All Hallows’ Eve and Halloween

From aliens to zombies, it’s an A-Z selection of decorations, costumes and party themes. And of course, these selections are fueled by a frenzy of books, movies and television shows. What is it that draws human curiosity toward the unknown and the unexplainable? What draws so many to celebrate Halloween today?


     Hallowmas (Hallow = holy/saintly and mas = short for Mass) is also known as All Hallows and All Saints’ Day on November 1st. It was, and still is, a day set aside to honor the martyrs and saints of the early Church. The Vigil on October 31st was called All Hallows’ Eve and was shortened to Halloween. An event that once focused upon martyrs and saints has now morphed today into an extravaganza focused upon aliens and zombies.


     I detect that somewhere in this human curiosity toward the unknown is a restlessness that seeks an encounter with the Other, the Divine… an encounter with God. This is not a myth making, wishful fantasy that equates the Flying Spaghetti Monster with the being of God. This is a deep seated restlessness that only finds rest when the creation beholds the Creator.


     I detect that somewhere in this human curiosity toward the unexplainable is a desire to fully engage logic and reason, to fully apply the scientific method, only to discern something supernatural beneath the surface of all that is natural. Beyond ghosts, vampires, werewolves and zombies is a deep seated hope that death is not final. It is a hope that mere mortals of nature can attain immortality… and here it is best to seek the hallowed company of the saints.


Blessed Halloween,

Ch O


Chaplain (Maj.) John O’Brien

115th Fighter Wing Chaplain Corps

Truax Field, Madison, WI


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