Freddie Krueger is doubled over on one side of the yard. His upper half knocked down by the wind, exposing the PVC pipes that hold him together, rendering him much less scary and quite a hilarious site. Skeletons and witches adorn the trees. There is a man holding on to the gutters as he hangs from the roof. Gravestones are scattered about the yard with skeletons and other ghosts and goblins seeming to rise from them. Large spider webs cover the hedges with pumpkins littered about the place. The “Big Bad Wolf,” as John Owen calls him, which is nothing more than a large, oversized werewolf, lurches out at you from the bushes. I do not know who owns the first house on the left as you enter our neighborhood, but they REALLY get into Halloween.
It is that time of the year for “ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties and things that go bump in the night.” The days are getting shorter. Soon daylight savings will be over and outside will be dark thirty at 5:30. Halloween is the climax of this season that is well marked with trick-or-treating, costume parties, haunted houses, hayrides, bobbing for apples, cake walks and various other festival activities.
All of this revolves around All Saints’ Day on November 1st each year. Many people fail to recognize the connection between All Saints’ Day and Halloween and only see Halloween as an arbitrary day each year that gives us a free pass to dress up and not be seen as ridiculous. The word Halloween is a construction of All Hallows’ Eve which is just another way of saying All Saints’ Eve, or the day before All Saint’s Day.
All Saints’ Day is an important part of the church calendar. It reminds us that through our baptism, we are a part of something bigger than ourselves. We are a part of a communion. We are a part of a community. This communion is comprised of the living and the dead who are bound together in Jesus Christ, for St. Paul says in his letter to the Romans that whether we die or whether we live, we belong to the Lord.
On All Saints’ Day, November 1st, as the darkness continues to lengthen during this season, we will celebrate the light of the saints with Evensong in the Chapel at 6pm. Our choir has diligently worked for many weeks. It is sure to be moving and cathartic. You are invited. You who belong to the Lord and are yourself a member of the Communion of Saints by virtue of your baptism. Come. Do yourself a favor and attend this service.