What are the Catholic origins of Halloween? Though it is often hijacked by the pagan, demonic, and secular, All Hallows’ Eve has a treasured place in Catholic tradition……but you’d never know it when walking down the street in October, seeing houses gaudily strewn with fake spiderwebs, skeletons, and repulsive cadavers. Some Christians have considered withdrawing totally from this “holiday,” since it seems like the domain of the devil.

Halloween is another word for “All Hallows’ Eve”—the eve of All Saints’ Day. In the old Church calendar, the Vigil of All Saints was a liturgical event. It had its own Mass, where the priest would vest in penitential purple, the usual color for vigils. He would don white in the evening for the First Vespers of All Saints, which marked the beginning of the Church’s celebration of this great holy day.

Together, the Vigil (October 31st), the Feast of All Saints (November 1st), and the Commemoration of All Souls (November 2nd) formed a comprehensive picture of the Catholic view of the afterlife.

Then, there are the Vespers of the Dead—sometimes called “Black Vespers,” since the priest would vest in black, the color of death and mourning. These Vespers were not officially said on Halloween, but rather after Second Vespers on All Saints’ Day, looking toward All Souls’ Day. In the Catholic region of Brittany, a devotion developed of saying these Vespers on Halloween itself. It seems these Breton folk were quite solemn on Halloween and kept the importance of praying for the dead at the forefront of their Vigil doings.

In the British Isles, festive All Hallows’ Eve traditions arose that will sound familiar to you. Children would go door-to-door begging for a “soul cake” and promising in return to pray for the deceased of the giver’s family. The Halloween tradition of dressing up is also potentially connected with this custom (pictured below: an excellent Halloween/All Saints costume—St. Michael!).

Because of her Protestant leanings, Queen Elizabeth I forbade the traditions associated with All Souls’ Day. But these customs escaped her anti-Catholic, anti-fun edicts and have made their way down the centuries to us today.

Cited Source: Good Catholic

Our 10 year old appears to have successfully started an avocado tree! Eventually, I suppose we best pot it.
Happy Feast of St. Francis everyone!
In honor of Saint Francis day, our priest blessed animals, including a Polish and Silkie chicken and a sheep, many, many dogs and cats.
With the short fall days there’s not much daylight after school and church school, but the fence line is ready to run!