Hallow: What Does It Mean? And How Does It Relate To Halloween?

There are many variations of this word: Hallow, hallowed, hallows, or even hallowing. But what does hallowed mean, exactly? And how did this word get all tied up into Halloween? 

When something is described at “hallowed”, it means holy, sacred, consecrated, or greatly honored. In the Bible, remember when Moses is walking on “hallowed ground” and he needed to take off his sandals? Because it was Holy. Also, the word hallowed is in the “Our Father” prayer, also known as “The Lord’s Prayer”. In fact, there are a lot of references to the word hallow in the Bible.

“Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name”

So we are saying that God’s name is very holy and sacred.

Now… what does Halloween have to do with Hallow? And Do Catholics celebrate Halloween?

Most Catholics and our Protestant brothers and sisters in Christ who think Halloween is evil are well meaning, but they may not fully understand what this day is actually about, and I’m going to clear that up for you.

In the Catholic faith, the feast of All Saints is celebrated on November 1, and the feast of All Souls is celebrated on November 2. The word “Saint” means those who are in heaven with God, so they are holy people. The day before a day is called the “eve” (such as Christmas Eve being the day before Christmas) So the day before the day that celebrates all the Saints, or the holy or hallowed people, is All Hallow’s Eve, which got mushed together into “Halloween”.

Are there people using Halloween for evil? I’m sure that there are, just as there are people using pretty much any and every day for evil. Almost anything can be used for good or for evil. Satan himself quoted the Bible to Jesus when we was trying to temp him in the desert. That doesn’t mean that quoting the Bible is evil, but just an example of how anything can be used for bad.

The Catholic Church is actually known for placing important feast days intentionally on top of pagan days and festivals. Why? To steal their thunder in the name of Jesus. And you know what? It works.

So don’t let the people in Louisiana with the beads take Mardi Gras from you! And don’t let the beer drinking leprechauns take St. Patrick’s day from you! And don’t let them take your All Saints’ Day either.

So please don’t surrender our rich Catholic traditions and feast days to people that are using them for evil. We have to keep on keeping on.

Don’t forget the St. Francis quote “All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle”.

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Also, you should totally check out my All Saints’ Day food labels! This is the perfect All Saints’ Day party printable as it turns everyday kid snacks into symbols of the Saints, making celebrating a breeze for mom!

Check out my All Saints’ Day Resource Page here.

Comments

  1. Isabel Borrero-Gonzalez says

    Wow! That is the simplest yet educational description of “All Hallows Eve” that I’ve ever heard or read. Thank you so much!!

  2. Excellent explanation of Halloween by Mother Angelica on EWTN:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeMvfwQTDzg

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