I have noticed in the last few years an uptick in Christians becoming adamantly anti-Halloween, but I think this is an oversight to the rich traditions and Catholic culture that are the foundation to Halloween.
Many believe that Halloween is based on the practices of early pagans celebrating the new year. This may be true, but in true Christian fashion the Catholic Church found a way to bring it back to Christ.
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I believe that changing the culture of Halloween and making it more Christian would be a step in the right direction. Here are a few ideas of having your very own Catholic Halloween.
1. Go to Mass.
Nothing will make Halloween or any other day more Catholic or more holy than going to Mass and spending that time with Christ.
2. Don’t dress in costumes of the demonic.
Evil is real. It can be seen every day. There is no reason to sink down to evil’s level. Leave the witches, demons, devils, serial killers, etc. alone.
3. Dress as a Saint or a hero.
Let us uplift our neighbors. Dress as a Saint and when your neighbor asks who you are you will be catechizing them and spreading your Faith. Make sure you know interesting facts about them that will impress anyone who asks.
Catholic All Year has a huge variety of Catholic Saint ideas that you should definitely check out. Also, remember that Biblical heroes are great people to dress up as and emulate too.
4. Give out treats that spread the Faith.
Saintly Heart has beautifully fun Saint stickers that you could give out with/or instead of candy.
5. Carve your pumpkins with Catholic symbols instead of scary faces.
Catholic Icing has a great post on how to make an easy Rosary Pumpkin. But you also could carve crosses, the Marian symbol, Christ’s symbol as well. These can be great conversation starters as well.
Catholic Cuisine also has amazing examples of carvings one can do.
If you don’t want to carve your pumpkin, you can also paint them with Catholic symbols as well.
6. Visit a cemetery and pray for the souls of those departed.
As Catholics we will be praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory again on All Soul’s Day, November 2nd, but the souls in purgatory can use prayers any time. This would be a great opportunity to incorporate it into your festivities.
7. Pray for departed loved one each time you are given a piece of candy and then again, each time you eat one as well.
This suggestion was made by my sister and it makes great sense. In the 8th century, Christians would go door-to-door begging for soul cakes. These were shortbreads given only to those promising to say a prayer for the departed souls of the household. It is a beautiful custom and should definitely be brought back.
8. Decorate with a yard sign that says, “The Only Ghost that Lives Here is the Holy Ghost”
I love this idea and will most likely be buying one for my yard. You can order one here from Amazon or if you’re crafty you can make one yourself.
9. Play music at your home that reminds people of death and their own mortality when they come around asking for treats.
Play songs such as: the Dies Irae, the De Pro Fundis (this was typically sung at the end of All Hallow’s Eve in Brittany in the 8th century), Mozart’s Requiem in D minor, or Requiem Aeternam.
10. Give your kids some Candy Corn and a lesson in the Holy Trinity.
Teaching with TLC: Using candy corn to teach the Trinity Explains this whole activity on her website.
If you would like to learn more about the origins of Halloween and how it was adopted by the Catholic Church. Mary Reed Newland in her Book “The Year and our Children” dedicated an entire chapter to it.
There are many ways that we can have a very Catholic Halloween while still enjoying the company of our neighbors. I believe all we need to do is show them the good time we can have while being Faith-filled and uplifting. I hope this list helps you find ways to celebrate All Hallows Eve. If you think of other activities or ideas to make it even more Catholic, leave a comment below.
2 thoughts on “How to Have a Catholic Halloween”
Halloween is a time my boys have just now gotten into. (K and 1st) There some ideas we could include here. There school sent them home with the candy corn image you shared. You link explains it more and that can help my home conversation:).
I have boys in K and 1st grade as well and they are really getting into Halloween too. I’m glad these ideas might help bring Halloween closer to Christ for your family.