31 October 2016

Celebrating Hallowtide

Happy Hallowe'en, y'all! Since this week is full up with holidays and holy days, Little Bear and I are taking a break from our regular religion curriculum to talk about Hallowtide, Halloween, saints, purgatory, et al. And I wanted to hear what kind of traditions or plans you have, too; I'm kind of throwing things together haphazardly here, since this cold has made it hard for me to get ahead on planning things out, so more ideas would be welcome!

Today we looked at the calendar to see that All Saints, or All Hallows', is tomorrow, and then talked about how when we start celebrating something the evening beforehand we call it the "eve." So one thing we can remember on this eve of All Saints is that God has conquered death, and that as we celebrate the saints tomorrow and pray for the souls in purgatory the next day, we are glad and grateful that Jesus made it so that we can one day be with Him in heaven. So some people might have scary decorations or costumes, but they remind us that with God, there's nothing we have to be afraid of.

But mostly, Halloween is an American holiday about having fun, carving pumpkins, and going trick-or-treating, and we talked about that too. Matt and Little Bear had fun carving a pumpkin yesterday, and tonight for supper we had stuffed "jack-o-peppers," because clearly keeping up with life was too easy and I needed an extra challenge today? I don't know. Little Bear was excited about them, though, and they turned out better than I expected.

I bundled Little Bear into his superhero costume (over top of his coat, because that's how costumes work here) and we went trick-or-treating at four houses in our neighborhood before the car decided that it didn't like the key and wouldn't let me turn it on, and Matt had to come over with the spare key and save us. So then we went home.

Turns out that if the steering wheel is turned too sharply when you take the key out, it can "lock" and not let you turn the car back on. At least there's nothing wrong with our car!

All Saints Day is a holy day of obligation; we're still trying to figure out how we are going to make it to Mass, because all of the parishes in town have their Masses at the same times which is horribly inconvenient if those few times don't work for you. I'm sure we'll work something out, though. Little Bear and Kit are both excited about wearing Saint costumes tomorrow; okay, Kit is just excited about the pretty red princess-y dress (Bl Gisella, first queen of Hungary), but Little Bear was very sure he wanted to be St Juan Diego again this year. We didn't make it to the cathedral's All Saints party yesterday since the kids were sick, but Little Bear figured we could just have our own party on All Saints Day instead. So I guess I'm looking up a few simple games tonight!

I have a nice dinner planned for the feast day—ham, butternut squash, and roasted Brussels sprouts with a honey-balsamic glaze—and we'll be celebrating our own little saint in a special way throughout the day.

For All Souls' Day, Masses are even harder to find than on All Saints, but we'll try to at least visit a cemetery and say a rosary as a family. From inside the car, because it'll be in the 20s out and we can be pious and practical at the same time, especially when the kids are sick. The religion lesson for the day will involve talking about purgatory and November being the month specially set aside for praying for the dead; I'm planning to have Little Bear help me write the names of our relatives who have died on slips of paper to put in our prayer corner, so that we can pray for them all month. And the kids will help me bake doughnuts, because soul cakes

Thursday, November 3, is the feast day of St Hubert; as the patron saint of hunters, St Hubert is a pretty big deal around here! We'll read the story of St Hubert and the white stag, and talk about how we pray for Saint Hubert's intercession when Dad is out hunting, and what "intercession" means. If the kids are healthy enough by then, we'll go for a quick tromp in the woods, looking for birds and animals. And there might be one last package of moose steak hanging out in the freezer from last season; I think that'd make a fitting supper.

Friday... We try to go to Mass on First Fridays, but that'll depend on how the kids are doing. Friday Mass is right in the middle of Kit's nap time, and I am not going to mess with nap time unless she's much better than she is right now. I think we will wrap up the week's lessons by learning and discussing the Requiem aeternum, Eternal rest grant into them, O Lord... and probably reiterate Wednesday's discussion of praying for the dead in November. Little Bear seems to have gotten my love for the liturgical year—he appreciates explanations of "we're doing X today because today is Y/a part of Y season"—so I think he will respond well to the idea of there being a particular thing we do because it's November.

So that's my master plan! And now that it's all written out, I'm probably going to get hit with the full brunt of the kids' cold and our actual week won't be nearly as organized, because that's how life works. :-) We'll see how it goes.

What are your traditions for Hallowtide? Is anyone else celebrating St Hubert in a special way on Thursday? I'd love to hear your plans.

No comments:

Post a Comment