An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
Check out this story I have often heard Orthodox on e-lists debate the issue of celebrating Halloween and have been generally left with a very staunch position of indecision.
I had no idea that in some areas having Halloween fall on a Sunday was a real issue, although in my evangelical days we didn't really celebrate it at all. Some of the quotes from people in the article really left me biting my tongue and since I am in a particularly cynical mood I'll let them have it here.
"It's a day for the good Lord, not for the devil..."
"You just don't do it on Sunday...That's Christ's day. You go to church on Sunday, you don't go out and celebrate the devil. That'll confuse a child."
Well that's all you get Lord...one day. We'll celebrate the devil on other days. Though I appreciate and applaud the keeping of the venerable Sunday tradition...even if perhaps some wouldn't like to call it a tradition...I am sure these folks might like to expound upon these quotes in hindsight (I hope.)
"Moving it [Halloween], that's like celebrating Christmas a week early"
I don't understand why Samhain gets such a big play among Orthodox. It's a secular holiday. Yes, so is Thanksgiving.
But this is a secular holiday based on something the Orthodox don't share with the rest of the culture: it's a weatern religious idea, and now a defeated one at that. The Roman church tried to baptize a pagan feast and failed.
This is a time when I confess I'm glad I don't have kids - nor do I have any children who look to me for guidance. Even my Godson is out of the loop - although when he get's older I've got some stories to share.
Having been a pagan for ten years, and having seen how close to pagan the modern holiday is... I mean one can still imagine a Christmas Tree and present having something to do with the Holy Day. But you can't get from candy and dressing like a prostitute (or a cowboy) to All Saints. And again, it's not even our (Orthodox) holiday.
Last year it was, at least, the Eve of the Feast of St Raphael. We had the kids into the church for an overnight. And we had a reason to celebrate. This year I shall be in a monastery - and an OC monastery at that! (My priest also writes letters for children to take to school asking to be excused from Samhain-related events.
The "celebration" of Halloween by people who consider themselves Christians is one of those things that makes me want to bang my head against the wall. Of course like nearly every holiday it has just become a way to fill the coffers of candy and costume companies, along with keeping the pumpkin farmers afloat!