Saturday, October 31, 2009

Endless Festival and Joy

When on the feasts commemorating the saints we all take a holiday from our trades and businesses, we should occupy our minds with the question of how we can distance ourselves from the sins and defilements into which each of us has fallen, and become free of them. On the other hand, if we amuse ourselves to the detriment of our souls, pay not attention and get drunk, how can we claim to be celebrating the saints, since we have made the day impure? I beg you, brethren, let us not keep the feasts like that, but let us, like the saints, present our bodies and souls as a pleasing offering to God on these days of celebration, that by the prayers of the saints we may come to share in that endless festival and joy.

St. Gregory Palamas, Homily 25: On All Saints. [The Homilies, Veniamin, tr. Mount Thabor Publishing (2009), p. 205.] A useful reminder that the chief question on Halloween has nothing to do with candy or costume, or any other elements of our immediate festival, but with how we may take our place among the Hallows who are celebrated tomorrow, and rejoice with the saints in a festival time cannot end.

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