A Saint for Halloween?
As a general rule, the Orthodox Church does not condone participation in the celebration of Halloween.
“From an Orthodox Christian point of view, participation in these practices at any level is impossible and idolatrous, a genuine betrayal of our God and our holy Faith. For if we participate in the ritual activity of imitating the dead by dressing up in their attire or by wandering about in the dark, or by begging with them, then we have willfully sought fellowship with the dead, whose lord is not Samhain, as the Celts believed, but Satan, the Evil One who stands against God. Further, if we submit to the dialogue of “trick or treat,” we make our offering not to innocent children, but rather to Samhain, the lord of Death whom they have come to serve as imitators of the dead, wandering in the dark of night.” (From Orthodox Life, Vol. 43, No. 5, Sept.-Oct. 1993.)
As a convert to Orthodoxy, thinking about Halloween in this way is new for me.
Where I work, we’re encouraged to wear a costume for Halloween. I like dressing up, so last year I went with it and dressed as St. Euphrosynus the Cook of Alexandria, with an apron and a large garlic bulb hat since, well, he was a cook and all …
This year I was planning to dress up again and I thought this time I’d costume myself as a woman saint. St. Xeni seemed like a good choice.
But now I’m reconsidering … maybe it’s time to leave the dressing up to others and go to work as an Orthodox Christian on Halloween?