Should Christians participate in Halloween?

Halloween (or All Hallows’ Eve) is the evening before All Saints’ Day, which begins (or began, Protestants generally don’t observe it ) the Christian Triduum of Hallowmas (or Hallowtide)–three days given to remembering the Christian dead (all faithful departed Christians, all martyrs, and all saints).

The history of Halloween is connected to this focus on the souls of the departed. Prior to the Reformation many prayed for the departed souls of Christians as they journeyed through purgatory to their heavenly reward. They also fearfully remembered those damned. The early Modern period of the Reformation marginalized purgatory (and thus the ghosts associated with it) from the church’s doctrine, but (of course) the cultural practice continued and ghosts were re-cast as evil spirits.

This video (perhaps simplistically) uses Halloween to point to Christ. And I think that Halloween can serve such a purpose.

Of course, mocking evil spirits and witches arguably is more meaningful in the context of pre-Modern belief in the supernatural and the existence of the very things being mocked. The dangers for our modern culture is likely that we’re mocking something we neither understand nor have an intellectual category for.

What do you think?

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