While most of America celebrated All Hallows' Eve, or "Hallowe'en", last night with costumes and trick-or-treating, today on All Hallows' Day we Catholics honored our saints and martyrs, the heroes of our faith. The word "hallow" means "holy". This feast is one of our holy days of obligation, which means that we attend mass, even if it's not on a Sunday. Tomorrow, November 2nd, is All Souls' Day, the day we remember all of our faithful departed. We traditionally visit our cemetery, praying a rosary as we walk around the graves, and the priest blesses the graves.
This year, our family attended an All Hallows' party held by our Catholic homeschooling group and the Latin Mass community. The children each dressed up as favorite saints, although it was hard for them to choose just one. They changed their minds a dozen times. Mojo finally settled on St. Joan of Arc. Caveman finally settled on St. Padre Pio. Of course Gem wanted to be our Blessed Mother. Juju went as St. Jude. ;-) But he didn't wear a costume.
We had a parade of little saints, where we processed out the door of the gym, around the block, and into the church while reciting the Litany of Saints.
I didn't get to stay for the whole party as I had to work last night (I told everyone that I was representing St. Vincent, hehe). But the children had fun. Everyone's costumes were well-done, and I was easily able to guess which saints they were representing. The little ones were particularly adorable! There were many neat Catholic-themed games for the kids to play. "Sin Pins" was a bowling game, where the children knocked over "pins" with the seven deadly sins written on them. There was a "Corporal Works of Mercy" race, a "Saint Walk", and a "Fishers of Men" fishing game.
If you are interested in learning more about the Catholic celebration of All Hallows' Day or All Souls' Day (also called Day of the Dead), click these links:
History of All Hallows' Day and All Hallows' Eve
Why do Catholics honor saints?
More articles on the Communion of Saints