Have fun at Halloween – Fr. Vazken’s Key Message 10/28/12

Parish Priest’s Message from the “Key” Newsletter* –28 October 2012

           Every year around this time, someone (usually concerned and caring parents) will ask me, is it okay to celebrate Halloween? Many times they ask with a sense of expectation that their priest will condemn the tradition and then they’re off the hook with their children’s wish to trick-or-treat. There is also a sense of confusion that comes from the outward celebration of Halloween – skeletons, witches, devils – you can understand why people ask their priest about the holiday. So in a nutshell, let me offer some answers from the Church’s point of view – an Armodoxy perspective, if you will…
            First, the celebration of Halloween is driven by profits. There’s a lot of money in candy (and cavities), costumes, ornaments and everything that goes with the celebration. That being said, I think it’s important to celebrate Halloween and here’s why: It’s a fun day. We, especially our kids need to have fun and feel like kids more often. Halloween gives us all that opportunity.
   Halloween is actually a Church feast. It’s the eve of All Saints Day, or “Hallow’s Day.” Say “Hallow’s Eve” fast and you get “Halloween.” In the West it’s celebrated on Oct 31. For the Armenian Church, All Saints Day is a Saturday in November and so the eve is a Friday night.

My suggestion to parents: Enjoy the feast! Have your children dress up as the saints this Halloween – Vartan (warrior), Ashkhen (Queen), Shnorhali (a cool priest), etc. Let them enjoy childhood fantasies and have fun. There’s plenty of time to grow up. Meanwhile, some of the “grown ups” would do well to let loose, take a deep breath and enjoy life with childish wonder and excitement. Happy Halloween.    -Fr. Vazken
*The “Key” is the weekly newsletter of the St. Peter Armenian Church, Glendale, CA – Jesus asked the Disciples, “Who do YOU say that I am?”  Peter responded “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus promised the Keys to the Kingdom for this profession of faith. (Mt 16)  At the St. Peter, Glendale Parish, our faith and actions are based on that same profession of faith. It is the Key that opens the doors to our journey as Christians…
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