The doorbell rang. “Trick or treat?” yelled two little seven year olds dressed as witches. I feigned horror at their ugliness, I think I might have said something about them being smelly, adding various little insults, rather enjoying myself. “What’s the trick?” I asked.
“We will put a spell on you.” They said.
I said, “I’ll sprinkle you with Holy Water and you’ll disappear.”
“We will come back as ghosts and haunt you”, they said.
I didn’t say, “Well if that is want you want then you will go to hell for all eternity.” I was tempted, but then I thought “child protection”. So I just said, “That can’t happen because I will pray for your soul”.
Anyhow I eventually went and found two plastic Rosaries, I think they thought they were necklaces, we said a Hail Mary and they left saying something about sweets or money.
I, being a party pooper, phoned their mum, who lives around the corner to ask if she thought they would be safe door knocking after dark.
Hallow’een is a pretty new phenomena in the South East of England, one of those vulgar North American bits of culture. A friend of mine disapproves of it so much he organises a party where children and helpers come as saints and angels. It is perhaps another sign of the disappearance of religion, I am sure that those who do “Hallows even” know very little or nothing about “All Hallows day”.
My home schooling American friends, live in an area where Halloween is big, preparation for it seems to go on for weeks, they use it to talk about the intercession of the saints, the power of Christ to overcome evil, the use of Holy Water. Rob jnr apparently had a plan to fill his super seismic mega water pistol with Holy Water and “blast those evil kids”, a bit over the top, maybe a bit American, in England we might worried. Instead his parents suggest that what the family might do is put statues and pictures of the saints in all the windows with candles around them. The children paint pictures of their patron saints on tracing paper to put up as stained glass. The pumpkin lantern, rather than having a ghoulish face has crosses cut in it and will stay throughout November for the Holy Souls, for their friends who come calling there are Miraculous Medals on tasteful cords, and apple bobbing, which has a bit of baptismal catechesis and there are cruciform cookies.