Halloween and the church

I learned last week that many clergy take the time in a service to bless trick-or-treaters. Some place restrictions–no scary costumes, for example. I’ll confess it never crossed my mind. At St. James, staff enjoy the annual parade of the day school kids in costume, but that’s as close as we got in Greenville.

At Grace this year, we participated in the annual downtown business trick-or-treating. Pictures are here. Clearly fun was had by all.

It’s quite a contrast to those Christians who view Halloween as demonic or use it as an opportunity to try to save souls. If you’re interested in the apparently lively debate over Halloween among some conservative Christians, check out CBN’s Halloween Resource Page. I’ve long been fascinated by one popular attempt to piggy-back on Halloween’s popularity: the Hell House or Judgment House.

Neither the uneasiness of some Christians nor their attempt to capitalize or mimic popular culture surprise me. Rather, I’m curious about the whole cultural phenomenon of Halloween, especially the tacky and tawdry decorations that seem ubiquitous these days. On the other hand, I went to the Home Depot yesterday, and the Christmas displays were already up. Talk about tacky and tawdry!

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