When I was a kid, my friends and I would spend weeks before Oct. 31 planning and comparing costume ideas. My dad loved being a part of it, such as when he helped me put stubby whiskers on my face the year I dressed up like a pirate, and long horizontal whiskers when I dressed up like a cat.
The older I got, though, the more I became aware of the very gruesome images of evil and death associated with Halloween – ghosts, witches, devils, and skeletons, for example. And in my adulthood I became aware that there were groups of people who took witchcraft and devil worship very seriously.
That’s not to say that the innocent joy many children find in Halloween is wrong. But recently, when I was praying with the Lord’s Prayer and got to the line “Hallowed be thy name” (Matthew 6:9), I suddenly realized I had never before made the connection between the words “hallowed” and “Halloween” (which literally means “hallowed evening”). To be hallowed is to be holy, and in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, gives a spiritual interpretation of “Hallowed be Thy name” as “Adorable One” (p. 16).
So I decided that, for me, Halloween could simply be a prompt or reminder to honor God and only God, to acknowledge and affirm His holiness and allness, and to reject the claim of the existence of any darkness that opposes God, good. Here’s the gist of my thoughts as they unfolded to me the day I decided to do this:
“Hallowed be Thy name.” Wholeness is Your nature, dear Father-Mother God. Wholeness means whole, complete, entire, without any parts or pieces left out, so no opposite to good can exist in Your infinite allness. The oneness, wholeness, and allness of infinite Love don’t leave us cursed or cursing, victimizers or victims, haves or have-nots. As the Bible says, “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (I John 1:5).
The wholeness of light means that there are no dark and hidden places for evil plots, malicious purposes, or inevitable death. There is simply no life outside of the divine Life that is enfolding us all in one glorious, endless day.
Praying along these lines has helped me more clearly see that every day, including the day on which Halloween happens to fall, is actually God’s day. God’s day is constituted of spiritual light that dispels material darkness. It is full of goodness, safety, fearlessness. No one can be left out of the harmony of God’s day on any day, because, as the Bible says, “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalms 118:24). This day, in this holy consciousness, we can find healing and practical solutions to any problem that would mask God’s healing and redeeming power.
We can all offer our own simple prayer that honors God. And on Halloween – as on every day – this means refusing to curse anything or anyone, while acknowledging everyone and everything as held in the one truly hallowed sanctuary of God’s being.