Halloween 2020 or when the saints go marching in

Playl's Ponderings


 Halloween was certainly different this year. What did you expect? Remember, it’s 2020!  Some places still had door-to-door trick-or-treat. We gave candy to more than a hundred kids at our front door. Not as many as most years though. Some places only allowed drive-thru trick- or-treat...or trunk ‘n’ treat, or private parties (with social distancing)...or discouraged the idea altogether. Some communities may have outlawed it completely. 

Katie Grace had two costumes ordered for her school parties, both of them princesses, but neither was able to promise shipment in time for the festivities. So her mom borrowed a cheerleader outfit, and she already had some masks just like the real cheerleaders wear in 2020. At the last minute, one of her princess outfits showed up and she got to wear it for a Sunday night get-together.

In the past, the Playl boys have been super heroes and cops. This year they were scary characters...2020. The Nash kids usually make their own costumes. Last year, Lawrence decided to trick-or-treat after he had arrived in Bristol, sans any kind of costume, so Nahnee took an old sheet and cut eyes in it. He went as a ghost. You may have seen him in our neighborhood. This year, the really scary Halloween costume is to go without a mask.

Everyone has been told to wear masks for nearly eight months already, and we are used to seeing folks without seeing their faces. Some trick-or=treaters showed up with no mask, and that was strange...It’s 2020.

Where did Halloween come from, anyway? Many of you may know that Oct. 31 is the eve of  “Hallowmas,” AKA: All Saints Day, The Feast of All Saints, or All Hallows Day. Nov. 1 is the day, in many Christian traditions, when the saints that have gone marching in are remembered and honored. The definition of “saint” varies from faith to faith. The word comes from “sanctus” - “holy” or “hallowed,” and, in most Christian communities, saints include all who have died, in the Lord, and gone to heaven. In some traditions, such as Roman Catholic and Anglican, there are special saints such as Patrick and Christopher who have been canonized by the church, but All Saints Day is a day to remember all who have gone to heaven, whether known or obscure.

For Baptists and some others, it’s even simpler that all that. Those who have professed faith in Christ claim His holiness and are considered saints due to that relationship. Many of the Epistles in Scripture address members of the body of Christ (the Church) as saints. Funny how many Baptists observe Halloween but not All Saints Day...but that’s another story. 

Oct. 31 is also celebrated as the birth of the Protestant Reformation. That’s the day, in 1517, that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenburg Castle Church...and what a stir that caused.

Many years ago, some people who were not very holy themselves decided to start raising Cain (or whomever) on the night before the holy day in remembrance of those who had already made it to heaven. They thought it would be cool to conjure up the spirits of those who were not saints and didn’t make it to heaven. So they partied and acted unholy before the day that was supposed to be very reverent.

At least that’s how I understand the origin of Halloween, and it explains all ghouls and goblins. When Halloween glorifies evil, it’s something we should all avoid, as much as we would like to avoid 2020. On the other hand, when children dress up like princesses and heroes and have fun, it’s just - well - fun!

My main take-away on Halloween and All Saints Day is that we all need to be prepared, through faith in Christ, to be in that number, when the saints go marching in!

Steve Playl: playlsr@yahoo.com    


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