31 October 2009



Today begins the first of Hallowtide, three days devoted to the dead, and in particular, devoted to meditating on the perils of hell and how to avoid it. Certain souls in more fundamentalist circles like to object that Halloween is a pagan festival--which is, of course, an impossibility, as All Hallow's Eve is as Catholic a holiday as it gets. And the claim that Halloween stems from the Celtic celebration Samhain has about as much relevance as the claim that Christmas stems from the Druids' Yule. Some unfortunate, misled souls, of course, use the first of Hallowtide to practice abominations (thus precipitating themselves headlong into the inferno), while even more greatly misled souls use it as a day to celebrate the catalyst for the greatest religious schism in all of history.

All that nonsense aside, my dear Catholics, use this day to indulge in hearty repasts, imbibe refreshing tonics, and in general, to make merry--and for goodness' sake, don't hand out pencils or scapulars or the like when the children come knocking; give them nice fistfuls of candy while wishing them, in your cheeriest tones, a happy Halloween!

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