Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All Hallows Eve and All Saints Day Celebrations



Although I'm a little late with wishing everyone a Happy Hallows Eve or Halloween, I thought it's never too late to share this great article from the internet that addresses what Halloween is really about.  The article is titled How Halloween Can Be Redeemed .

I especially agree with the two opening paragraphs in "How Halloween Can Be Redeemed" :


"Halloween has grown into a major secular holiday in American culture. But for those who don’t value devotion to the saints, the Eve has become "hollow" instead of "hallow." The purpose behind it has been lost—like celebrating New Year’s Eve without a New Year’s Day. Take away the saints and our beliefs about the dignity and destiny of human beings, and the only thing left is pre-Christian superstition regarding the dead.
Among many Christians, there has been concern that things have gotten out of hand. After all, doesn’t Halloween glorify evil? Is it right to send our children out as devils and vampires, or is it better to emphasize the saints, whose nearly forgotten feast day is the reason for Halloween? Hallow is the same word for "holy" that we find in the Lord’s Prayer, and e’en is a contraction of "evening." The word Halloween itself is a shortened form of "All Hallows Eve," the day before All Saints Day. In this Update we’ll consider how Catholics can "redeem" Halloween. This holiday, properly understood and celebrated with all of its fun trappings, can be a way for us to deepen our understanding of our faith. The key to this understanding is close at hand for Catholics in our love of the communion of saints."

My family enjoys all the festivities surrounding this holiday and focuses on All Saints Day.  My children love to dress up and candy so Halloween is an exciting time for them.  They also enjoy learning about the lives of the saints and dressing up as their favorite saints.

So on Halloween, my kids and some friends dressed up before we went out trick or treating.  My oldest daughter was Artemis, the goddess of hunting (she loves Greek mythology), our son was a ninja, our 7 year old daughter got together with her friend to be a BFF locket, and our youngest was a cowgirl in a ballet leotard with boots :) Hey, whatever works :)  

Just the girls


Just the boys

Today, Nov. 1, our homeschool group celebrated All Saints Day by attending Mass in their saint costumes, then we had lunch and played lots of saint games. One game was a guessing game where each child stood up and gave 3 clues for their saint and their peers had to try to guess which saint they were dressed as.   It was a fun day to celebrate the lives of all those who were passionate followers of Jesus.  I LOVE learning about the lives of the saints with my children.  Their stories are amazing, inspiring, and these are the real role models I want my family to follow.  

We have Saint Helen.

Saint George, with soccer shin guards as armor :)
 Saint Gianna Molla
Saint Faustina


Lots of saint games, holy cards, and candy prizes.  Here are a few out of many that the kids played:
"Knock Over the Seven Deadly Sins", bowling

St. Joseph, the Worker game

"Pin the Shamrock on St. Patrick"

Hop to the 7 Sacraments...
and get to Heaven.

 Decorate a bird and put it on the tree to remember St. Francis

Lots of Holy Cupcakes!  We colored copied holy cards of all different saints, laminated them, and then taped them to popsicle sticks.

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I'm also linking this post to Lacy's All Saints' Day Link Up!
















10 comments:

Lisa said...

I am SO impressed with your group's Saints' celebration. I so want to organize something like this next year! :-)

I am bookmarking this post! The article you cited is such a wonderful resource-- definitely one I want to have access to in the future.

Glad your family had both a good All Hallows' Eve and All Saints' Day.

God bless,
Lisa

Laurie said...

Another great article on All Hallow's Eve. Thanks for sharing it. I really like #6 from this Top Ten Ways to Have a Catholic Halloween that sort of addresses a similar topic-
http://kollmanradio.com/ronkollman.com/2011/10/top-ten-ways-to-have-a-catholic-halloween/

Love the costumes and the All Saints party. It looks like your group had a great time together!

Tracy said...

Hi Lisa,
The games were cute and put together by some members of the church we attended for All Saints Day. They were cute games and the older kids and adults played a board game called, "The Communion of Saints" or maybe it's just called "Communion of Saints", can't remember which one. Anyway, I hear it's a great game for older kids. I didn't get a chance to play it...I was too busy taking pics and talking with moms :)
Hope you had a blessed All Hallow's Eve/All Saints Day too! From you post it looked like so much fun at Hershey :)

Tracy said...

Hi Laurie!
Thanks for sharing the Top Ten article. It's a good one too! Good friends of ours celebrated "Reformation Day" last year in their Protestant Church and since one of the spouses of the couple is a fallen away Catholic, I was saddened to hear that they have replaced All Hallows' Eve with an event that ignores the one, holy, catholic and apostolic true Church. :( God bless and thanks again for the great article! :)

noreen said...

Hi Tracy, you have a lot of great ideas to celebrate All Saints Day! I'm sure the children learned a lot about the saints.

Tracy said...

HI Noreen! Thanks for stopping in! I can't take credit for any of these saint game ideas since our homeschool group borrowed all of them from a local parish's youth group :) They were great games to play! Have a blessed day! :)

Hi Tracy! Thanks for sharing this on my link-up! You have a lot of cute games and costume ideas! It's so to see the kids enjoying their faith with friends! God Bless!

I love the birds in the tree idea. Where did you get the print out of birds?

Hi Janet,

These games were created by the members of parish where the Saint party was located so I'm not sure where the bird print outs are from, however I just Googled "bird coloring pages" and came up with this link: http://www.coloring.ws/birds5.htm Maybe this link or something similar can be used for a St. Francis tree game. :)

Thank you very much. I am in charge of of our parish's first ever All Saints Day party. I'm going to get one of the teens to paint the tree for me!

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