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Monsignor’s Message – Christian Origin of Halloween

Posted on Oct 25, 2017 in Monsignor's Message, Msgr. Kieran Harrington

This is a message from Msgr. Kieran Harrington, Vicar for Communications for the Diocese of Brooklyn that appears in The Tablet:

Father Pat West is a great one for jokes. At the priest convocation he shared this one: “Where does one go to survive the zombie apocalypse?—The living room!” Many of the contemporary elements of Halloween are derived from pagan Celtic celebrations. However, with the Christianization of Ireland, the pagan rite of commemorating the dead was inculturated. Beginning on Halloween, many would abstain from meat/fast and pray for the dead over the course of three days. During these celebrations of All Saints and All Souls, we are reminded that the bonds of love do not dissolve with death. We believe in life after death. The dead will all stand before the judgement throne of Christ. What I do here and now has ramifications. Our belief in the Communion of Saints is the conviction that our prayers assist in the purification of those who have died so that they might enter into the heavenly courts and gaze upon the face of God.

May God bless you,
Monsignor Kieran Harrington, V.E.