Samhain Celebrations

How does one redeem a festival?  Can it be redeemed?

We are coming up to Samhain.  This was one of the principal festivals of the Celtic calender.  In part it was a harvest festival.  |People believed that all crops had to be harvested by this date or left in the field lest the fairy folk bring ill-fortune.  It was also the time when animals were slaughtered for the winter. Of course, slaughtered animals were sacrificed to the gods, even though, as in most cultures the majority of the meat was for human consumption.

But the festival was more than a harvest celebration.

Wikipedia says

“According to Celtic lore, Samhain is a time when the boundaries between the world of the living and the world of the dead become thinner, allowing spirits and other supernatural entities to pass between the worlds to socialize with humans. It is the time of the year when ancestors and other departed souls are especially honored. . . Often a meal will be prepared of favorite foods of the family’s and community’s beloved dead, a place set for them at the table, and traditional songs, poetry and dances performed to entertain them. A door or window may be opened to the west and the beloved dead specifically invited to attend. Many leave a candle or other light burning in a western window to guide the dead home. Divination for the coming year is often done, whether in all solemnity or as games for the children. The more mystically inclined may also see this as a time for deeply communing with the deities, especially those whom the lore mentions as being particularly connected with this festival.

For the Wiccan community this is “one of the eight annual festivals, often referred to as ‘Sabbats, observed as part of the Wiccan Wheel of the Year. It is considered by most Wiccans to be the most important of the four ‘greater Sabbats’.”

The Christian answer to Halloween is to keep the harvest festival of Thanksgiving Day. We return thanks not to our ancestors or “the god’s,” but  to God Most High for the harvest.   This is true whether it comes from our own garden and animals or indirectly through the grocery store.

I believe that after celebrating Thanksgiving we have sucked any good out of Samhain.  Our dead are safely with Christ, they need no further care from us.  Furthermore we are forbidden any attempt to contact or communicate with them.  As for the powers of darkness, Christ is the light of the world and victor over them.  We need not buy them off nor grant them any glory.

I believe we should leave Halloween strictly untouched and unhonored and unmasked.  If anything at all we should gather to pray for those still prisoners of the kingdom of darkness.


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