We are celebrating All Saint’s Day tomorrow, November 1st. This has been a tradition at Mount Royal Academy for the past nineteen years. Sometimes students ask why we don’t celebrate Halloween at school. My response to the little ones has been that we like to dress up as saints so that we can learn to be more like them, which will help us be closer to Jesus. It is a simple answer yet very true as we want our children to see the beauty in virtue, and see examples of people who have striven to live a life in Christ and been recognized by the Church as saints.
The three days of All Hallow’s Eve (Halloween), All Saint’s Day, and All Souls’ Day have been traditional Catholic celebrations initiated to help us meditate on death and eternal life, as well as to honor all the saints in Heaven and all the souls in Purgatory. Over time, the three day celebration was condensed into a secular holiday, Halloween. It is interesting that the Church appointed these feasts within the fall season, which coincides with the season symbolic of death. They also, however, coincide with the timing of many traditional pagan practices. For this reason many people think that Halloween is rooted in these pagan customs. The following is an interesting excerpt from the book, Celebrating Catholic Halloween:
“Celebrations on the eve of All Saints’ Day, or All Hallows Eve, in France began as a form of prayer to prepare the hearts and souls of the faithful for the coming feast. Common throughout the Middle Ages were little plays which provided meditation on the Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell. From these plays originated the custom of costumes on Halloween. In England, Scotland, and Ireland, the vigil was a combination of prayer and festivities. In fact, it was in England that the custom of begging at doors was begun. A beggar would knock at doors begging for soul cakes in return for prayers for the dead of that household.”
Mount Royal Academy’s mission to teach the whole person is designed to help parents in raising their children to literally become saints and go to Heaven. What better way to do this than taking time to learn about the lives of the saints and aspire to follow their example of virtue and beauty? Therefore, students in all grade levels have been working on saint projects and skits that teach about the saints for the past couple of weeks. We would love for you to join us tomorrow in celebrating this beautiful Holy Day. Mass will be at 8:30 and followed by students skits and presentations.
Praying your family has a fun and safe Halloween and a Blessed All Saints Day.
Yours Truly In Christ,
David Thibault, Headmaster