We have all heard and celebrated Triduum during Lent---Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday (Easter Vigil). But we also have a Fall Triduum---Halloween (All Hallows Eve, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day.) These are three days in Fall that we celebrate the lives of those who have gone before us.
The whole lesson is a prayer. There is no specific opening prayer.
How Does Halloween fit in with All Saints Day and All Souls Day?
Just like Christmas Eve is the evening before Christmas, and New Year’s Eve is the evening before New Year’s Day, and we celebrate Sunday Mass with a Saturday evening vigil. All Hallow’s Eve (Halloween) is the evening before we celebrate All Saints Day.
Saints are holy men and women who followed in the footsteps of Jesus and gave their lives to him. The big “S” Saints in the Church are those holy men and women who have been canonized by the Church through a three-step process that is lengthy and scientific and can lead to Saintly status. The three steps to sainthood are Venerable, Blessed and Saint. Through the process, leading to their canonization, miracles have been proven to be associated with that person’s intercession. There are lots and lots of big “S” saints. We celebrate all Saints in our Catholic Church, hence All Saints Day. Some have become popularly recognized, such as the Feast of St. Margaret Mary (October 16), Feast of St. Nicholas (December 6), Feast of Mary Magdalene (July 22), to name a few. One Saint has many feast days and she is the Blessed Virgin Mary (December 8, January 1, August 15).
- Invite each person in your family to name a Big “S” Saint.
Little “s” saints are those holy men and women who have given their lives to Jesus but have not been canonized (formally recognized by the Catholic Church). These holy people lived a life modeled after Jesus: devoted prayer life, attended Mass weekly, served others selflessly, received the Sacraments, etc. There are millions of little “s” saints who do not have an assigned feast day or have miracles associated with them. But, one might gather at the cemetery on the date that a loved one has died to remember him or her and the holy life he/she lead.
- Invite each person to name a holy person they know who has died.
So what does Halloween have to do with big “S” Saints and little “s” saints? Good question. “Hallow” means holy. Eve, is short for evening which got shortened to a contraction of “e’en, for evening, which then got smushed together to form “Halloween.”
Halloween is the vigil for All Saints Day and All Souls Day. People would dress up as saints and parade around asking for treats or doing a trick. The gory costumes came into practice from the way that some of the saints died. Many of our saints were martyrs which means they died for their faith. Some of their deaths were quite gruesome. Hence, the scary costumes.
Halloween invites us to talk openly about death, which can be a scary topic for both children and adults alike. Death is a part of life. Even Jesus died. The resurrection of Jesus makes death not so scary for all of us. God promises heaven to all who live a holy life modeled on Jesus’s example. Grab your bible and look up Matthew 22:37-40 to find out what Jesus commands us to do to live a holy life.
So get your costumes and dress up! Go trick-or-treating! Enjoy the fun of Halloween as it prepares us to celebrate two holy days in our Church, All Saints Day and All Souls Day.
As a family, take the pumpkin that was delivered and gather around your kitchen table or counter where everyone can see the activity.
Use the Pumpkin Prayer sheet (Click for a PDF of Prayer) that was in your goodie bag to pray and carve your pumpkin. Watch the video with Amy & Tina below for more details about carving your pumpkin and for faith shape ideas for your pumpkin face.
For each section invite a younger child to participate by doing the pointing and allow older children to do the carving (if possible---safety is always prudent when using knives with children of any age!)
Upon finishing the carved pumpkin, join hands and pray the prayer under the Faith Talk at Home section of the handout. End with the Sign of the Cross. Place a battery-operated candle in the pumpkin and put it outside or in a window of your home to let passersby know you are a household of Jesus’ followers.
Take a family picture around your finished pumpkin and send it to us. Please note that all pictures will be posted on our social media pages and website. Please do not submit a picture if you do not want it posted publicly.
- Email picture to [email protected]