At the end of October begins three days of saintly celebrations. Here are some tips to make the most of them.
Oct 31: Halloween – Night of Light
Halloween has become increasingly popular outside its traditional American home, including here in Australia. Unfortunately, it’s largely a movement of the consumer markets to sell grotesque costumes, fake spider web and even more tooth rotting candy. None-the-less, it’s pretty serious fun in our neighbourhood when upwards of 500 kids hit the streets and start door knocking. It’s one of the few times of year that our neighbourhood experiences itself as a community so it’s too good an opportunity to pass up.
- Christ-O-Lantern: Rather than the traditional Jack-O-Lantern, make a ‘Christ-O-Lantern’ by carving Christian symbols from a pumpkin or watermelon.
- Night of Light: Explain to ‘trick or treaters’ that Halloween means ‘The eve of All Holies’. Instead of candy, give children a glow stick to remind them that it is the Night of Light, rather than the night of mischief! For more tips: Redeeming Halloween
November 1: All Saints Day – Superheroes
Saints are our superheroes of faith. They inspire, encourage and definitely don’t ‘rest in peace’! Saints are active agents in our world and the next.
- Saintly Graces: Do a random pick from a book on saints (or an internet site) and read about the life of that saint. Talk about the special graces that that saint exhibited and how you could use it in your life. Eg: Perhaps you need courage to face into a difficult situation; read about St Paul who had extraordinary courage and boldness and ask him to pray for you.
- Who Am I Quiz: Select a half dozen saints and write a series of questions that progressively reveals the saint: eg: My feast day is Oct 4. I am the patron of animals and the environment. I was born Assisi in Italy. I founded an order of friars and there are thousands of us today. I am… St Francis of Assisi!
November 2: All Souls – Eternal Perspective
All Souls Day connects us with our past generations reminds us of our eternal destiny – union with God and all our loved ones in heaven. In an aggressively secular culture that actively promotes living for the ‘now’ with no regard for others or our eternal life, this feast helps keep us grounded in an important reality…love is forever.
- Eternity: in the footsteps of Arthur Stace chalk the word ‘Eternity’ on the sidewalks near your home. Read his story of conversion on the internet. Talk about how our hope for heaven helps us to lead lives of love on earth.
- Soul Searching: Visit the graveside of loved ones, say special prayers for them, retell favourite stories and look at old photos.