“The Bible doesn’t teach us to pray to the saints (Matt. 6:6), through the saints (1 Tim. 2:5) or for saints who have already gone to heaven. Instead, we remember the saints and to allow the memory of their faith spur us on to deeper worship and greater service to the Lord. All Saints Day, also known as All Hallows’ Day, or Hallowmas, is a Christian celebration in honor of all the saints from Christian history.” – Alex Crain from Christianity.com.
As a Christian I have witnessed how religious observances have been replaced by corporate created “holidays” to sell their products. Easter is not about chocolate bunnies, Christmas is not about Santa Claus’ reindeer or Rudolf with his red nose and Halloween (all Saints Day) is not about monsters, vampires and ghouls.
What is All Saints Day?
There’s a yearly reminder of our connectedness as Christians to the church. It’s called “All Saints Day” and is commemorated every November 1st. Perhaps, you were taught to think of saints as statues in a church building. But the Bible teaches something completely different. Who is a saint? You are. That is if you’re a follower of Jesus. God calls a “saint” anyone who trusts in Christ alone for salvation (see Acts 9:13, Acts 26:10, Romans 8:27, 1 Corinthians 1:2).
All Saints Day, also known as All Hallows’ Day, or Hallowmas, is a Christian celebration in honor of all the saints from Christian history. In Western Christianity, it is observed on November 1st by the Roman Catholic Church, the Methodist Church, the Lutheran Church, and other Protestant denominations. The Eastern Orthodox Church and associated Eastern Catholic churches observe All Saints Day on the first Sunday following Pentecost.
The Christian festival of All Saints Day comes from a conviction that there is a spiritual connection between those in Heaven and on Earth. In Catholic tradition, the holiday honors all those who have passed on to the Kingdom of Heaven. [Emphasis added]
“What are the origins of All Saints Day and All Souls Day? Are these linked with paganism and Halloween?”
FR. Saunders wrote:
Both the feast of All Saints and the feast of All Souls evolved in the life of the Church independently of paganism and Halloween. Let us first address the feast of All Saints. The exact origins of this celebration are uncertain, although, after the legalization of Christianity in A.D. 313, a common commemoration of the saints, especially the martyrs, appeared in various areas throughout the Church. For instance in the East, the city of Edessa celebrated this feast on May 13; the Syrians, on the Friday after Easter; and the city of Antioch, on the first Sunday after Pentecost. Both St. Ephrem (d. 373) and St. John Chrysostom (d. 407) attest to this feast day in their preaching. In the West, a commemoration for all the saints also was celebrated on the first Sunday after Pentecost. The primary reason for establishing a common feast day was because of the desire to honor the great number of martyrs, especially during the persecution of Emperor Diocletion (284-305), the worst and most extensive of the persecutions. Quite simply, there were not enough days of the year for a feast day for each martyr and many of them died in groups. A common feast day for all saints, therefore, seemed most appropriate.
It is critically import to teach our children and grandchildren that there is no Easter bunny, ghosts, goblins and monsters and most importantly that there is no Santa Clause (although there was a Saint Nicholas).
The only thing that matters is God and His Son Jesus. You see the greatest gift of Easter is life everlasting, the most important lesson of All Saints Day is religious persecution is wrong and finally we must teach our children and grandchildren that Christmas is all about the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. The greatest of great gift to mankind, ever.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
Sadly, today in places like Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and other Middle Easter countries, we see Christians being persecuted, tortured and martyred.
Pray for them on All Hallows Day.
©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.