know someone out there will get their rosary in a twist over this, but I feel that if I am to be the “Good and faithful servant” I am striving to be I must care for and serve ALL people…not just the Christians…and that, hopefully, by my example of faith, love, tolerance, and prayer, I may actually bring a few of those “Lost Sheep” into the fold…WITHOUT having to HAMMER them with Scripture or Doctrine.
Who knows if me, by way of praying openly during that day of the year, may sway the heart of someone who was about to do something horrible….?
Take a lesson in this: We are here to HELP them find their way to God, not hammer them into submission…and if we help them remember their departed, then we remind them of the morals and values that that person may have led during their lives.
Face it…this generation is a degrading one…morals are in decline…faith is almost nonexistent…immorality is rising…and people are walking away from their faith.
Don’t you kind of think that the people in general NEED someone to step up and PRAY for them and their departed?
Set aside the “what is supposed to be” pounded into you and use common sense… it is REALLY a SIN to pray for, remember, and possibly REDEEM a soul that may be trapped in “that place” during ONE DAY of the year?
I will leave it at that…for your life is yours, mine is mine, and my soul is in my keeping just as you have yours in your keeping…so before you go pounding on ME about MY soul and keeping…let me remind you: “For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” – 2 Corinthians 5:10