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Halloween - H.G. Bishop Youssef
  • My Dear Brethren,

    The peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

    As October 31st draws near, I want to make all uninformed Christians in our Diocese aware of certain traditions celebrated in the United States on this day. The "Halloween" celebration pays tribute to Satan. Every act revolving around Halloween is in honor of false gods. False gods are spirits in the Satanic realm.

    "We only do this for fun", some say. "We do not actually practice witchcraft", others repeat. I often wonder how one justifies the celebration of Halloween, the day Satanists have set aside as their "holy day". I am told that children "dress up" as witches, goblins, ghosts and little devils. Let me think about this for a moment, a small child dressed to resemble Satan's darkness. Also, I am told of games played at Halloween festivals that promote fear in children as they are ushered through horror houses and rooms decorated with skeletons, black cats, and bats. Does this representation of death and darkness seem like fun? Certainly not to me, I am told that pumpkins designed with faces are "cute ways" to denote the present day meaning of Halloweenthe literature purports that pumpkin faces are symbolic of skulls. Also around Halloween I am told of theatre movies which celebrate the cult of death...Somehow I still have not found fun within all of this...Have you? Have your children? To me, this sounds more like fixation with death and mental illness to me...

    Many attempt to compromise on the celebrating of Halloween. Many think the meaning behind Halloween has become obscure today. The fact of the matter is, the actual methodology of witchcraft survives until today. When our children are taught it is "alright" to celebrate heathen practices such as "Halloween" it does not give them the repulsion and resistance they need to stand against greater Satanic involvement. When celebrations such as these are taken lightly, it sets a precedence for our children to accept evil rather than resist it.

    Many have asked me, "What is the harm?" My answer to this question is that occultism can be seen as a threatening storm brewing on the religious horizon gredually becoming very strong. More specifically, let's contemplate a moment on the origin of "Halloween," begun as a day to give tribute and praise to the dark forces of Satan. "Halloween" is derived from the word "Samhain (Sa-ween)." Samhain, the lord of the dead, called together all the wicked souls who had died within the past year and were destined to inhabit animals. The celebration of the dead honored the god of the dead on this particular night, October 31st. Bonfires were lit high on mountaintops so the spirits of the dead could find their way. Suitable food and shelter were provided for these evil spirits or they would inflict havoc, cast spells, steal infants, destroy crops, kill farm animals, and instill terror as they haunted the living. This is where "trick or treat" is derived. To worship evil spirits and false gods is against scripture.

    If one knows the Lord Jesus Christ before death, their spirit will be with the Lord. St Paul tells us that to be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord Christ. If one is an unbeliever at death, the scripture says there is no second chance as "it is appointed unto man once to die and after that judgment". Therefore, prayer for the satanic is in opposition to God's Word and a pagan practice cannot become "Christianized." We must make a decision to be for or against Christ. Our Christian practices must display our beliefs and be an example to the others.

    Furthermore, Ephesians 5:6-12 states, "Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret."

    It is at this point I want the reader to stop and think about October 31st. Do we find "All Saints Day" in the Coptic Synaxarium? My Synaxarium does not contain this celebration. Please let me know if yours does. I would certainly like to read this. I was under the impression we celebrated Coptic Saints throughout the ENTIRE year, not on one particular day. While you were searching in your Coptic Synaxarium did you happen to notice two very important feasts, which occur on October 31st, and another the following day? Did you know that the Commemoration of St Mary and the Feast of Anba Roewis occur on October 31st? I am quite sure these feasts were more familiar to you as Copts than the pagan celebration of "Halloween". Am I correct? The following day is the Feast Day of the Great Evangelist St Luke. I am quite sure you also knew this. Am I again correct?

    I do not believe it is in Christian fellowship to celebrate Halloween. I do NOT encourage our children to dress in costumes. Costumes on this night are symbolic of celebrating Halloween. The same holds true for the acceptance of candy. Please think about the following pointsWhy do we not greet one another during the Holy Passion Week from Wednesday until Saturday morning? It is because we do not want to do anything symbolic of Judas kiss. Another thought to coincide with this thought is, on Holy Thursday we must complete the Divine Liturgy, according to Church Canons, before sunset. There is a reason for this. The Coptic Church does not want to have fellowship with the Jews eating during the Passover. Therefore, any day not set aside for Halloween; any day in which these practices are not symbolic of Satanic practices is alright for eating candy and wearing appropriate costumes. There exists 364 days in which one can eat candy and wear costumes. Only one day in which one cannot.

    Attend Church, the Vespers, and the Exaltation of the Saints on October 31st. Create plays and skits for the great saints St. Mary, St. Roewis, and St. Luke. The Mother of God, the poor layman who sold salt, and the Gospel writer's life can teach us so much! Reflect upon their lives. Spiritually meet together, and then enjoy the social atmosphere of Christian fellowship, Saints' plays and Agape meal. Let's all give thanks to God for a true Christian reason to celebrate this day!

    I want to close with one final thought. Using witchcraft to foretell the future was against God's Law and caused King Saul of Israel to lose his life. I Samuel 28:7-8 says, "Then Saul said to his servants, 'Find me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.' And his servants said to him, 'In fact, there is a woman who is a medium at En Dor.' So Saul disguised himself and put on other clothes, and he went, and two men with him; and they came to the woman by night. And he said, 'Please conduct a sance for me, and bring up for me the one I shall name to you'." (It should be noted that familiar spirits are nothing more than demons). Has anyone ever told you about the psychic phone lines and readings offered on television? I have been told of these things and am appalled that anyone would use these whether in jest or seriously. Foretelling the future by psychics is clearly addressed here. Read further to discover what happened to King Saul and his involvement with "familiar spirits".

    The Lord Pronounced His sever punishment upon Saul that very night; "And the LORD has done for Himself as He spoke by me. For the LORD has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, David. Because you did not obey the voice of the LORD nor execute His fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore the LORD has done this thing to you this day" (I Samuel 28:17-18).

    The Bible clearly warns us to flee from the occult practices. It delineates the consequences making it forbidden to mankind. I did not find one reference to "only doing this for fun." How can one derive "fun" from celebrating darkness and honoring the "lord of the dead"?

    Satan worship is prevalent today in middle schools and high schools. We address this issue frequently in our youth meetings. Literature searches have revealed that at least 100 million Americans practice some form of the occult. We know that using witchcraft to foretell the future was a crime that cost King Saul his life. What will the price we will have to pay "for just having fun" be?

    Let us pray that God will grant us wisdom to abstain from this dark celebration, and in all things bring honor to His Holy Name.

    Bishop Youssef
    Bishop, Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States



    Link: http://www.suscopts.org/resources/literature/242/halloween/
  • God bless the person who posted this, and God bless the person who wrote this!!
    At last!
  • Clear and to the point.  I love it.

    Thanks for sharing Minagir.  You are a good man.
  • I would just like to add one small point.

    Halloween in fact started out as a Christian celebration of All Saints - a day to celebrate the lives of the saints that were known and unknown. It was a day, in most Catholic Countries, where people would remember their dead and visit their graveyards. In fact, in most Catholic Countries, it is a national holiday (all saints day)

    Christian denominations celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints' Day and the Feast of All Souls' Day because of the fundamental belief that there is a prayerful spiritual communion between those in the state of grace who have died and are either being purified in purgatory or are in heaven (the 'church penitent' and the 'church triumphant', respectively), and the 'church militant' who are the living. Those who have died and are with God watch over those still living, and the saints are held to intercede with God on behalf of the living. On their part, the living pray to the saints and remember in intercessory prayers to God all who have died, particularly their deceased relatives and friends.

    I can confirm to you, officially, that the Catholic Church is dead against such behaviours of dressing up as little devils, or in some way glorifying death!! The words by Bishop Youssef are SPOT ON!

    Like the story of Santa Claus, everything Holy has been corrupted and commercialised, and the true Christian meaning has lost its value. Cultural tradition has taken precedence over Spiritual Tradition (WHICH IS A SIN!). Man's tradition have replaced and devalued God's commandments.



  • Zoxsasi,

    I was waiting for you to throw in the Santa Claus.  I knew it was coming.  You have become to predictable.
  • [quote author=ilovesaintmark link=topic=9878.msg121009#msg121009 date=1287508638]
    Zoxsasi,

    I was waiting for you to throw in the Santa Claus.  I knew it was coming.  You have become to predictable.
    [/quote]

    Easy Bigboy,

    I really didnt plan on including it.. but it just came to my head.

    Just like Santa Claus, everything that was Holy has been corrupted and used for evil.

    Rather than offer presents at Christmas, it becomes a commercialised selfish, money orientated event. Its more about taking than it is about giving. It hardly involves giving anything to the poor, but teaching children to expect things rather than to give things.

    I'm not sure this is good.

    The same with halloween: rather than a day to commemorate the saints, its changed 180 degrees, and now we are commemorating satan!!!!!

  • Sasi,

    I like busting you.  It puts a smile on my face for the day.  Ha ha ha or should I say:  ho ho ho.
  • [quote author=ilovesaintmark link=topic=9878.msg121013#msg121013 date=1287509722]
    Sasi,

    I like busting you.  It puts a smile on my face for the day.  Ha ha ha or should I say:  ho ho ho.
    [/quote]

    Look, I know some people have a hard time saying sorry, and there are some that have a hard time to give others complements... but all you need to say to me is:

    Zoxsasi - you DA MAN! Your comments rock, and you've proven me wrong about santa!!

    Was it THAT hard ILSM? Huh? Was it?

    I pray that you can find the strength inside you to know how to give me complements and how to praise me.

    Its not easy. It takes a strong man to admit he was wrong. And I feel you've done that.

    Ho ho ho
  • Sasi,

    You're da man.
  • [quote author=ilovesaintmark link=topic=9878.msg121016#msg121016 date=1287513141]
    Sasi,

    You're da man.
    [/quote]

    Amen! Praise da Lord, halleluuia, Kombayaaa me lurd, you are one saved ducky!!!

    Amen.

  • Don't do the Kumbaya.  You know how much I hate that talk.
  • errm...
    back to the thread (!)
    i need to make a small correction:
    all saints day in the catholic and anglican churches is on november 1st.
    the day before that is hallow(old english for saint) evening; shortened to 'hallow-een'.

    the pagans celebrated this festival of the dead before the coming of Christianity to europe, but after Christianity became more popular, the pagans would do their best to disrupt services of the vespers (evening prayer) before all saint's day, and also would try to make big loud parties to attract everyone so less people would go to church that evening.
    the european practices were then carried to usa and other english, french and spanish-speaking countries.

    i agree 100% with bishop youssef, there is NO reason ANY Christian should join in halloween parties.

    if you can, organise a church event instead. it's better to take refuge in the church than to be tempted to join in other religions.
    maybe it's a good idea to use this opportunity for outreach. maybe you could have your friends around for a meal, and even have winter party games like eating an apple without using your hands or anything else that is not linked to any god of the dead. you can also invite friends to a warm fire in the garden or public park (if it is allowed) or make roast chestnuts (popular in the countryside in the uk) and drink hot chocolate.
    there are lots of ways you can avoid celebrating halloween and still take the opportunity to reach out to unbelieving friends. just say, 'sorry, i don't celebrate halloween, would you like to go for a movie instead, and then we can go back to mine and roast some marshmallows'.
    then when your friends ask about halloween, you can tell them about all saints' day and why Christian saints are important. probably it's too confusing to start a discourse on the differences between orthodox and catholic Christians, and certainly you shouldn't try that unless you understand all the facts.

    just my ideas. maybe you could go out with your friends one night and then invite them to an event at church a few days later. may God guide us and make our light shine.
  • correction to my correction!
    this year 31st oct is a sunday so all saints day is 31st.
    (according to catholic website is usually 1st, but depends on which day is a sunday).
  • Zoxsasi:
    Enta really really fadee
  • [quote author=minagir link=topic=9878.msg121029#msg121029 date=1287524959]
    Zoxsasi:
    Enta really really fadee
    [/quote]

    Not really...but I type fast

    But seriously, I really thought your post was good.
  • Minagir,

    I'm not sure if your transliteration "fadee" was "Fady" as in savior or Fa'dee as in deadbeat with nothing better to do.  If you meant the former you are wrong, if you meant the latter you are correct.  If it was the first Zoxsasi took it as a compliment, if the second, hopefully he took it as an insult.
  • [quote author=Zoxsasi link=topic=9878.msg121030#msg121030 date=1287525062]
    [quote author=minagir link=topic=9878.msg121029#msg121029 date=1287524959]
    Zoxsasi:
    Enta really really fadee
    [/quote]

    Not really...but I type fast

    But seriously, I really thought your post was good.
    [/quote]
    hey. it's a great article. i only post things that are worth it......and be-saraha, i don't like ppl messing up the whole post with other responses  ::). the post is about the article....lets leave it that way and keep responses to minimum.


    [quote author=ilovesaintmark link=topic=9878.msg121031#msg121031 date=1287525267]
    Minagir,

    I'm not sure if your transliteration "fadee" was "Fady" as in savior or Fa'dee as in deadbeat with nothing better to do.  If you meant the former you are wrong, if you meant the latter you are correct.  If it was the first Zoxsasi took it as a compliment, if the second, hopefully he took it as an insult.
    [/quote]

    hahaha....he knows well what i am saying.....it's a mind-connection from a long time ago between us.
  • Mina,

    U r right...

    Im sorry for messing this post up.

    Would you believe me if I told you that I was going to create a thread called "Let's ban Halloween", but I felt after the let's "ban santa claus", it would be best to keep a low profile.

    But Im glad u raised it...really am.

    Can you ask the admin to erase every post and leave your post there??
  • [quote author=Zoxsasi link=topic=9878.msg121035#msg121035 date=1287526098]
    Can you ask the admin to erase every post and leave your post there??
    [/quote]
    No. What's done cannot be erased.
  • I agree we should be serious.  I can truly say I never went trick or treating in my life.  My parents would not have it for a list of reasons.  In my adult years I have never gone to a Halloween party.  I also do not pass out candy or treats.
  • wow.....many years of my life wasted.....Oh well guess I'm not gonna have anything to do with Halloween for the rest of my life  ;D
  • [quote author=mabsoota link=topic=9878.msg121025#msg121025 date=1287521182]
    errm...
    back to the thread (!)
    i need to make a small correction:
    all saints day in the catholic and anglican churches is on november 1st.
    the day before that is hallow(old english for saint) evening; shortened to 'hallow-een'.

    the pagans celebrated this festival of the dead before the coming of Christianity to europe, but after Christianity became more popular, the pagans would do their best to disrupt services of the vespers (evening prayer) before all saint's day, and also would try to make big loud parties to attract everyone so less people would go to church that evening.
    the european practices were then carried to usa and other english, french and spanish-speaking countries.

    i agree 100% with bishop youssef, there is NO reason ANY Christian should join in halloween parties.

    if you can, organise a church event instead. it's better to take refuge in the church than to be tempted to join in other religions.
    maybe it's a good idea to use this opportunity for outreach. maybe you could have your friends around for a meal, and even have winter party games like eating an apple without using your hands or anything else that is not linked to any god of the dead. you can also invite friends to a warm fire in the garden or public park (if it is allowed) or make roast chestnuts (popular in the countryside in the uk) and drink hot chocolate.
    there are lots of ways you can avoid celebrating halloween and still take the opportunity to reach out to unbelieving friends. just say, 'sorry, i don't celebrate halloween, would you like to go for a movie instead, and then we can go back to mine and roast some marshmallows'.
    then when your friends ask about halloween, you can tell them about all saints' day and why Christian saints are important. probably it's too confusing to start a discourse on the differences between orthodox and catholic Christians, and certainly you shouldn't try that unless you understand all the facts.

    just my ideas. maybe you could go out with your friends one night and then invite them to an event at church a few days later. may God guide us and make our light shine.
    [/quote]

    Mabsoota is correct. "All Saint's Day" was created by the Spanish and Franciscan priests in order to "Christianize" the holiday that was celebrated by the indigenous native Americans.
  • [quote author=ilovesaintmark link=topic=9878.msg121037#msg121037 date=1287529080]
    I agree we should be serious.  I can truly say I never went trick or treating in my life.  My parents would not have it for a list of reasons.  In my adult years I have never gone to a Halloween party.  I also do not pass out candy or treats.
    [/quote]

    This is the main thing in this thread.

    This is what I am recommending for myself, for you, and for the Church.

    That's why i'm over the moon with Mina's thread: H.G. Bishop Youssef CAN speak on behalf of the Church.

    If I wrote a thread saying the same thing, asking people to not hand out candies etc , nor participate in this, I'd have had a hard time. Whatever H.G. Bishop Youssef has said concerning this issue is rendered useless unless you adhere to it.

    Well done ILSM, I will also not be handing out any candy or anything this year, and I'll simply say :"Its against my religion to celebrate Satan, to glorify him in any way".

  • I was recently thinking of this topic whether to give kids candy on halloween. Thanks to this link I think I should not even give them candy
    Thankfully no one has come to my house on halloween so far
  • All Saints Day was established as a commemoration in Rome in the 8th century.

    It had nothing to do with pagan celebrations.

    What we have seen happen in the US and then be imported to the UK is essentially a modern, commercial corruption of the day. In the past folk would visit family graves etc.

    Of course there are syncretistic elements, not least from South America. And there are modern pagans who latch onto anything in the European past and magnify it. But in England we would never have seen what we see now. Even in the Catholic period people would go from door to door asking for food in return for prayers for the dead. But this practice of going door to door was not associated only with All Hallows Eve, and was also practiced at Christmas when the Wassailers would sing around the village. It was part of the community experience of the Christian faith.

    Halloween should be resisted not least because it is not English. But it should also be resisted because it diminishes the Feast itself. If we lived more simply and did not allow ourselves to be caught up in the commercialism of this age then perhaps we would be more easily able to enter into the spiritual sub-stratum which underpins the English calendar.

    Father Peter
  • OK, so may I take this thread a step further, and I really need you all to participate please...
    What about Christian children in Egypt who share in celebrating Ramadhan, with lanterns, and fireworks.
    To me I really think it is like eating halal meat argument. Let me know your views...
    [coptic]oujai qen `P[C[/coptic]
  • [quote author=ophadece link=topic=9878.msg121061#msg121061 date=1287588415]
    OK, so may I take this thread a step further, and I really need you all to participate please...
    What about Christian children in Egypt who share in celebrating Ramadhan, with lanterns, and fireworks.
    To me I really think it is like eating halal meat argument. Let me know your views...
    [coptic]oujai qen `P[C[/coptic]

    [/quote]

    Im shocked to hear this. I didnt know Christians celebrate Ramadan in Egypt.

    But then, what can you do, muslims in Europe also celebrate Christmas - so, it sort of balances out
  • Well Zoxsasi we're surely not looking for comparisons and equality with muslims in this discussion, are we?
  • [quote author=ophadece link=topic=9878.msg121065#msg121065 date=1287593840]
    Well Zoxsasi we're surely not looking for comparisons and equality with muslims in this discussion, are we?
    [/quote]

    Ophadece,

    My point was simply that Coptic Christians are celebrating in a national feast of the Islamic prophet. If they refused to do so, this would be seen as them not integrating in the country. That would be dangerous.

  • Thanks for the clarification Zoxsasi. Not sure if I'm convinced though.
  • [quote author=ophadece link=topic=9878.msg121069#msg121069 date=1287596306]
    Thanks for the clarification Zoxsasi. Not sure if I'm convinced though.
    [/quote]

    Its a tricky subject you've raised Ophadece... lol

    Its usually me that raises stuff like this expecting to make people think about the reality of their actions, whether they are doing things hapazardly without thinking.

    I think wishing muslims a Happy Ramadan or "Eid Mubarak" isn't so bad? Is it?

    However, Celebrating it IS a bit weired (as a coptic christian)... you're basically celebrating and rejoicing in the event that has been persecuting the Holy Apostolic Church since the last 1400 years.

    I agree with you actually, we do things, like halloween, without thinking, and going around celebrating Ramadan is just plain stupid.

  • [/quote]

    Im shocked to hear this. I didnt know Christians celebrate Ramadan in Egypt.

    But then, what can you do, muslims in Europe also celebrate Christmas - so, it sort of balances out
    [/quote]


    Well Muslims believe in the Birth of Jesus (Christmas) on the other hand we as Christians done believe in the revelations to Muhammad (Ramadan)
  • [quote author=Pharaoh714 link=topic=9878.msg121082#msg121082 date=1287612294]

    [/quote]

    Im shocked to hear this. I didnt know Christians celebrate Ramadan in Egypt.

    But then, what can you do, muslims in Europe also celebrate Christmas - so, it sort of balances out
    [/quote]


    Well Muslims believe in the Birth of Jesus (Christmas) on the other hand we as Christians done believe in the revelations to Muhammad (Ramadan)
    [/quote]


    Well, I didnt know that they actually buy firecrackers and join in.. i just thought they (the copts) go around wishing their muslim neighbours and friends a happy eid.

    So, if we don't believe in the revelations in Muhammad, why do we celebrate them? The answer: because of fear to offend - perhaps to show that we are "open minded".

    Its a good question though


Memorial for HH Pope Shenouda

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