It is time to put the ‘Hallow’ back into ‘Halloween’.
Halloween, All Saints, and All Souls forms a triduum (three days of liturgical observance). ‘Halloween’ is a contraction of ‘All Hallows’ Eve’ (the ‘eve’, the day before All Hallows – All Saints). This triduum can be a celebration of past, present, and future Eternal Life in Christ. [Día de los Muertos, literally, the Day of the Dead, is a Mexican celebration on All Hallows’ Eve spreading from Mexico through USA and beyond – including within church celebrations.]
ALMIGHTIE God, whiche haste knitte together thy electe in one Communion and felowship, in the misticall body of thy sonne Christe our Lord; graunt us grace so to folow thy holy Saynctes in all virtues, and godly livyng, that we maye come to those inspeakeable joyes, whiche thou hast prepared for all them that unfaynedly love thee; through Jesus Christe. (Thomas Cranmer, 1549)
I suggest we can begin recovering some of our All Hallows’ Eve tradition by having an All Saint’s Vigil (Halloween).
I am not in favour of the recent Church of England practice of counting from All Saints’ Day backwards to Advent: The Fourth Sunday before Advent, The Third Sunday before Advent,… Nor am I in favour of the NZ Anglican mimicking of Mummy England and making liturgical Red an optional alternative to Green at this time [“Oh – we’ve had Green long enough now – what colour haven’t we used much this year?…”] There are other ways of changing the texture of services that acknowledges a change in the weather (to Spring or Autumn).
Also remember – Reformation Day: 31 October, the day (Halloween) in 1517, when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses onto the church door in Wittenburg.
Further resources and reflections:
Please add your ideas and resources in the comments below.