Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Secular and Sacred

I didn't really know 'doing' Halloween versus opting out was such a hot button topic until this year. Growing up we wouldn't have dreamed of missing out on trick or treating, (hence my participation as one of the Spice Girls when I was in TENTH grade. Somebody should have punched me and my 4 co-conspirators off their front porch steps in retrospect.) but we weren't allowed to be anything 'creepy' or evil, which was loosely defined as being of the occult. So witches, vampires, and Satan himself were out, but pretty much anything else was in.

I guess I saw fit to continue allowing my children to participate in this vein, since we're both citizens of the kingdom of Heaven (hopefully) and also of the kingdom of man. I mean, we celebrate all the other secular holidays too, and Thanksgiving is pretty close to the tip top favorite of my list, so I don't see why we can't kick off the holiday season October 31st. Plus, I read this fabulous piece last week and was like, yeah, see, this ain't no stinking pagan ritual. So there, Hallmark channel.

All that being said, I hate horror anything. The last horror movie I saw on purpose was The Glass House, I think, and it was on a semi-blind date with a townie from Steubenville who ended up being slightly underaged, a fact that didn't reveal itself until the moment he ordered up a Mountain Dew to match my Yvengling at our fine dinner beforehand at Applebee's. The moral of the story: horror movies are awful. Also, I don't do well with blood or surprises. Ask me how parenting is going so far...

Without further ado, here is photographic evidence that my will to participate in seasonal festivities has not been totally thwarted by pregnancy hormones. Yet.

Exhibit A: Superman and the duck.

Exhibit B: St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, and St. Ignatius of Antioch, bishop and martyr.

Please note the bloodied cannonball protruding from Loyola's knee, and the blood-thirsty lion clinging to Antioch's back. You know, he did pray to be ground in the teeth of the lions that his body may become the wheat for God. Or something pretty close to that.

We trick-or-treated on Thursday night (or rather, Dave and Joey hit the block while JP and I retired after visiting one solitary house, at which point I elected to wait in a bubble bath until Joey brought me his candy to "gluten screen." Poor kid, can't eat a single Twix, I simply had to help him out...)

On Friday morning we lined up all our saint dolls and icons on the kitchen table, lit a bunch of candles, and made pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes while rocking out to this tune over and over again before hitting up an ill-planned noon Mass.

Some of our saintly crew.
We hit up an even more awesome Feast that night with our friends the Servants of Christ Jesus, where many, many calories were consumed, bonfires were admired, and where Ignatius of Antioch took home the night's top prize for best costume because, come on, a bloody lion.

The next day we paid a quick visit to the Adoration chapel at a nearby parish to pray for our deceased friends and relatives and all the holy souls in Purgatory, and then Target. Because everyone knows that Target on a Saturday morning is a kind of preparation for Purgatory, especially when you bring along your husband and a pair of hangry toddlers.

So there you have it, my two cents into the Catholic blogosphere on the nature of Halloween, and why it's totally cool to nerd out and celebrate the trifecta of Hallow/Saints/Souls Days.


  1. I want to hang out with the Servants of Christ Jesus next time we visit Denver. Are they in a parish?

    1. They live near Risen Christ in Denver, so they spend a lot of time there. Br. James is assigned as a seminarian at Our Lady Queen of Peace in Aurora, and I know Fr. John Ignatius celebrates Sunday evening Mass at the University of Denver.

  2. Our trifecta was very similar. And the lion is awesome.

  3. Love this, love this, love this.

  4. Awesome costumes! I do love a bloody martyr . . .

  5. I am impressed that you put together FOUR costumes while being pregnant and having two littles running around. I didn't even manage one this year.

  6. I LOVE Matt Maher's Litany of the Saints!! It is one of my favorite songs. Your kids look cute in all of their costumes!

  7. So my husband ordered my joey's superman costume online, and it came, and it was pretty much the most ghetto thing ever. you win on the superman costume! Matt Maher's litany is my favorite, we used it at our wedding :)

  8. Jenny, I miss you! The boys' costumes are great, and am so impressed you put four of them together : )

  9. Cute cute cute!! Mary was a duck this year too. Gotta love a little duckling!


Is your email linked to your comment? I'd love to respond to you directly, but I can't if it's not!