Catholics should not participate in these sides of Halloween. Now, I am not saying that we should reject Halloween all-together, rather I am suggesting that we need to start to think about it now in order to plan on how we might redeem the good in it.
But, first, let us look at the bad, by way of introducing a few costumes.
I remember dressing up as a kid as a robot, superman, cowboy, etc. I also remember some ghosts, princesses, etc. But, I certainly don't remember the tawdry outfits that we have today.
WOMEN STAND UP FOR YOURSELVES. Who do you think designs all these "sexy" and "adult" costumes? It certainly isn't your neighborhood feminist, religious sister, or anyone else who respects women. It is someone who wants to use your beauty to incite lust in others. This not only is scandalous and sinful, but it is just downright nefarious.
MEN AREN'T OFF THE HOOK EITHER. You don't need to wear anything offensive or sexy either. The most offensive costumes I have seen were for men. Men do not need to parade themselves as objects of sex or evil either.
Think of it this way - what being would want men and women displaying themselves for others in bars, streets, and parties?
Hint - it ain't anybody in Heaven...
As you can probably tell, this really upsets me, because it is filtering into our kids lives and culture. Even small children's costumes have been sexualized (but as a father of four girls, you won't find any of them dressing up like tiny strippers, which they DO have).
So, what is a Catholic to do? There are some who say that Catholics should not partake in anything that has to do with Halloween, because of it's association with evil, the devil, and the occult. While we certainly shouldn't have anything to do with those things, we need not throw the baby out with the bathwater. There are some good things about Halloween as expressed in these Catholic articles, which can be redeemed:
- How Halloween Can Be Redeemed
- Surprise: Halloween's Not a Pagan Festival After All
- Can Catholics celebrate Halloween?
- Wear an modest and appropriate costume if you dress up. Nothing "sexy" and nothing having to do with the occult. Make it fun or creative.
- Learn the truth behind Halloween and share it with others.
- Don't forget to celebrate All Souls and All Saints with even more gusto.
- Be temperate at any celebration you attend.
- If you have kids, teach them about the Catholic roots of the days surrounding Halloween, dress them appropriately as well, keep them safe, and don't expose them to the occult practices that surround Halloween.
- Avoid the grotesque, terror, and horror of Halloween.
- Pray for the souls in Purgatory and with the Saints in Heaven.
- Don't let kids trick-or-treat without adults, late, or in unknown/dangerous places.
- Don't watch horror movies or dabble in "games" that have occult origins, such as Tarot cards or the Ouija board.
- Have fun, be creative and don't let the culture define your Halloween.