Halloween: An Orthodox Approach

ImageClearly the Orthodox don’t celebrate Halloween. In fact, it is a Western Christian holiday for All Hallows Eve before the Western feast day for All Saints. We celebrate the same day but at a different time, which is called “Sunday of All Saints”.

As we approach Halloween, a question on my mind is how can we as Orthodox Christians use the night of passing out candy to share the Faith? In the midst of passing out candy and seeing all the costumes, how can we share Orthodoxy? I thought of setting up some icons on the porch or perhaps creating some cards with icons on them to hand out with the candy. Some Catholics have even come up with Saint-O-Lanterns, which I find to be a fantastic idea; I may even make a lantern with a Byzantine Cross in it! When I posted this question to “Ask An Orthodox Priest“, one sister responded with this:

Halloween is great time to be generous with your neighbors, be social, be outside and get to know people. The best way to introduce people to Orthodoxy is to invite them into your life and just let them get to know you. And I fine Halloween an especially good time to do that. In my neighborhood it is practically a block party. So we try to have some good candy etc and be especially nice, introduce myself to people who stop by and anyone standing at my door gets a great view of my icons.”

However, one person shared a piece by an Orthodox Christian named Steve Lammert called “Halloween: An Orthodox Approach“, which is what I intend to do myself. So if you are Orthodox and looking for some great ideas for how to approach Halloween then I hope you have found this helpful and that the following piece will give you a great idea as well:

Halloween: An Orthodox Approach

By Steve Lammert

Every year, on Halloween, I sit on the front porch of my house with a bowl of candy, a box of beeswax candles, and a large icon for the Feast of All Saints.allsaints-halloween

Every child who comes to the house gets a piece of candy, and may also light a candle and place it before the icon. Very few kids (even the jaded teenagers) turn down the opportunity.

For those who ask, I tell them that the meaning of the word “Halloween” is “the eve of the Feast of All Saints”.

If they press me on the point, I tell them that they can think of the true meaning of Halloween as being that, because of Christ, they can dress up like ghosts and goblins and whatnot, because we do not need to fear those things any longer.

I wish I had a few photos of the kids in Satan masks, lighting a candle and placing it before the icon…

 

Other Orthodox Views

About Joel

Joel is a 32 year old currently residing in the southeastern United States. His interests lay in philosophy and theology. He is a writer for The Christian Watershed.

3 thoughts on “Halloween: An Orthodox Approach

  1. This Orthodox Christian loves Halloween (in fact, it may be my personal favorite). We do not need to get worked up about the Neo-pagans celebration of Samhain. It is not a day dedicated to satan. The word Samhain in the Celtic languages means “Summer’s End,” and it was a harvest celebration that marked the beginning of the dark time of the year, which was a scary time for our ancestors, hence the scary imagery.

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