This year, we get the fortune of having All Hallows’ Eve land on a Sunday. This, of course, is the holiday we know as Halloween.
While we know Halloween as the day we dress up in costumes and go trick-or-treating, All Hallows’ Eve marks the evening before All Saints’ Day, one of our principal feasts.
It also marks the beginning of a kind of fall version of the Triduum, in which we celebrate from sundown on the first day through two successive days of holy remembering: All Hallows’ Eve, All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day.
In All Saints’, we celebrate by hallowing the saints – those people of faith the church has raised up and named as holy. Then, we would celebrate the following day, all those who have died. Not just the sainted, but the lowly, the loved and unloved. In a sense, it is our recognition that it isn’t just the best that need to be honored: we all need to be honored.
Since the medieval period, Halloween has been our opportunity to laugh at death, and reveal it as something less than the holiness of God.
Spook and play this weekend. We will celebrate the saints and the souls next week. But take a moment to think about how it all fits together. And that you, those you love, and those all over the world, are never far from the love of God.