Autumn traditions for 2014 – 5 People, souls and saints in the news

Warm days

This All Saints holiday people could feel the result of climate change, having the warmest day on the 1° of November since 1901. Lots of people took more time to go the the sea or the Ardennes instead of the traditional graveyards. Less chrysanthemums were sold and less people were around the cemeteries probably not thinking about the deceased nor about the ice caps melting, the sea level rising and the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere being at its highest level in at least 800,000 years

High carnival season for witches, fairies and the immaterial principle in humanity
Heidi Klum

Cover of Heidi Klum

Heidi Klum, Halloween

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Heidi Klum

The 41-year-old German supermodel, Project Runway host, America’s Got Talent judge and mother of four Heidi Klum awoke on the morning of Halloween 2014 and later found herself transformed into a gigantic insect. She is known for her elaborate costumes and annual parties for the holiday. Friday’s event, which marked her 15th Halloween bash and took place in New York City, she wore a butterfly costume.

Halloween this year, artists and actors like Beyonce and Jessica Alba dressed as other celebrities as their costume. Between Katy Perry’s Cheeto suit and Zach Braff’s timely Kurt Russell, Hollywood proved it doesn’t mess around when it comes to spooky getups.Blue Ivy — the daughter of Bey and Jay Z — even had some stunning duds as Michael Jackson in 2014. Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan hit the town as Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.Been considered the high carnival season for witches, fairies and the immaterial principle in humanity to wander abroad people wanted to look for them also this year and found it nice to be part of it. Though many found it a pity it was such nice weather with the sun shining such a long time. The  amusements parks were fully booked and did not complain for the interest in their Halloween spectacles.In a scary close finish, the Jake Gyllenhaal crime thriller “Nightcrawler” and the board-game adaptation “Ouija” tied for first at the box office in New York with $10.9 million each over the Halloween weekend.Despite the Halloween night impact, “Ouija” dropped only 45 percent after topping the box office last weekend. That’s unusually low for a micro-budget horror film, most of which see interest wane considerably after opening. But Universal opened the horror film a weekend ahead of Halloween to give it a two-week window.The close contest added drama to one of the quietest movie weekends of the year. Overall business was down 25 percent from the prior year. Said Dergarabedian: “The scariest thing about this weekend was that Halloween fell on a Friday.”Next weekend will be a far different story, though, with the highly anticipated release of Christopher Nolan‘s sci-fi epic “Interstellar,” as well as Disney’s animated superhero film “Big Hero 6.”In the meantime, the Brad Pitt World War II tale “Fury” held in third place with $9.1 million in its third week of release. In its fifth week, the Ben Affleck thriller “Gone Girl” also remained in fourth with an additional $8.8 million to its $136.6 million cumulative total to make it the highest grossing release of director David Fincher’s career.

Halloween magical exhibits

The Witches’ Rout (The Carcass). A Witch riding skeleton, c.1520, Agostino Veneziano – © The Trustees of the British Museum

The British Museum have brought together their most darkly magical exhibits (and borrowed a few from the V&A, Tate Britain, British Library and the Ashmolean in Oxford) for the collection Witches and Wicked Bodies represented the portrayal of the witch and witchcraft in art over the last 500 years. Prints and drawings depicting devils, beasts and broomsticks chart the witch’s progression from possessed monster to exotic sirens, and several classical Greek vases were included to highlight man longstanding fascination with the subject.

At Vox they are very used to writing explainers but they are a lot less used to being explained — especially by Halloween costumes, But there’s a first for everything > The news, in 9 baby Halloween costumes.

The gay parade at Montenegro went smoothly, without any problems.

An other fear than for spooks

While the West fears Islamisation the East fears ‘Christianisation’, some 70 Malaysian local residents and members of a non-governmental organisation (NGO) protested against the construction of a church, claiming the growing number of Christian places of worship in the area is part of an attempt to evangelise and convert Muslims to Christianity. For lots of Muslims all “anti-Islamic comments online” are simply hatred of all Muslims and incitement to violence against them, and should be suppressed.

A new Bible translation

A new translation of the Bible was presented yesterday at the Book Fair in Antwerp. According to Luc Devisscher of the Catholic Bible Foundation (KBF) Katholieke Bijbelstichting (KBS) we can not call this Bible in Ordinary Language’ people’s Bible, because it aims not so much to a particular category of people. It is aimed at anyone for whom the classical language register of the average translation is too far, because that language is too pompous, too solemn or too far from their bed. Luc Devisscher:

The Bible is the logical successor to the Good News Bible, like the Willebrord Translation of 1995, the successor to the Willebrord of 1975. In this ‘Bible in Ordinary Language’ more or less the same translation principles apply as with the New Bible Translation, the Nieuwe Bijbelvertaling.”

Pope Francis looking at these days

Pope Francis consistently manages to capture the world’s attention by saying and doing things that we’re not used to seeing a pope say and do. Vox has covered many such instances, like when Francis gave his 10 tips for a happy life, and when he took on the mafia.  “Those who in their life have gone along the evil ways, as in the case of the mafia, they are not with God, they are excommunicated,” he had said on Saturday June the 21st in the Italian city of Calabria. But did Francis really excommunicate the entire mafia from the Catholic Church? Vox also have a card stack that will answer many of your questions about the Pontiff of the Catholic Church.

On the afternoon of All Saints Day, Pope Francis offered Mass at a Roman cemetery and decried environmental destruction and the culture of waste. The Eucharistic celebration began with the exhortation: “Let us all rejoice in the Lord” giving attention to the invitation to share in the heavenly jubilation of the Saints,”to taste their joy”.  According the pontiff  the Saints are not a small caste of chosen souls but an innumerable crowd to which the liturgy urges us to raise our eyes. This multitude not only includes the officially recognized Saints, but the baptized of every epoch and nation who sought to carry out the divine will faithfully and lovingly.

Today, the Church is celebrating her dignity as “Mother of the Saints, an image of the Eternal City” (A. Manzoni), and displays her beauty as the immaculate Bride of Christ, source and model of all holiness. She certainly does not lack contentious or even rebellious children, but it is in the Saints that she recognizes her characteristic features and precisely in them savours her deepest joy.

Men of God, set apart trying to live according the Law of God

We do agree in earlier times the world got several people who tried to live according the Law of God. They were men of God, like the righteous Abel and the faithful Patriarch, Abraham, but also after Christ the world could see those of the New Testament, the numerous early Christian Martyrs and lots of people who did their best to be not of the world but of God. They are all brought together by the common desire to incarnate the Gospel in their lives under the impulse of the Holy Spirit, the life-giving spirit of the People of God.

Pope Francis I reminds us:

But “why should our praise and glorification, or even the celebration of this Solemnity, mean anything to the Saints?”. A famous homily of St Bernard for All Saints’ Day begins with this question. It could equally well be asked today. And the response the Saint offers us is also timely: “The Saints”, he says, “have no need of honour from us; neither does our devotion add the slightest thing to what is theirs…. But I tell you, when I think of them, I feel myself inflamed by a tremendous yearning” (Disc. 2, Opera Omnia Cisterc. 5, 364ff.).

This, then, is the meaning of today’s Solemnity: looking at the shining example of the Saints to reawaken within us the great longing to be like them; happy to live near God, in his light, in the great family of God’s friends. Being a Saint means living close to God, to live in his family. And this is the vocation of us all, vigorously reaffirmed by the Second Vatican Council and solemnly proposed today for our attention.

Who can be holy

This brings up the question how we can be set apart or to become holy, friends of God?

We can first give a negative answer to this question: to be a Saint requires neither extraordinary actions or works nor the possession of exceptional charisms. Then comes the positive reply: it is necessary first of all to listen to Jesus and then to follow him without losing heart when faced by difficulties. “If anyone serves me”, he warns us, “he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honour him” (John 12: 26).

The Church’s experience shows that every form of holiness, even if it follows different paths, always passes through the Way of the Cross, the way of self-denial. The Saints’ biographies describe men and women who, docile to the divine plan, sometimes faced unspeakable trials and suffering, persecution and martyrdom. They persevered in their commitment: “they… have come out of the great tribulation”, one reads in Revelation, “they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rv 7: 14). Their names are written in the book of life (cf. Rv 20: 12) and Heaven is their eternal dwelling-place.

In such a way you could say All Saints Day is not bad to have one day to think about examples several people have given throughout history, encouraging us to follow in their same footsteps and to experience the joy of those who trust in God, for the one true cause of sorrow and unhappiness for men and women is to live far from him.

Holiness demands a constant effort, but it is possible for everyone because, rather than a human effort, it is first and foremost a gift of God, thrice Holy (cf. Is 6: 3). In the second reading, the Apostle John remarks: “See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are” (I Jn 3: 1).

It is God, therefore, who loved us first and made us his adoptive sons in Jesus. Everything in our lives is a gift of his love: how can we be indifferent before such a great mystery? How can we not respond to the Heavenly Father’s love by living as grateful children?

said the Pope.

Imitating Christ

In our life we do have to try to become like Jesus.

Consequently, the more we imitate Jesus and remain united to him the more we enter into the mystery of his divine holiness. We discover that he loves us infinitely, and this prompts us in turn to love our brethren. Loving always entails an act of self-denial, “losing ourselves”, and it is precisely this that makes us happy.

Thus, we have come to the Gospel of this feast, the proclamation of the Beatitudes which we have just heard resound in this Basilica.

Jesus says:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed those who mourn, the meek; blessed those who hunger and thirst for justice, the merciful; blessed the pure in heart, the peacemakers, the persecuted for the sake of justice (cf. Mt 5: 3-10).

For the Pope in truth, the blessed par excellence is only Jesus. He is, in fact, the true poor in spirit, the one afflicted, the meek one, the one hungering and thirsting for justice, the merciful, the pure of heart, the peacemaker. He is the one persecuted for the sake of justice.

The Beatitudes show us the spiritual features of Jesus and thus express his mystery, the mystery of his death and Resurrection, of his passion and of the joy of his Resurrection. This mystery, which is the mystery of true blessedness, invites us to follow Jesus and thus to walk toward it.

To the extent that we accept his proposal and set out to follow him – each one in his own circumstances – we too can participate in his blessedness. With him, the impossible becomes possible and even a camel can pass through the eye of a needle (cf. Mk 10: 25); with his help, only with his help, can we become perfect as the Heavenly Father is perfect (cf. Mt 5: 48).

Deprecating the value and sanctity of life

The Jews wanted to remind people that cremating the dead only serves to deprecate the value and sanctity of life. It facilitates the denial of death and the afterlife for the soul. And the benefits touted by advocates of cremation are questionable, including matters of expense, dignity, and environmental impact. They find that just as the unborn child has many endowments which are of no use to it in the womb, but demonstrate that it will be born into a world where they will be used, so does a human being have many endowments which are of little value in this life, which indicate that man will be reborn into a higher dimension after death. {Understanding the source of our soul and its eternal essence according to Jewish teaching}

The Torah is teaching us that the human soul came directly from God’s innermost Essence in the same way that a breath issues forth from a person’s lungs and chest cavity. The rest of creation, on the other hand, was created with speech, which is a lower level, for just as sound waves are generated by a person but do not contain any air from the lungs, so the rest of creation emanates from God’s Power but not from His Essence.

Two days for saints

The Bishop of Rome referred to how the first two days of the month of November are “dedicated to the saints in heaven and to all of the faithfully departed”, saying that because of this the whole month constitutes “an intense moment of faith, of prayer and of reflection on the ‘last things’ of life.”

By celebrating the saints and commemorating the departed, the Church on earth, through her liturgy, expresses the spiritual bond that unites it to the heavenly Church, the Pope observed.

On the feast of All Saints, he said, we praise God and give thanks for the holy men and women of all time, who were “ordinary, simple and sometimes ‘the least’ of this world, but ‘first’ for God.”

All Souls Day: Pope urges prayers, Masses for the dead

During his Sunday Angelus address on All Souls Day, Pope Francis called for prayers for the departed, including “those no one remembers.”

“We remember the victims of war and violence, the many ‘little ones’ of the world crushed by hunger and poverty,”

he said to the crowds in St. Peter’s Square.

“We remember the anonymous who rest in common graves. We remember our brothers and sisters killed because they are Christians, and those who sacrificed their lives to serve others. We especially entrust to the Lord those who have left over the last year.”

“Church tradition has always urged prayer for the dead, in particular by offering the celebration of the Eucharist for them: it is the best spiritual help that we can give to their souls, particularly to the most abandoned ones,”

he continued quoting Lumen Gentium:

“Fully conscious of this communion of the whole Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, the pilgrim Church from the very first ages of the Christian religion has cultivated with great piety the memory of the dead.”

“The foundation of prayers in suffrage of souls is in the communion of the Mystical Body.”

Intimately linked two days

Pope Francis recalled how the feasts of All Saints and All Souls, coming one after the other, are “intimately linked,” in the same way that “joy and tears find a synthesis in Jesus which is fundamental to our faith.”

“The Church, a pilgrim in history, rejoices in the intercession of the Saints and Blesseds who sustain it in Her Mission of proclaiming the Gospel,”

he said. On the other hand, the Church,

“like Jesus, shares the tears of those who suffer the separation of beloved persons, and like him and thanks to him echo the gratitude toward the Father who has liberated us from the dominion of sin and death.”

The Pope noted the custom on these two feasts of visiting a cemetery – a “place of rest” in anticipation of “the final awakening.”

“Jesus himself revealed that death of the body is a dream from which He awakens us. With this faith we pause – even spiritually – by the tombs of our dear ones, those who loved” and treated us well.

Day of hope for Israel
November 2, is also the anniversary of a letter issued by the British government favouring the establishment of a national home for the Jewish People, Israel, God’s People.
That letter began the process of the fulfilment of Bible prophecy concerning Israel in these last days.
The consequences of that letter, the Balfour Declaration of 1917, still reverberate around the world 97 years later.
“Today we remember and welcome those people among the nations of the world who have not forgotten history and who remember our link to our land and our right to [a] state of our own,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday. >Balfour Declaration of 1917 remembered
All Saints, All Souls feasts are time to renew hope

Christians should not be afraid of death when they tried to live according to the Commandments of God.

In his homily at the evening Mass on Friday just before the sun set, Pope Francis set aside his prepared text, looked out at the thousands of people gathered between long lines of tombs and told them,

“We reflect and think about our own future and about all those who have gone before us and are now with the Lord.”

Truly we better think seriously about our won future, more than about the future of the death, because for them it is too late. It is when we live that we do have to prepare ourselves for being able to enter in the Kingdom of God.

“The Lord God, beauty, goodness, truth, tenderness, the fullness of love — all that awaits us,”

we do have to know shall not be for all people. Only a select shall be able to get to the end, entering the small gate of that kingdom. We all are “washed in the blood of Christ,” but if we do not take care to live according to the rules of Christ and the rules of God we can forget it. We shall have to work, because faith without works is dead. (James) When we live in such a way that Jesus does not think we are worthy to enter the kingdom we shall not be allowed in it.

“The early Christians used an anchor as a symbol of hope”

the pontiff said. We can treasure the same hope as the first Christians but than we should be conscious about what they believed and of what they hoped for. they were hoping to receive a kingdom here on earth, and that is also what we should be looking for, a place were there shall be eternal peace.

Albrecht Dürer - The Austrian Saints - WGA7194

Albrecht Dürer – The Austrian Saints – WGA7194 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding articles:

  1. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 1: Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet
  2. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 2 Summersend and mansend
  3. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 3 Black Mass, Horror spectacles and pure puritans
  4. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 4 Blasphemy and ridiculing faith in God
  5. All Saints’ Day
  6. All Souls’ Day

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Find also:

  1. In pictures, Halloween celebrations worldwide bring out ghosts and ghouls
  2. Here’s The Spooky Truth About Halloween
  3. Malaysia: Muslims protest new church, say it’s part of attempt to convert Muslims
  4. CBC laments that online “Islamophobia” goes unprosecuted
  5. Malaysia: Muslim women’s group appeals fatwa declaring they’re deviating from Islam by endorsing religious pluralism
  6. German official warns about 1,000 supporters of Islamic jihad terrorism in the country
  7. Switzerland: Three Muslims arrested, suspected of aiding Islamic State and planning jihad attack in Europe
  8. Balfour Declaration of 1917 remembered
  9. Understanding the source of our soul and its eternal essence according to Jewish teaching
  10. Pope celebrates all saints day in Verano
  11. Pope on All Saints Day: Beatitudes will lead us to God
  12. Mary the center of heavenly host, Pope says on All Saints Day
  13. Pope calls Feast of All Saints a ‘day of hope’
  14. All Souls Day: Pope urges prayers, Masses for the dead
  15. ‘Pray for the forgotten,’ Pope exhorts on Feast of All Souls
  16. All Saints, All Souls feasts are time to renew hope, pope says

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All Souls’ Day

All Souls’ Day, in the Roman Catholic Church, is a day for commemoration of all the faithful departed, those baptised Christians who are believed to be in purgatory (from the Latin word, purgatio, which means purification), where according to Roman Catholic belief the souls of people who die are made pure through suffering before going to heaven. According the Catholics because they have died with the guilt of lesser sins on their souls they still have to undergo punishment for that.

File:Halloween Bangladesh.jpg

Bangladeshi girl lighting grave candles on the headstone of a deceased relative in the city of Chittagong for the observance of Allhallowtide. While she is doing this, her mother is praying for their passed relative. In the background, there are other Bangladeshi Christians hanging garlands on cross shaped grave stones.

All Souls’ is celebrated on November 2, or November 3 if November 2 is Sunday. Catho­lic doctrine holds that the prayers of the faith­ful on earth will help cleanse these souls in or­der to fit them for the vision of God in heav­en. According to them when enough people prayed for their souls they shall be able to leave the a place or state of temporary suffering or misery. From this the ‘Practice of souling‘ was at certain times very popular and is still kept in tradition in many European regions. The Celtic practice to buy protection from the gods and spirits was taken over by the Roman Catholic Church and in many countries it is still practised on the same night as the Celt and Druids did, October the 31st (Halloween) and on the two days after that night where spirits could damage the living souls. Those who were not harmed on the night of the death (All Hallows’ Eve) had to pray to the gods and dead to thank them for their protection.

On All Hallows’ Eve, certain Christians in some parts of the world visit graveyards to pray and place flowers and candles on the graves of their loved ones.

Though in life being protected against evil, punishment for the evil done or for the remaining sins, including unforgiven venial sins or forgiven mortal sins had to be undergone by the deceased by those spirits and devils who would temporarily torture the deceased to make him or her come to senses and to repent. Souls burdened by such sins must be purified before entering heaven, the dwelling place of God or the gods and the abode of the blessed dead, according to Catholic belief. The Catholic church also teaches that souls in purgatory may be aided by efforts of the living faithful through prayers, almsgiving, indulgences, and other works. In their teaching the curia from Rome saw an opportunity to gain a lot of money; They could enrich themselves by frightening the people with a damnation in hell or  in purgatory if they did not provided the church with enough gifts. To remember them enough of their duties to purify them and to guaranty themselves a place in heaven it was customary for criers dressed in black to parade the streets, ringing a bell of mournful sound and calling on all good Christians to remember the poor souls. “Souling”, the custom of baking and sharing soul cakes for all christened souls has been suggested as the origin of trick-or-treating. It was against this practice that Martin Luther protested. According to him and us God can not be bribed and it is not because people have lots of money they would receive a better place in God’s Kingdom if they pay more to the church. Poor people have as much chance or it could be even more easy to enter the Kingdom of God than those with a lot of wealth.

In many churches people were asked to give enough for the church to proof to God their faith. – Collecting the Offering in a Scottish Kirk by John Phillip

The existence of purgatory has been denied as unbiblical by Protestant churches and most Eastern Orthodox churches but many protestant denomination make their faithful afraid of hell; When the parishioners do not give enough to the church they perhaps would not come into a purgatory, but worse would (according to them) end up in hell were they would be burning and tortured for eternally. In many churches it is practice to go around in every service to collect money from the people present in church. when there is not enough money collected often they come to hear it next time with a sermon were is spoken of the necessary tithe (giving 10% of your gross income to the church)(from the old ordinal numeral in English, coming from a prehistoric West Germanic form *tehuntha-, formed from the cardinal numeral *tehun, “ten,” and the same ordinal suffix that survives in Modern English as -th) and the necessity to express their faith by giving enough to the church. They may claim it is based on tithing rules in the Bible were based on the Old Testament writings and habits, but forget that is was based specifically on the religious and social system of ancient Israel and on an agricultural economy before Jesus Christ installed the New Covenant. With the instalment of that covenant the old laws were made redundant. Lots of protestant teachers agree that the death of Christ made an end to the restrictions by the 613 laws which can be found in the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament. Also Messianic Christians do want to keep to the Sabbath rule and tithing, the requirements of Hebrews under the Old Covenant. But today they do not see it necessary to have circumcision, limitation of not eating pork or having kosher meals, or not mixing different natural fabrics (like not wearing wool and cotton together) so why, one might wonder, do pastors hit on this law of tithing as the one that should still be carried over? If people say they have to keep to the old laws than they must keep to all the old laws and can not just omit the ones which they consider not favourable for themselves.

A lot of Christian preachers by the protestant denominations, though they say not to believe in purgatory also preach a lot of the ‘catharsis‘ and pain which may come over people when they not tithe enough. some may say people do not to give the ten percent of their income (or money they gather from labour, investment) or production donated to a religious institution. Historically, one could pay a tithe in cash or in kind. In a few jurisdictions, tithes are enforced by law. More broadly, a tithe may refer to a religious donation, even if it is less than 10% of one’s income

The word purgatory as such, is not found in the Bible, though variations of katharsis, the Greek equivalent of purgatio, can be found (e.g., katharoi, Matt 5:8, and katharismou, 2 Pet. 1:9). Church fathers such as Augustine (354–430) found support for purgatory in 2 Maccabees 12:43–46, a passage (not considered canonical by Protestants) that mentions an expiatory sacrifice offered in the temple to atone for the sins of Jewish soldiers who died wearing pagan amulets. The inference is that there is expiation or means by which atonement is made for some sins after death.

The theology of indulgences is based on the concept that, even though the sin and its eternal punishment are forgiven through penance, divine justice demands that the sinner pay for the crime either in this life or in purgatory. The first indulgences were intended to shorten times of penance by substituting periods of fasting, private prayers, almsgiving, and monetary payments that were to be used for religious purposes. Pope Urban II granted the first plenary, or absolute, indulgence to participants in the First Crusade, and subsequent popes offered indulgences on the occasion of the later Crusades. After the 12th century they were more widely used, and abuses became common as indulgences were put up for sale to earn money for the church or to enrich unscrupulous clerics. Jan Hus opposed them, and Martin Luther‘s Ninety-five Theses (1517) were in part a protest against indulgences. In 1562 the Council of Trent put an end to the abuses but not to the doctrine itself.

From antiquity certain days were devoted to intercession for particular groups of the dead. The institution of a day for a general interces­sion on November 2 is due to Odilo, abbot of Cluny (10° century). The date, which became practically universal before the end of the 1 3th century, was chosen to follow All Saints’ Day. Having celebrated the feast of all the members of the church who are believed to be in heaven, the church on earth turns, on the next day, to commemorate those souls be­lieved to be suffering in purgatory for making atonement or to come to reconciliation between God and themselves.

Photo from Robert Bryndza’s site its article Slovakia Celebrates The Day Of The Dead

On All Souls’ Day (in the Roman Catholic Church) black vestments are worn, the office of the day is that of the dead, and the Roman liturgy permits every priest to celebrate three re­quiem masses (for their repose), one for the intention of the celebrant himself, one for all the faithful de­parted, and one for the intention of the pope. In many Catholic countries relatives visit the graves and place chrysanthemums and lighted candles on them. The feast was abolished in the Church of En­gland at the Reformation hut has been re­vived in Anglo-Catholic churches. Chrysanthemums are also traditionally put on graves during the Buddhist festival week of Higan, which comes twice a year for the spring and autumn equinoxes.

Graves with chrysanthemums

Graves with chrysanthemums

In Belgium, Austria, Slovakia, and a.o. France in the weeks before Allerheiligen or Toussaint (All Saints) and Allerzielen or Jour des Morts (All Souls/Day of the dead) the activity in the graveyards increase daily and on November the 1st and the 2nd it is running over the heads. People evidently plan ahead in order to avoid the rush. Fresh pots of flowers are brought and old pots are taken away, and the graves are cleaned with soap and hard brush. Children have one week of so often they have to go to the graveyards to do the preparatory cleaning work. On the public holiday roads gets cramped around village centres and graveyards all people wanting to great their beloved departed and families come together, often in the household of the oldest, to remember their ancestors. This time of year everywhere you can see many-fold chrysanthemums in bursts of all sorts colours: whites, yellows, purples and bronzed reds. Because chrysanthemums have become associated with dying and death,they are not so much given as a gift in France or other Catholic countries – not even in bouquets among other cut flowers.

Photo from “Slovakia Celebrates The Day Of The Dead” by Robert Bryndza

In the run-up to All Saints chrysanthemum sellers take over the pavements outside the cemeteries, brightening dull autumn days with yards of pavement covered in a full spectrum of opulent colour. At some graves it looks like a competition is going on of who can have the greatest and the most chrysanthemums on the grave. It is like people have to make it good they did not spend any time to keep the sepulchre nice in the rest of the year.

Atheists instituted November 11, the day of armistice of World War I in 1918, to have a public commemoration for the dead.

According to the Holy Scriptures or the Bible, when people die their life comes to an end and everything is finished. They will not be able to take anything with them in the grave. Others might put things in the coffin or in the sepulchre, but the deceased shall not be able to do anything with it. Human beings were not created to die but to live, though by the sin of the first man death came over mankind. The wrongdoing of man brings death over him.

“4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as {1} God, knowing good and evil. {1) Or [gods]}” (Genesis 3:4-5 ASV)

“And Jehovah God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, cursed art thou {1} above all cattle, and {1} above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: {1) Or [from among]}” (Genesis 3:14 ASV)

“Man, that is born of a woman, Is of few days, and full of trouble.” (Job 14:1 ASV)

“{1} Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one. {1) Or [Oh that a clean thing could come out of an unclean! not one] can.}” (Job 14:4 ASV)

“For as in Adam all die, so also in {1} Christ shall all be made alive. {1) Gr [the Christ]}” (1 Corinthians 15:22 ASV)

All shall have to face death. Every day we can be reminded to what can happen to each creature, having only a limited time to live. so we better make use of this time when we are still concious of what can happen and of what we can do to earn a better life than this in the present time. god has given the free gift of grace by His son who was willing to do only the Will of his heavenly Father, and therefore is accepted by the Only One God as a mediator between God and man.

 “For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 ASV)

“but when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,” (Galatians 4:4 ASV)

“30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found {1} favor with God. {1) Or [grace]} 31 And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 and he shall reign over the house of Jacob {1} for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. {1) Gr [unto the ages]} 34 And Mary said unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee: wherefore also {1} the holy thing which is begotten {2} shall be called the Son of God. {1) Or [that which is to be born shall be called holy, the Son of God] 2) Some ancient authorities insert [of thee]}” (Luke 1:30-35 ASV)

“21  Now it came to pass, when all the people were baptized, that, Jesus also having been baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form, as a dove, upon him, and a voice came out of heaven, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. 23 And Jesus himself, when he began [to teach], was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the [son] of Heli,” (Luke 3:21-23 ASV)

“5 Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a {1} servant, {2} being made in the likeness of men; {1) Gr [bondservant] 2) Gr [becoming in]} 8 and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient [even] unto death, yea, the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8 ASV)

“But we behold him who hath been made {1} a little lower than the angels, [even] Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God he should taste of death for every [man]. {1) Or [for a little while lower]}” (Hebrews 2:9 ASV)

“Since then the children are sharers in {1} flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner partook of the same; that through death he {2} might bring to nought him that {3} had the power of death, that is, the devil; {1) Gr [blood and flesh]; Eph 6:12. 2) Or [may] 3) Or [hath]}” (Hebrews 2:14 ASV)

“Wherefore it behooved him in all things to be made like unto his brethren, that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.” (Hebrews 2:17 ASV)

“in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,” (Ephesians 1:7 ASV)

“For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, [himself] man, Christ Jesus,” (1 Timothy 2:5 ASV)

“11 according to the {1} eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: {1) Gr [purpose of the ages]} 12 in whom we have boldness and access in confidence through {1} our faith in him. {1) Or [the faith of him]}” (Ephesians 3:11-12 ASV)

“1  Being therefore justified {1} by faith, {2} we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; {1) Gr [out of] 2) Many ancient authorities read [let us have]} 2 through whom also we have had our access {1} by faith into this grace wherein we stand; and {2} we {3} rejoice in hope of the glory of God. {1) Some ancient authorities omit [by faith] 2) Or [let us rejoice] 3) Gr [glory]; Ro 5:11; Heb 3:6}” (Romans 5:1-2 ASV)

When we die we have paid for our sins, so not other contribution or penalty shall have to be paid. Under the blood of Christ we are sanctified, and when we repent for what we have done wrong, we shall be saved by the cleansing offer of Jesus. No other ransom shall be necessary.

All are thinking and handling shall come to an end when we die.

“His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; In that very day his {1} thoughts perish. {1) Or [purposes]}” (Psalms 146:4 ASV)

When we are alive we still have a voice, which we can use for the good; let us use it for praising God and showing others His Grace, making sure He will like us and bless us.

“For Jehovah taketh pleasure in his people: He will beautify the meek with {1} salvation. {1) Or [victory]}” (Psalms 149:4 ASV)

That we remember that all those who die shall return to the earth and become nothing but dust and that it is when we live that we should take care of our soul. Later it would be too late.

“His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; In that very day his {1} thoughts perish. {1) Or [purposes]}” (Psalms 146:4 ASV)

“Her house is the way to Sheol, Going down to the chambers of death.” (Proverbs 7:27 ASV)

“See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;” (Deuteronomy 30:15 ASV)

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before thee life and death, the blessing and the curse: therefore choose life, that thou mayest live, thou and thy seed;” (Deuteronomy 30:19 ASV)

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue; And they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” (Proverbs 18:21 ASV)

“Sheol {the grave} and {1} Abaddon are before Jehovah: How much more then the hearts of the children of men! {1) Or [Destruction]}” (Proverbs 15:11 ASV)

“10 There shall not be found with thee any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, one that useth divination, one that practiseth augury, or an enchanter, or a sorcerer, 11 or a charmer, or a consulter with a familiar spirit, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12 For whosoever doeth these things is an abomination unto Jehovah: and because of these abominations Jehovah thy God doth drive them out from before thee.” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12 ASV)

“1  Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity Than he that is perverse in his lips and is a fool. 2  Also, {1} that the soul be without knowledge is not good; And he that hasteth with his feet {2} sinneth. {1) Or [desire without knowledge is not good] 2) Or [misseth] his way}…  7 All the brethren of the poor do hate him: How much more do his friends go far from him! {1} He pursueth [them with] words, [but] they are gone. {1) Or [He pursueth after words,] which [are nought]} 8  He that getteth {1} wisdom loveth his own soul: He that keepeth understanding shall find good. {1) Heb [heart]} … . 16 He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his soul; [But] he that {1} is careless of his ways shall die. {1) Heb [despiseth]} … 21 There are many devices in a man’s heart; But the counsel of Jehovah, that shall stand. … 23  The fear of Jehovah [tendeth] to life; And he [that hath it] shall abide satisfied; He shall not be visited with evil. 24 The sluggard burieth his hand in the dish, And will not so much as bring it to his mouth again. 25  Smite a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence; And reprove one that hath understanding, [and] he will understand knowledge. 26  He that doeth violence to his father, and chaseth away his mother, Is a son that causeth shame and bringeth reproach. 27  Cease, my son, to hear instruction [Only] to err from the words of knowledge. 28  A worthless witness mocketh at justice; And the mouth of the wicked swalloweth iniquity. 29  Judgments are prepared for scoffers, And stripes for the back of fools.” (Proverbs 19:1-29 ASV)

“in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Genesis 3:19 ASV)

“and the dust returneth to the earth as it was, and the spirit returneth unto God who gave it.” (Ecclesiastes 12:7 ASV)

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References:

Rogers, Nicholas (2001). Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night. Oxford University Press. pp. 28–30. ISBN 0-19-514691-3.

“Halloween”. Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica.

Micropaedia Volume I, p 259-260; The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1980

Macropaedia Volume 5, p . 537; The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1980

Preceding articles:

  1. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 1: Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet
  2. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 2 Summersend and mansend
  3. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 3 Black Mass, Horror spectacles and pure puritans
  4. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 4 Blasphemy and ridiculing faith in God
  5. All Saints’ Day

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Find also to read:

  1. What happens when we die?
  2. Fear and protection
  3. Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences
  4. Expenses, costs – Onkosten, uitgaven
  5. Contribution – Contributie, bijdrage
  6. Ransom for all

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Also of interest:

  1. Purgatory a place for moral and spiritual purification
  2. Purgatory (pûrg´ətôr´ē) [Lat.,=place of purging], in the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, the state after death in which the soul destined for heaven is purified
  3. Where is the great Beyond?
  4. Eternal Laws of Creation #1………an intro!
  5. Paradise, the First Sin, the Fiery Sword, and the Path to Rectification
  6. My Path: A Walk Through Heaven and Hell, Samsara, and Bliss: Some Poems
  7. Realms, Roots and Mind: How the Triune Brain Model Verifies and Explains the Six Realms, and Shows How Thought Patterns Define Reality
  8. Tsimshian Shamanism and Mahamudra Chöd: a Brief Comparative Analysis
  9. The end point of faith
  10. The implication of rejecting the gospel
  11. The significance of Christ’s death for humanity
  12. Purity, a Necessity
  13. Jesus Balm of Gilead
  14. Temples, Tithes, and Taxes: The Temple and the Economic Life of Ancient Israel
  15. Parishes, Tithes and Society in Earlier Medieval Poland, C. 1100-C. 1250
  16. Who Benefited from Tithe Revenues in Late-Renaissance Bresse?
  17. When did “tithing” come to mean “giving 10% of your gross income to the Church”?
  18. Call to Tithe Often Misinterpreted; Devout Should Give as Proof of Worship
  19. Must Christians give ten percent of their income to the church?
  20. What Does the Bible Say About the Tithe or Tithing?
  21. Are Christians Required to Give 10% of Their Income to the Church?
  22. When Creditors Come Calling: Refunding Tithes and Offerings
  23. Chrysanthemums and All Souls’ Day
  24. Imports of chrysanthemums for adorning graves reach fever pitch
  25. The Flower of Death
  26. A French cemetery at Toussaint: chrysanthemums and yearning
  27. All Saints’ Day in France
  28. Slovakia Celebrates The Day Of The Dead

 

Quality control: Traders on Wednesday check on chrysanthemums imported from Malaysia in Narita, Chiba Prefecture. | Kyodo

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On other WordPress sites:

  1. The Fright Industry
  2. 13 Days to Halloween
  3. Excellence Autumn Events
  4. Is Halloween a Christian holiday?
  5. Factoid About Halloween
  6. Halloween – A Poem
  7. Celebrating Life by Mocking Death? Or, Why I Think Dia de los Muertos is Awesome
  8. Lesley’s Lagniappe ~ 10-14-14
  9. 26.14 – the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
  10. All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day Project – Coming Up This Week!!
  11. All Saints Day
  12. All Saints’ Day, Holy Day of Obligation
  13. All Saints’ Day is Today’s Religious topic of the Day (08/25/14)
  14. All Saints Day and advice for the young at heart
  15. “Death Becomes Her” and Other October Musings
  16. Pentecost +15A, Proper 20 A: Sep. 21
  17. Pentecost +15A, Proper 20 A: Sep. 21
  18. All Saints Sunday or Pentecost +21A, Proper 25A: Nov. 2
  19. All Saints’ Day (or Sunday nearest Nov. 1) Year A
  20. All Saints Day (or Sunday): Nov. 1 (Oct. 28 or Nov. 4) (for year B)
  21. All Saints’ Day/Sunday C: Nov. 1 or 3
  22. Preparing for All Saints’ Day/Sunday Celebration
  23. Hymn for All Saints’ Day
  24. All Saints Day / All Souls Day
  25. All Souls’ Day
  26. All Souls Day: Prayer for the Departed
  27. Engravers Prepare for All Soul’s Day
  28. Food for Thought from Julian of Norwich
  29. Making art in honor of Day of the Dead
  30. A DIY Prayerbook for All Saints’ Day
  31. Festivals in Peru
  32. Unity of Ukiah Presents All Souls’ Eve Open Mic
  33. One Stop Dia de los Muertos Shop
  34. The Memory Of You

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  • A list of false teachings in the Roman Catholic { so called } Church | Catholic errors | Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry : The Whore Of Babylon Is The Vatican. (christianspooksite.wordpress.com)
    the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence‘.”
    +
    CCC 2010, “Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification.”
    +
    Purgatory

    1. CCC 1031, “The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:
    2. CCC 1475, “In the communion of saints, “a perennial link of charity exists between the faithful who have already reached their heavenly home, those who are expiating their sins in purgatory and those who are still pilgrims on earth. Between them there is, too, an abundant exchange of all good things.” In this wonderful exchange, the holiness of one profits others, well beyond the harm that the sin of one could cause others. Thus recourse to the communion of saints lets the contrite sinner be more promptly and efficaciously purified of the punishments for sin.
      +
      Indulgences

      1. CCC 1471, “The doctrine and practice of indulgences in the Church are closely linked to the effects of the sacrament of Penance. What is an indulgence? ‘An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.’ ‘An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin.’ The faithful can gain indulgences for themselves or apply them to the dead.”
      2. CCC 1478, “An indulgence is obtained through the Church who, by virtue of the power of binding and loosing granted her by Christ Jesus, intervenes in favor of individual Christians and opens for them the treasury of the merits of Christ and the saints to obtain from the Father of mercies the remission of the temporal punishments due for their sins. Thus the Church does not want simply to come to the aid of these Christians, but also to spur them to works of devotion, penance, and charity.
      3. CCC 1498, “Through indulgences the faithful can obtain the remission of temporal punishmentresulting from sin for themselves and also for the souls in Purgatory.”
      4. CCC 1472, ” . . . On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the “temporal punishment” of sin…”
  • The subject of “Purgatory” (celticcrossministry.wordpress.com)
    Folks below you will find a conversation on the topic of “Life after Death” also a place known to many billions of Catholic’s as “Purgatory”. No, not the Western Movie by the same name but, rather the space and place between the Pearly gates and the gates of Hell. Hence known as Purgatory.
  • Chapter 39-Death and the Soul’s Immortality (reformedontheweb.wordpress.com)
    The death of the wicked is easily accounted for. It constitutes a part of the penalty of sin, to which, the Scriptures teach, all men are liable (Rom. 5:12, 14; 1 Cor. 15:21, 22, 53-56), but from which, as such, the people of God are exempted because Christ has redeemed then from the curse of the law. The “death of the saint” instead of being accursed, is “precious in the sight of the Lord,” (Ps. 116:15), and this because he has redeemed them. Ps. 72:14. His death is a death “unto the Lord.” Rom. 14:8. Death is his. 1 Cor. 3:22. Its sting has been removed. 1 Cor. 15:56. But no one of these things is true of the wicked. He has neglected, or rejected the offer of salvation through Christ Jesus. There is no other method of escape from the penalty; and it rests upon him in all it fulness.It is not so easy to account for the death of the righteous. As he is no longer liable to the penalty of sin, there is no legal ground upon which he must endure death, and, because of which, he cannot be released. This is confirmed by the fact that some righteous have not died, and others will only be changed. But, while death may not thus be legally necessary, it may subserve many purposes in the gracious providence of God, and is, ordinarily, the best way for the Christian to attain the “change” for which he is destined. This should be believed even if it could in no respect be explained.
  • How to get to heaven – what are the ideas from the different religions? (altruistico.wordpress.com)
    There appear to be five major categories regarding how to get to heaven in the world’s religions. Most believe that hard work and wisdom will lead to ultimate fulfillment, whether that is unity with god (Hinduism, Buddhism, and Baha’i) or freedom and independence (Scientology, Jainism). Others, like Unitarianism and Wicca, teach the afterlife is whatever you want it to be, and salvation is a non-issue because the sin nature doesn’t exist. A few believe either the afterlife doesn’t exist or it’s too unknowable to consider.Derivatives of the worship of the Christian-Judeo God generally hold that faith in God and/or Jesus and the accomplishment of various deeds, including baptism or door-to-door evangelism, will ensure the worshiper will go to heaven. Only Christianity teaches that salvation is a free gift of God through faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8–9), and no amount of work or effort is necessary or possible to get to heaven.
    +
    According to Catholicism, upon death, the souls of those who rejected Christ are sent to hell. The souls of those who accepted Christ and performed sufficient acts to be purified of sin go to heaven. Those who died in faith but did not complete the steps to be purified are sent to purgatory where they undergo temporary, painful punishment until their souls are cleansed. Purification by torment may be lessened by suffering during life and the offerings and prayers of others on the sinner’s behalf. Once purification is complete, the soul may go to heaven.
  • On Books Again And Purgatory (supertradmum-etheldredasplace.blogspot.com)
    Another great book which demonstrates the necessity for purgation and the existence of purgatory is Hungry Souls, by Gerard J. M. Van Den Aardweg. For those who have visited the Museum of Purgatory in Rome, some of the stories would be familiar, as well as some of the photos.
    +
    One of the things I want to highlight is the repetition of the idea that in purgatory there is real fire. many priests, bishops and even recent popes have moved away from this idea in private or public statements which are not ex cathedra, not infallible statements.The fact that many saints and those to whom souls in purgatory have visited to ask for prayers speak of fire or are seen in fire is a fact that cannot be denied.
  • Reclaiming Halloween (catholicmom.com)
    God has given us a great gift with His Church.  The gift of the saints, united in communion with the Eucharist.  Saints on earth, saints undergoing their final purification in purgatory, and saints in heaven.  And in times of doubt, we ask those great saints in heaven to pray for us.  They are closest to God.  Their souls are pure.  They are the perfect intercessors for our needs.  They know exactly how to present our requests to the one mediator, Jesus Christ.
  • Books on the afterlife (renewamerica.com)
    What do you take to the afterlife? What’s important to God? What best gets you through the ‘narrow gate’? There can be no more important questions, and this new book, by Catholic author Michael H. Brown, is aimed at many of the answers – culled from Church teaching, near-death experiences, saints, and other sources, including apparitions of the Blessed Mother. Brown, author of the bestseller The Other Side delves deeply into the concept of ‘life review’ or judgment: how our lives are evaluated upon passing by the Lord and his angels; the way in which our time on earth is viewed by the Lord; and the crucial nature of discerning and fulfilling our individual missions….
  • The Credo of the People of God (vultus.stblogs.org)
    We believe that in Adam all have sinned, which means that the original offense committed by him caused human nature, common to all men, to fall to a state in which it bears the consequences of that offense, and which is not the state in which it was at first in our first parents–established as they were in holiness and justice, and in which man knew neither evil nor death. It is human nature so fallen, stripped of the grace that clothed it, injured in its own natural powers and subjected to the dominion of death, that is transmitted to all men, and it is in this sense that every man is born in sin. We therefore hold, with the Council of Trent, that original sin is transmitted with human nature, “not by imitation, but by propagation” and that it is thus “proper to everyone.”
    +
    We believe that the souls of all those who die in the grace of Christ whether they must still be purified in purgatory, or whether from the moment they leave their bodies Jesus takes them to paradise as He did for the Good Thief are the People of God in the eternity beyond death, which will be finally conquered on the day of the Resurrection when these souls will be reunited with their bodies.
  • What is Purgatory? (qwhatis.com)
    According to the Catholic doctrine, even righteous people cannot be regarded as having completely pure souls that are free of sin. Because Catholics believe that an individual cannot come before God unless he is entirely clean, people must spend some time in the purgatory in order for them to become purified.According to the teachings of the Catholic Church, God can still forgive venial sinners. Compared to mortal sins, venial sins are less severe. This type of sin refers to the slight breaking of God’s law and are commonly committed thoughtlessly, instead of deliberately. However, it is important to note that repeatedly committing venial sins can result to mortal sins.

Autumn traditions for 2014 – 4 Blasphemy and ridiculing faith in God

Last Autumn and the previous months we noticed that certain groups wanted to use the Christian religion to mock. Also Rana (that’s pronounced ‘Reh-na’) does not mind people to be a Satanist? But what bothers her and us is that they:

steal a consecrated Host from a Catholic Church

so they can desecrate our Saviour

(although I believe the stolen Host was returned to the Church). I don’t care if you hate Him. You wouldn’t be allowed to get a bunch of people to rally and use a stolen Koran as toilet paper. That would get shut down immediately. {United, We Stand}

A large crowd of fans wait outside of a Borders store in Delaware, waiting for the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

The Harry Potter hype may be gone. _ Crowd outside a book store for the midnight release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, on 16 July 2005,

Those people joining in the Halloween celebrations do not hesitate to say all bad things about believers in Christ and do not mind taking many symbols of the Catholic Church to make caricatures of Christian religion.
Around the Halloween festivities lot of attention is pulled to the Worship of Satan, or the devil and to all sorts of occult figures which may have a connection with him. Some years ago the Harry Potter series introduced again an interest in witchcraft and the occult. Though we must admit that interest is fading again and last year we saw already less attributes of Harry Potter and other witch television series characters in the shops. Not as the Biblical meaning of the word, namely the subservient to adversary and accuser of God. The participants of such satanic gatherings forget that they are the real satans, the Bible is speaking about. In these times coming closer to the end-times we may see the postbiblical traditions were Satan emerges as the tempter of humankind shifting to being the preferred master of the world.

The Sigil of Baphomet: emblem of the Church of...

The Sigil of Baphomet: emblem of the Church of Satan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The cults associated with Satanism love to have demonic figures with the name Satan, Lucifer or Beelzebub as their central feature in their meetings and their black mass. The corrupted and inverted rendition of the Christian Eucharist may not only call a strong aversion by the Roman Catholics. All Christians should consider those practices which include animal sacrifice and deviant sexual activity as an abomination in the eyes of God but also something not done by decent people.

Their worship may be motivated by the belief that Satan is more powerful than the forces of good, and so is more capable of bringing about the results sought by his adherents, and that is why with Halloween people should bow down in front of him and his adherents, also bringing sacrifices or gifts to buy of his good heart, so that man can continue the next year without having to much trouble. (That is the spirit of the true Halloween.)

The Villain Authoress finds it a sick and twisted parody of religion designed to mock her god. Though mostly they ridicule Jesus Christ, who is the son of God and laugh with his dying on the ‘cross‘. Those crosses in our regions are often put on fire in the fields as a ‘light beacon’, and we wonder if they not give a special meaning on such a burning of a cross?

Just as abortion is a sick parody of the words Jesus spoke at the Last Supper when He said, “This is My Body,” satanists twist the Catholic Mass to spit in God’s face.

Image from The Onion's spoof article "Har...

Image from The Onion’s spoof article “Harry Potter Books Spark Rise of Satanism Among Children” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rana writes, but those celebrators of a Black Mass spit mainly in Jesus his face and none of them dares to mention the name of God. Probably it frightens them too much to call onto the name of God (Jehovah/Yahweh) and therefore they only use the name of the son of God (Jeshua/Jesus) and the name of their gods. The Real Only One True God is the One about Whom they do not want to talk. If you dare to mention His Name they droop off. Luckily this Name of God still frightens most of them. But we may see a tendency of more people, wanting not to know anything from the God of gods, ridiculing faith in God, but liking to make fun in a world they love to create for a few nights, with all sorts of gods and ghosts.

Those people also like to shout about free speech and the right to have a free opinion and to do what they want to do.

For them we would like to quote the above author:

Free speech should be limited to only the laws of libel, obscenity, sedition, and slander. {United, We Stand}

About the Satanic Masses she writes:

This would fall under obscenity and slander. I have no clue why the state would legally allow this to happen other than the fact that they don’t care and are part of a society that hates God. {United, We Stand}

When we look at those in control of the Western countries we only can see that often a lot of them are more interested in their own material well-being than in the social welfare of the whole community. Most of the people in charge of a country are not active religious persons and many of them do not like the Christians because they mainly have a restricted view of certain denominations in Christendom who in the past used their power too much to oppress the common people.

For sure the last few years the governments have loosened the robes of decency too much. All those who have a faith in the Divine Creator should come to react against the many blasphemous things which happen around this time of year.

The organizer Adam Daniels of the Black Mass in Oklahoma City returned his pilfered Communion wafer to the Church, which they intended to desecrate, to Archbishop Coakley of Oklahoma City who is still concerned that they have not backed away from all the other blasphemies and sacrileges involved in this ritual worship of Satan.

As for the attendees, Monsignor Brankin, the official exorcist for his diocese for the last four years,  said

“I would think that there would be a real strong possibility, especially in the state of sin, that they would walk out possessed. They’re going into a situation where people are calling upon Satan to exercise dominion over everything in the state–dominion over people, places, our very land.

“They promise to do an exorcism of the Christians there, which, in their own foolish talk, involves puling out of the Holy Spirit. If someone went there out of curiosity, especially if there was a possibility that they were not in the state of grace, they could easily come out with a demonic attachment, whether it would be an oppression, obsession or a full possession.”

Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan us...

Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan used the phrase as part of public rituals (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Another exorcist, speaking under the condition of anonymity to Aleteia, didn’t think that there is necessarily a rise in public black masses, but believes there are plenty of them going on behind closed doors. However, when they do take place in public, he argues for the strategy employed by the Catholic Church in Boston, when another group of satanists planned to hold a black mass in a pub on the Harvard campus in May. {Exorcists Warn of Danger from Oklahoma City Black Mass}

In a statement posted on the Archdiocese Website, he said:

“Even though our city leaders apparently do not take this threat seriously, I do. As a Catholic priest and bishop, I have witnessed in my ministry the battle between forces of good and evil, in both ordinary and extraordinary ways. It is not merely a struggle rooted in human weakness and ignorance, though these are certainly the source of much suffering and mayhem in our lives and in our world. Demonic activity and the chaotic forces of evil are very real. The madness of war, accompanied by increasingly brutal acts of terror, the violence in our schools and communities are all evidence that something is terribly wrong.

“The crucial battleground for the forces of good and evil is the human heart. As a Christian, I believe that Jesus Christ came to conquer the power of sin and to cast out demons. This was an essential part of His mission and ministry. It continues in His Church.”

It is true that a lot of remarks by Flemish people are grounded in a certain truth.
For several citizens Catholicism perverted “pure” religion, producing deviant sexual practices originating from “unnatural” vows of chastity violating “nature” — Catholic sexual repression engendered the veiled hypocrisy masking the orgiastic sexuality performed in unnatural monasteries and convents. The last ten years we had one scandal after the other unveiled, priests and nuns having sex with youngsters and often at first denying it, but when proof of it came onto the surface they had to admit it. The last few years also the variety of sexual, political anxieties, specifically anxieties about masculine women and feminine men go more attention and was extravagantly demonstrated in gay- and love parades and in the costumes for Halloween.

According to a poll in 2013 only one in five actually believe in the existence of the Prince of Darkness (Satan, Beelzebub, Lucifer) and therefore, in the United Kingdom, from January 2014 evil is to go from some christening services after clerics were told to no longer ask parents and godparents to reject Satan during baptisms in the Church Of England faith. In true Christianity and Judaism there is no devil figure in the sense of a torturing or frightening figure. According to the bible satan means adversary, and could be any body who is against some one or something. Some religions have a trickster or tempter. For instance, Buddhists believe in Mara, who tempted Buddha with visions of beautiful women — but others believe the devil is merely a concept, symbolising man’s own base instincts and sinfulness, and this is also what real Christians should believe. They should not go into the stories which are told around this period, making children afraid that their grandparents and the dead people can hear their thoughts, see what they do and could come to punish them for what they have done wrong.

That punishment from the dead is what the worshippers of All Hallows’ Eve or Halloween hope to accomplish by bribing the dead, the ghosts and the spirits on the 31st of October and by putting flowers, candles and food on the graves of their beloved on the 1st and 2nd of November, in the hope they can satisfy those in the graves. The sacrifices made on October the 31st and November 1 & 2 shall not bring liberation for those who gave candy or money or flowers. The saints or souls people do think to talk to on those days shall not be able to help them out in whatever difficult situation. Though many feel guilty when on All Saints or All Souls not go to the graves of their death family members. They are even a little bit frightened when they would not honour those dead they could have more problems in the coming year. It is that superstition where God is against.

God makes it clear to all people, that they should not think them being much more than the other elements of creation. They should respect the full creation which is given to them to use it properly, whilst they are alive. Because when they die it will be too late to change anything. They shall not be able to take anything with them in their grave to use it in a sort of other world. For we as living beings should be aware that time on this earth is limited. We can not buy some more time or pay for postponing our death. All of us will have the same end, all die and shall either be put in a grave or be incinerated or be burned. For such an action many are afraid, but they forget that the dead not feel such a thing, because they know not anything and like animals they return to the ground. We all return to dust.

“All the prosperous of the earth will eat and worship, All those who go down to the dust will bow before Him, Even he who cannot keep his soul alive.” (Psalms 22:29 NAS)

“19 For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same. As one dies so dies the other; indeed, they all have the same breath and there is no advantage for man over beast, for all is vanity. 20 All go to the same place. All came from the dust and all return to the dust.” (Ecclesiastes 3:19-20 NAS)

“For the living know they will die; but the dead do not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward, for their memory is forgotten.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5 NAS)

“Whatever your hand finds to do, verily, do [it] with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10 NAS)

“His spirit departs, he returns to the earth; In that very day his thoughts perish.” (Psalms 146:4 NAS)

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Autumn traditions for 2014 – 3 Black Mass, Horror spectacles and pure puritans

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Find also to read:

  1. Lord in place of the divine name
  2. Some one or something to fear #7 Not afraid for Gods Name
  3. Glorification of Name of God
  4. Heavenly creatures do they exist
  5. Satan or the devil
  6. Satan the evil within
  7. Christendom Astray The Devil Not A Personal Super-Natural Being
  8. The Existence of Evil
  9. Fragments from the Book of Job #5: chapters 32-37
  10. Fragments from the Book of Job #6: chapters 38-42
  11. The Soul not a ghost
  12. The Soul confronted with Death
  13. Death,dead and after
  14. Grave, tomb, sepulchre – graf, begraafplaats, rustplaats, sepulcrum
  15. How are the dead?
  16. Self inflicted misery #2 Weakness of human race
  17. Bad things no punishment from God
  18. Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality
  19. Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences
  20. Phoenicians sacrificed infants
  21. How is it that Christ pleased God so perfectly?
  22. Wishing to do the will of God
  23. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  24. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  25. Living in faith
  26. Songs in the night Worship God only

Find in Dutch:

  1. Duivel, Satan, Lucifer, Demon, Goed en Kwaad en God
  2. Satan het kwaad in ons
  3. Bestaat er iets als engelen en kunnen die zondigen
  4. Gevallen engelen en hun verblijf
  5. Hoe de Satan vandaag rond toert
  6. Media geen werk van Satan, een duivelse engel
  7. Hedendaagse wonderen geen werk van Satan
  8. Laatste dagen omroepers

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Further reading:

  1. Catholic Officials File Lawsuit to Stop ‘Black Mass’ Ceremony
  2. Stuck with a Satanist?
  3. Matthew Lewis’s Black Mass: Sexual, Religious Inversion in ‘The Monk.’
  4. Lucky Devil; Exclusive Royal Navy Satanist Promoted to Top Desk Job at HQ in Whitehall
  5. Satanists Seek Spot for Statue on Okla. Statehouse Steps
  6. Satanists Seek Spot on Statehouse Steps
  7. Probe into How a Satanist Was Free to Kill Young Diego
  8. Christian Is Stabbed to Death by
  9. Sandra’s Advice: Black Deeds; Satanists Inspired by Scholar His Satanist Pal
  10. The Devil’s in the Detail for City Band; Banned after Being Wrongly Called…
  11. Satanist sex abuser back behind bars; Neighbours Battled to Have Him Removed
  12. Satanist Sex Offender Jailed
  13. Lucifer
  14. Jesus and Beelzebub – Reflections Today
  15. Lucifer Ascending: The Occult in Folklore and Popular Culture
  16. Neil Gaiman’s Lucifer; Reconsidering Milton’s Satan
  17. Devilishly Delightful; Lucifer – and Scores of Other Crocosmia – Add a Blaze…
  18. Lucifer to Have Devil of Chance
  19. Casting out the Devil; A Hellish History of Satan, Beelzebub and El Diablo
  20. A Ruthless Operator Who Takes Pride in Being ‘To the Right of Atilla the Hun; Yesterday’s High Court Ruling Is Just the Latest Chapter in the Colourful Life of Nicholas Van Hoogstraten. Alun Thorne Examines the Man Once Described as “An Emissary of Beelzebub

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  • Devil Worshiper Hell-Bent on Controversy (abcnews.go.com)
    In a small, darkened room, Adam Daniels, the self-proclaimed head of his own satanic church, spat and stomped on the symbolic body of Christ in a ritual devoted to Satan.The smells of incense and smoky dry ice vapors wafted over his small band of followers, who watched him and others perform the so-called “black mass” and destroy bread that was meant to symbolize the Eucharistic, which Catholics say is supposed to symbolize the body of Christ.

    Only about 40 or so people attended Daniels’ demonic service, which was held in the basement of an Oklahoma City civic center in September, but it was enough to draw nearly 2,000 Christians from all over the region, some of which drove in from out of state, for a massive protest against it.

  • Satanic Group Wants To Put Holiday Display In Florida’s Capitol Rotunda (alan.com)
    If the state is to stay religion-neutral and still permit religions to put displays on public property, they can’t deny those who worship Satan.
  • Wesleyan/Anglican: Halloween: What’s a Christian to Do? (methoblog.com)
    You know, when I was a kid, our church used to have Halloween parties every year. We used to hold it out in the woods at the Optimist Club building. It was a great time. I remember going, and our family arrived early one year. It was the year that I was dressed up like the Incredible Hulk. I had a rubber Hulk mask and inflatable muscles. Anyway, because we arrived early, we split up and hid. I think I hid behind a tree in the surrounding woods. Then we would each one “arrive” at different times, so as to help disguise who we really were. One year I was Scooby Doo. (That was before I could do the Scooby Doo voice.) We had a really great time.However, as time went by, I encountered Christians at other churches (even within the same denomination) who would never do such a thing. From their perspective, Halloween was an evil, even Satanic celebration. It was to be avoided completely.

    Some suggested Christian alternatives, sometimes called Hallelujah Parties, instead of Halloween Parties. These ranged from events where you could dress up, so long as there were no monsters, or evil costumes, to events where you could only dress as Bible characters, to no costumes allowed whatsoever. – And I learned never to assume anything about people’s position with regard to Halloween.

  • Kirk Cameron Proves Pagans Tried To Steal Halloween From Baby Jesus (wonkette.com)

    Onetime teevee actor Kirk Cameron, getting into the spirit of the pre-Christmas movie release season, gave a very exciting interview to the Christian Post, in which he revealed that Halloween is a 100 percent Christian festival of 100 percent Christian origins.

    OK, sure, by pure coincidence, it also occurs at the same time and has many of the same trappings of much older pagan harvest festivals, but it is utterly unrelated to those, really. Cameron’s interview was part of the prerelease publicity for his terrible upcoming movie, “Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas,” which makes the completely reasonable claim that there is also no connection whatsoever between the historically verified date of Jesus’s birth and some pagan solstice festivals that just happened to occur at the same time, and which may have some similar traditions.

  • Apostate American Church: Waiting for the Man Of Sin (endtimesprophecyreport.wordpress.com)
    America is a Christian nation™” is not a statement of fact.It is a brand name–like Velveeta™ or Burger King™. It is a lie which has been marketed to deceive Americans into believing they are righteous–regardless of their actions and lack of obedience.

    Some facts and figures put into perspective exactly how many real Christians live in America, a country which has been relentlessly marketed as a “Christian nation.”

  • Conspiracies & Catholicism: Halloween (catholicstand.com)
    Like pretty much every other big Catholic thing, it’s supposedly Pagan to have a party during the vigil before All Saint’s day. There is a long history of having a sort of harvest festival in pretty much any culture that can produce more than they can store (frequently it’s when you harvest fruits or slaughter the animals before winter) and there was one called Samhain in Ireland. There’s another one coming up in the US, called Thanksgiving. Since becoming Catholic didn’t suddenly make it so they had modern means of storing food that spoils quickly the parties would have kept happening, and when centuries after the pagan practices were gone the feast of All Saints was instituted there was nothing there to “steal.”
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    Many American Halloween customs are most likely taken from Guy Fawkes’ day, November 5th– it’s entirely possible that they shifted over from the prior All Hallow’s Eve celebrations of the English, just as the harvest feast got hooked to the Feast and its vigil. People are very good at finding a reason to have a party and have fun, and fire is fun, food is fun, candy and costumes are fun.
  • The Pagan Roots Of Halloween (endoftheamericandream.com)
    Even though approximately 70 percent of Americans will participate in Halloween festivities once again this year, the vast majority of them are clueless about the fact that this is a holiday that is thousands of years old and that has deeply pagan roots.
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    An existing Catholic festival known as All Saints Day (or All Hallows Day) was moved to the same time as Samhain.  Eventually, All Hallows Eve became known as “Halloween”, but many of the ancient Celtic traditions never disappeared.
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    You may say that “it doesn’t mean that to me”, but even today there are large numbers of people that take this stuff deadly seriously.On page 96 of the Satanic Bible, Anton LaVey wrote the following…

    “After one’s own birthday, the two major Satanic holidays are Walpurgisnacht (May 1st) and Halloween.”

    Most people will never see it, but in dark corners and out of the way places some incredibly sinister things will take place in America on Halloween night.

    Just like for the ancient Celts, there are people out there that truly believe that it is a night to commune with the spirits.

    If you are a pagan, you probably already know all of this stuff.

    If you are not a pagan, you might want to think twice before you do things that could potentially open up doorways to the spirit realm.

  • Re: Satanism Sold To Kids (forum.prisonplanet.com)
    Satanists have announced that they will be joining a national atheist group in handing out controversial literature to public school students in Orange County, Florida.Among the materials reportedly planned for this school year are a Satanic-themed coloring book, “pamphlets related to the Temple’s tenets, philosophy and practice of Satanism, as well as information about the legal right to practice Satanism in school,” according to a press release from The Satanic Temple.
  • The Miscreants behind the Pulput… (audacityandsupposition.com)
    The Clergy regardless of persuasion have a somber responsibility to guide and direct God’s Children to the truth and conviction of God’s Word without regard to political correctness or threat from worldly persecution. Finding the fiber of early American Spiritual Leaders in today’Council of Gods Clergy is difficult if not downright impossible. Instead we find those bent on building great edifices and notoriety of their great popularity bolstered by spewing out book after book, packaged teaching materials, and radio and television appearances all of which makes them the super-stars of religion. To address their congregations to the elements of truth as it pertains to societal issues to include the political realm is taboo to them because of fear and a lack of conviction on their own part as to the call of God, his statues and principles as put forth by scripture and seemingly forgetting that a day of accountability to the Lord is scheduled.
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    The clergy of Organized Christianity are hirelings. They are directors of a multi-billion dollar syndicate. They establish fiscal goals and financial targets. Just like any other modern business, they hope to buy and sell and get gain. To this end, they offer holy oil, crosses, pendants, trinkets, travel, prayer, lobbyists, videos, and amusement, in exchange for dollars and adoration. Many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you.
  • The Internet knows you love the devil (buzzryan.com)
    There are few ideas that grab hold of our imaginations quite like Satan. Over the last year, the Prince of Darkness has been trending big online. In fact, you could say 2014 was the year the Internet saved Satanism. Why would it do that? Because the Internet knows Satan sells.For weeks now, the Internet has been abuzz about a Black Mass that’s scheduled to take place in the American heartland. Oklahoma City is set to be ground zero for a spiritual showdown of biblical proportions: God vs. Satan, battling for the soul of America. Or, at least, that’s how the Catholic Church is selling it. Rev. Don Wolf of St. Eugene Catholic church told The Oklahoman that “to engage in this is to open the window up to the presence of the forces that are not to be trifled with.” (He means the Devil.)

Autumn traditions for 2014 – 2 Summersend and mansend

Death, fossils and pumpkins

National Fossil Day, established to promote the scientific and educational values of fossils, on Wednesday of the second full week in October may perhaps been overlooked by many, though they would love to look into the death beings this and the coming month. there was in some countries even a Chucky, the Notorious Killer Doll Day (celebrated annually on October 25).

In many countries October is also the month of the pumpkin. In America it is even one of America’s favourite dessert which gives it it’s own special day.  October 21 annually celebrates National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day and fall is the perfect season to enjoy this delightful and delicious dessert.

In certain countries at the end of the month there is a “National Knock Knock Joke Day.” Annually celebrated on October 31, it is a holiday for jokesters of all ages to share their knock knock jokes throughout the day. But at night many go out to bring ‘ogre’ jokes. The want to bring the shudder onto others. Several people on the 31st of October love to get the creeps for fun. In Belgium such ‘fun’ started already this weekend in the amusement parks. This year some people were a little bit disillusioned or undeceived because since 1921 we had the warmest October weekend and the sun was present for a longer time than usual. On television we could see the many special attractions for ‘Halloween‘.

Ancient Celtic feast still popular today

An ancient Celtic feast gets a lot of attention also by people who call themselves Christians. They do not seem to bother that they join in such a heathen or pagan festival. Coming from the time people were frightened of evil spirits, strange animals and strange natural effects, they would dress up in costumes and make noise in the streets in order to make the spirits go away. When Catholicism was brought into our regions the church had to face a very strong traditional holy day. In fear not getting the people to their religion they took over a lot of the Celtic festivals in their religion and gave them an other name. The Spanish and French explorers brought Roman Catholicism to what is now the United States in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and took with them those pagan rites, imposing them on the local population. Later many Irish people settling in the North of America brought their end of Summer festival tradition with them.

English: Saint Patrick stained glass window fr...

Saint Patrick stained glass window from Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland, CA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Ireland and Scotland the inhabitants celebrated the end of Summer on the 31st of October and called it Samhain or Calan Gaeaf.  The 31st of October was also the eve of the new year in both Celtic and Anglo­Saxon times and was the occasion for one of the ancient fire festivals when huge bonfires were set on hilltops to frighten away evil spir­its. The date was connected with the return of herds from pasture, and laws and land tenures were renewed. The souls of the dead were supposed to revisit their homes on this day, and the autumnal festival acquired sinister sig­nificance, with ghosts, witches, hobgoblins, black cats, fairies, and demons of all kinds said to be roaming about. It was the time to placate the supernatural powers controlling the processes of nature. In addition, Hal­loween was thought to be the most favour­able time for divinations concerning marriage, luck, health, and death. It was the only day on which the help of the devil was invoked for such purposes.

In about the year 388, the devil was said to be so enraged at the piety of St. Patrick that he assailed the saint with a whole band of witches in Scotland. The story goes that St. Patrick fled to the river Clyde, embarking in a small boat for Ireland. As witches cannot pursue their victims over running water, they flung a huge rock after the escaping saint, which fell harmlessly to the ground, and which tradition says now forms Dumbarton Rock. {Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology: Scotland}

The belief in magic which appears to have been common in Scotland until a late period was taken with the sailors to other regions far away from the homeland. In the pages of Adamnan, Abbot of Iona (ca. 625-704C.E.), St. Columba and his priest regarded the Druids as magicians, and he countered their sorcery with what was believed to be a superior celestial magic of his own. The actions of Druids was kept alive and they continued to make up stories which many people believed.

In the 17th century while education and even scholarship were comparatively common at this date in Scotland (more common in fact than they were in contemporary England ), the great mass of Scottish people shared abundantly their sovereign’s dread of witches and sorcery. Protestant reformer John Knox, who was accused by the Roman Catholic Church for having by sorcery raised up saints in the churchyard of St. Andrews, when Satan himself was said to have appeared and so terrified Knox’s secretary that he became insane and died. Knox was also charged with using his magical arts in his old age to persuade the beautiful young daughter of Lord Ochiltree to marry him.

The efforts of Knox and his associates had brought about momentous changes in Scottish life, but if the Reformation rejected certain popular beliefs, Presbyterianism (the particular form of Protestant Christianity that came to power in Scotland) undoubtedly tended to introduce others. For that stern Calvinistic faith that now began to take root in Scotland nourished the idea that sickness and accident were a mark of divine anger. This theory did not cease to be common in the north till long after King James’ day. {Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology: Scotland}

Three boys on porch steps cutting faces in pum...

Three boys on porch steps cutting faces in pumpkins. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Immigrants to the U.S., Scots and Irish liking to control the witches and ghosts, introduced the Halloween customs that became popular in the late 19th century. Mischief-making on this occasion by boys and young men included overturning sheds and outhouses and breaking windows, and damage to property was sometimes severe. In later years, the occasion has come to be observed mainly by small children, who go from to house, often in costume, demanding “trick or treat” (the treat, often candy, is gene given and the trick rarely played).

A common symbol of Halloween is the jacko’-lantern (the name possibly was derived from that for a night watchman). It is a hollowed-out pumpkin carved in the appearance of a demonic face and with a lighted candle inside. In Scotland a turnip was used, but the native pumpkin was substituted in the U.S.

The tradition to pull grotesque faces or grin (Scottish verb, “to girn”), may find its origin in the name of a medieval fiend, the last shadow of some Teutonic or Celtic deity of unlovable attributes.

All Hallows’ Eve

Pomona who scorned the love of the woodland gods Silvanus and Picus, but married Vertumnus after he tricked her, disguised as an old woman. – Nicolas Fouché, c. 1700

All Hallows’ Eve (the evening before All Hallows’ Day) may even found its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds and wood nymph, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain“, which comes from the Old Irish for “summer’s end”. It is thought that in this liminal time the spirits or fairies (the Aos Sí) can more easily come into our world and be particularly active. {Monaghan, p.41; O’Halpin, Andy. Ireland: An Oxford Archaeological Guide. Oxford University Press, 2006. p.236}

In Druidism, and/or Wicca picked the belief of Samhaim being a Celtic Death God was accepted as valid, but this is one of the most tenacious errors associated with Halloween. No such God ever existed.

Witchcraft and, more commonly, sorcery, malevolent magic, appear to have been practiced in the earliest historical and traditional times in Scotland. It is related that during the reign of Natholocus in the second century there lived in Iona a witch of great renown, so celebrated for her marvelous power that the king sent one of his captains to consult her regarding the issue of a rebellion then troubling his kingdom. The witch declared that within a short period the king would be murdered, not by his open enemies but by one of his most favored friends, in whom he had most special trust. The messenger inquired the assassin’s name. “Even by thine own hands as shall be well known within these few days,” replied the witch.

The pagan observances influenced the Chris­tian festival of All Hallows’ Eve, celebrated on the same date. By the late 1990’s many secular sources such as newspapers and television programs had picked up the error of the Samhaim god and propagated it widely. It is now a nearly universal belief, particularly among conservative Protestants.

Gradually, Halloween became a secular observance, and many cus­toms and practices developed. In Scotland young people assembled for games to ascer­tain which of them would marry, during the year and in what order the marriages would occur. Many Halloween customs have become games played by children, but the last few years adults are again participating more.

Modern-day Samhain

Modern-day Samhain is the day when many Wiccans believe that their god dies, later to be reborn. [Wicca is a Neo-pagan, Earth-centered religion.] For those witchcraft practitioners and for many Satanists Samhain is not a god of death; it actually began as a yearly observance of the death of a god.

There may have been a little known character named Samain or Sawan who played the role of a very minor hero in Celtic mythology. His main claim to fame was that Balor of the Evil Eye stole his magical cow. His existence is little known, even among Celtic historians. He was a hero, not a god. It is likely that he was named after the end of summer celebration rather than vice-versa. {Isaac Bonewits, W.J, Bethancourt III, a.o.}

The Irish English Dictionary, published by the Irish Texts Society, defines Samhain as follows:

“Samhain, All Hallowtide, the feast of the dead in Pagan and Christian times, signalizing the close of harvest and the initiation of the winter season, lasting till May, during which troops (esp. the Fiann) were quartered.” {Patrick Dineen, “An Irish English Dictionary” (Dublin, 1927), Page 937}

Scottish Radiance writes about Samhain:

“The Celtics believed, that during the winter, the sun god was taken prisoner by Samhain, the Lord of the Dead and Prince of Darkness…On the eve before their new year (October 31), it was believed that Samhain called together all the dead people.” {Scottish Radiance, “The Story of Halloween,” at: http://www.scottishradiance.com/}

Ignorance around Halloween

Most people are ignorant of what Halloween is all about and for that matter don’t care. They often excuse their childish attitude of going up so much in this festival, by saying it is just for fun for the kids. Strangely enough they try to frighten their kids and later when their child is afraid of a spider, of the dark or something else, they say to it not to be silly, though they forget they created the fear for such things.

College students dressed up for Halloween.

College students dressed up for Halloween. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several Americans have grown up trick or treating, not knowing exactly what it means ‘to shoot some one’ ‘or ‘to kill some one’ and not knowing what it was all about, like many in Europe do not know it any more. In several countries there are also church communities which do not mind having haunted houses even in the attic of their little country church or in their parish hall.

In Belgium lots of kids go from door to door, like on the evening preceding Epiphany (twelve days after Christmas) or on ‘three kings’ (January 6 feast of Epiphany) wanting to get as much candy as they can get. This time they say “Trick or treat”. You can wonder why their parents learned them the “trick” as a (usually idle) threat to perform mischief on the home-owners or their property if no treat is given to them.

Practice of souling

This practice of going from door to door came from the “practice of souling” – going from door to door on or about All Souls Day to solicit gifts of food in return for prayers for the dead – evolved from a pagan ritual that was practised all over Europe, possibly as early as the 10th century. In the 14th century it was mentioned by Chaucer as a common Christian tradition. It is still commonplace in many Catholic countries, notably Ireland, where soul-cakes are left out for the departed. In several southern and northern European countries also food and candles are left on the graves to please the dead.

The first reference to the practice under that name in England is John Brand’s Popular Antiquities of Great Britain, 1779:

“On All Saints Day, the poor people go from parish to parish a Souling, as they call it.”

The tradition is that the dead could come out of their graves when they would not find enough for them to live decently in their underworld. If the living would forget them or not give them enough they would come to punish the living. So the living would avoid such punishment by the dead by buying themselves out.

Dressing up and pleasing the dead

In modern times people like to dress up for Halloween and All Hallows’ Day in all sorts of frightening figures with preference to the darker figures and in characters from the underworld, like all sorts of devils. Children and adults alike are made afraid that the devils will catch them and bring them to an underworld where they shall be tortured for ever and burn in hell.

On the night of the last day of October many wear a most evil, horrible, grotesque, rubber mask and have in their hands a pitchfork. Then they go round willing to have the visited home-owners to believe the souls of the dead returned to their original homes, there to be entertained with food. If food and shelter were not provided, these evil spirits would cast spells and cause havoc toward those failing to fulfil their requests.

In the past centuries sacrifices were offered on this night to the dead spirits because it was thought they visited their earthly dwellings and former friends. But seeing it still happening in the 21st century we only can wonder if they really would not believe such a thing, why do they still do it?

It is known that there was a prevailing belief among all nations that at death the souls of the good men were taken possession of by good spirits and carried to paradise. Likewise the souls of the wicked men were left to wonder in the space between the earth and the moon, or consigned to the unseen world, underneath the earth, where unending fire was waiting for them. These wandering spirits were in the habit of haunting the living… But there were means by which ghosts might be exorcised.

To exorcise these ghosts, that is to free yourself from their evil sway, you would have to set out food and provide shelter for them during the night. If they were satisfied with your offerings, they would leave you in peace. If not, they were believed to cast an evil spell on you.

Fellowship with the devils

In modern day Satanism and Witchcraft covens, the 31st of October is the day when Satan himself comes to “fellowship” with his followers.

Central to Satanism was the idea of magic and that extraordinary miracles, if not performed by God in answer to the prayer of one of his servants (i.e., a Christian), had to be accomplished by the devil in cooperation with someone who had made a pact with the devil. On the 31st of October those going around from house to house want to let the other believe they have a pact with that devil so they can arrange thing with the devil for the good but also for the bad.

Once the idea of the pact became commonplace, it was but a short step to the notion of an organized community of devil-worshippers. Some substance was provided by the small pockets of paganism that had not succumbed to the church’s evangelical efforts. {Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology: Satanism)

Satanism had plainly declined by the end of the 1970s; however, in the mid 1980s reports that it had merely gone underground began to surface and the last two years in our village and in some other places in Flanders ritual meetings where the ‘Books of Satan’ (Satanic Bible) were read by ‘clergymen of Satan’ and a sort of Black Mass (a parody of the Roman Catholic Mass) was celebrated in the fields and in the woods. No real infant was been offered, but the sacrifice of an infant-puppet on the bonfires, and the invocation of Satan for the purpose of working malevolent magic (sorcery) was presented in many places.

Throughout the ages many changes may have occurred, but one thing has stayed the same, the practice of giving an “offering” is still kept. Many may say they do it under the name of fun but what is the real meaning for them deep in their heart? Is it so different a practice than in the previous centuries? We do not believe so.  It is still the same as in the old days.

In many parts of the world it is true that even Christian religious observances of All Hallows’ Eve, including attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, remain popular, but is it not high time that Christians do think about it seriously?

It may well be that these solemn customs are less pronounced in favour of a more commercialized and secularized celebration in other regions, this also should not have Christians taking part in it.

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 Preceding article:  Autumn traditions for 2014 – 1: Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet

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Find also to read:

  1. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  2. The imaginational war against Christmas
  3. Halloween custom of the nations
  4. The Soul not a ghost

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  • 5 Things You Never Knew About Canadian Thanksgiving (hellobee.com)
    Canadian Thanksgiving began in 1578 (43 years before American Thanksgiving) as a feast to thank God for the harvest. However, it didn’t have a set date until 1957. We have a 3 day weekend, while most Americans have 4 days.
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    Though a dessert-table staple, pumpkin pie differs in Canada. Ours is spicy-sweet, with ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon, while typical American pumpkin pie is sweeter and often contains custard. Or so I’m told. Correct me if I’m wrong (either sounds good!).
  • The Ultimate Pumpkin Recipe List: 56 Recipes for Fall (followinginmyshoes.com)
    Everything mentality that all grocery stores and Pinterest embrace this time of year.  And, I’m not just a fan of pumpkin flavored coffee, baked goods and treats … I love pumpkin chili and soup and, at least back in my “pre-grain” free days, pumpkin pasta dishes.  Oh, Mamacita!  “Bring it all to the table” is my mantra — hence, the Ultimate Pumpkin Recipe List you see today.
  • Fall’s Golden Days (homeschoolmosaics.com)
    Fall is a time in our home to catch our breath and hold on…everything starts, school is amped up and running, and we are just trying to get used to our new schedules, hoping I have the brain power to remember we need dinner. We are hoping to implement some Sabbath rest weeks into our school year to give us respite…but, right now, we are nose to the grindstone. I thought it might be fun to share some lesser known holidays for October…maybe you can find one to color your month, bless someone else, or just create a memory together.
  • Halloween Pet Safety Tips (lakeside.com)
    Get special dog treats for Halloween to steer them away from Halloween candy! Children’s candy can be a toxic temptation for pets. Dogs love chocolate, but chocolate does not love them. It contains theobromine which is toxic to pets. The darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains. A few bites of milk chocolate which contains the least amount can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Baking chocolate contains the most — even the smallest amount can kill a dog.
  • The Perfect Pair: Halloween and The Hot Glue Gun (blogs.walmart.com)
    As a working mom of two crazy little boys, I don’t get the chance to flex my crafty muscles as often as I’d like, but I try to make it a priority for Halloween. For my oldest son’s first Halloween, I convinced my mom to knit him a brown bear costume. My husband went to the UC Berkeley, so she trimmed it in gold as a nod to the Golden Bear mascot.
  • 35 Ways to Make Your Halloween Party Food Ghoulish (tipjunkie.com)
    Halloween is the perfect time to get creative with treats, and these Frankenstein Rice Krispie Treats are no exception. They even come with a free printable tag so they are perfect for gift giving. These will be the hit of any Halloween party! {{high fives}}
  • baby halloween costume images (zeehd.com)
  • Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Witch Hats (berries.com)
    How do domestic goddesses (and gods) throw fabulous Halloween parties? The easy way, of course. And nothing’s easier, or more fabulous, than these delicious strawberry witch hats. They’re inspired by our witchy Halloween collection.
  • Will Food Allergy Hysteria Destroy Halloween? (vice.com)
    What would Halloween be without candy? Well, an organization known as FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) is trying to find out. This group is putting forth an effort to raise awareness about how soul-crushing Halloween is for children with serious allergies by starting the “Teal Pumpkin Project.” As they state on their site, “The Teal Pumpkin Project is designed to promote safety, inclusion and respect of individuals managing food allergies—and to keep Halloween a fun, positive experience for all.” They are encouraging people to hand out non-food gifts this year, as well as painting your pumpkins teal to signify to trick-or-treaters that you’re doing so. Teal, as we all know, is the official color of food allergy awareness. Their site even offers suggestions as to what kind of non-food items you can provide for children, some of which include: playing cards, kazoos, stickers, coins, and bookmarks. Sure, these items definitely beat getting raisins or—god forbid—an apple. But the problem is, these items are not candy.