Many Catholics ask, “Is it okay to celebrate Halloween?”
With the current culture’s perception of this holiday, one can easily think celebrating Halloween can be sinful or an invitation to the demonic.
However, according to exorcist Father Vincent Lampert, how one celebrates is what matters.
First, though, let’s look at a few facts about Halloween and where it originated. The infographic below offers a great explanation!
4 Things to Know About Halloween as a Catholic:
1. Halloween has been a Christian celebration since the early 8th century. Pope Gregory III first instituted it.
2. “Halloween” comes from “All Hallows' Eve,” referring to the night before All Hallows' Day, or All Saints' Day!
3. Allhallowtide is the three days of All Hallows' Eve (Halloween), All Hallows' Day (All Saints Day), and All Souls' Day. This is a time for honoring the saints and praying for the dead.
4. It is possible to celebrate Halloween in a fun, safe, and doctrinally sound way!
An Exorcist's Advice for Parents
In an article published on Catholic Online, Father Vincent Lampert, an exorcist in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, explained that parents should be mindful of the “Christian origins of the holiday,” and should avoid glorifying evil.
Father Lampert said asking for candy and dressing up in innocent costumes is fine, such as a cowboy, Cinderella, or even a ghost, using a sheet and holes cut into it.
“That’s all good, clean fun," he said.
The article then explains the danger in costumes “deliberately glorifying evil and instilling fear in people,” even if it's "just for fun."
Father Lampert then references Deut. 18, explaining that “it talks about not trying to consult the spirits of the dead, not consulting those who dabble in magic and witchcraft and the like…”
He says consulting spirits and playing with witchcraft "is a violation of a church commandment that people are putting other things ahead of their relationship with God.”
“And that would be the danger of Halloween that somehow God is lost in all of this, the religious connotation is lost and then people end up glorifying evil.”
Evil Spirits Do Not Have More Authority on Halloween
Father Lampert also said, “the devil and evil spirits do not have any additional authority on Halloween.” He said it is what people do that invites the devil in.
“Perhaps by the way they celebrate that day, they actually invite more evil into their lives.”
While evil is often glorified on Halloween, Father Lampert advised parents to use this time as a “teachable moment.”
“We’re not really sitting around and talking about why certain practices are not conducive with our Catholic faith and our Catholic identity.
“I think using it as a teachable moment would be a great thing to do.”