Friday, October 28, 2011

Sick of Halloween? Try All Saints Day instead!

Halloween is starting to get more and more annoying to me for several reasons. First, I hate that the costumes for women are becoming hyper-sexualized. When I see the sexy nurses, the sexy maids, the sexy witches, the sexy bunnies, ad nauseum, I want to vomit. Second, the over-done scary gore bothers me.

Halloween has the potential to be so much fun; what other holiday in the year gives us social permission to dress up as anything? I just wish that people would realize that just because we can dress up does not mean that “anything goes.”

It was when I started casting around for alternatives that I learned something cool. Halloween (or All Hallow’s Evening, as it once was called) is followed by a holiday on November 1, called “All Saints Day,” which honors “all saints, known and unknown” (Wikipedia). The next day, November 2, is called “All Souls Day,” which “specifically commemorates the departed faithful who have not yet been purified and reached heaven” (Wikipedia).

Surely we, if anyone, have the most reason to celebrate on those days!

Did you know the hymn “For All the Saints” was written to commemorate All Saints Day? (see Check out the lyrics, six stanzas of which are not in the LDS hymnal.
For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress and their Might;
Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

For the Apostles’ glorious company,
Who bearing forth the Cross o’er land and sea,
Shook all the mighty world, we sing to Thee:
Alleluia, Alleluia!

For the Evangelists, by whose blest word,
Like fourfold streams, the garden of the Lord,
Is fair and fruitful, be Thy Name adored.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

For Martyrs, who with rapture kindled eye,
Saw the bright crown descending from the sky,
And seeing, grasped it, Thee we glorify.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
All are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

O may Thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold,
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
And win with them the victor’s crown of gold.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
And hearts are brave, again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

The golden evening brightens in the west;
Soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest;
Sweet is the calm of paradise the blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of glory passes on His way.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
And singing to Father, Son and Holy Ghost:
Alleluia, Alleluia!
It seems to me that if we want a Latter-day Saint alternative to Halloween, we could celebrate All Saints Day and All Souls Day. How could we celebrate them? There’s a raft of possibilities!
  • We could make those days into days of temple worship to bless the dead and then have feasts to refresh the living!
  • We could dress up as saints from all ages of the world! (Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and even.. future saints (Latter-day Saint Star Trek?))
  • We could take bread (representing the bread of life) to nonmember neighbors!
  • We could celebrate by flying kites (to represent the angel souls of the dead that are sealed to us)!
We could make these days uniquely our own.


Ramona Gordy said...

I like "trunk or treat". It's fun because you can celebrate through a child's perspective.
Trunk or treat is a new phenom for me.
Otherwise, I agree, Halloween has taken on a decidedly sinister tone, a months worth the worst "horror"movies ever. Scary movies back in the day, used to be fun, now they are truely devilish and harmful.
I have often wondered about those skimpy costumes, they seem like a throw back to another type of party,maybe at Hugh Hefners mansion.
My favorite holidays are Ground hog day, you can visit Punxsutawney Phil in Pa if you want. The 4th of July is great,and sometimes Christmas.LOL:)