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A spiritual comment and prayer to begin the day with Richard Hill.

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Thu 31 Oct 2013 05:43

Prayer for the Day 5 Richard Hill 31st October

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Halloween just isn’t the same- that I’m even thinking this way is clearly a sign of my age! But I think I can argue that it has undergone what I might describe as American pumkinisation. All this “trick or treating” as seen in a whole host of American movies and cartoons. It probably got exported to America with the Irish migration, but they have made it larger and now we have imported it back.

Halloween rhyming in my part of Ireland has given way to a malevolent experience which is more trick than treat.

When I was growing up we hollowed out turnips put in candles and made lanterns. Dressing up and repeating rhymes door to door in the hope of a few shillings was forbidden by my parents but we managed to do it anyhow. Eating tooth tugging to toffee apples and ducking for apples in the kitchen also formed part of the cultural encounter. All this with a faint whiff of burning turnip in the background.

My children laughed when I told them of my Halloweens. Theirs is the pumpkinised version.

The commercialisation of Halloween has largely obscured the Christian festival of all hallows eve which in turn may have derived from the  older Celtic pagan festivals on the same date.

The spiritual has now largely become the commercial.

Might we pause for a moment today and reinvent it back to the idea of remembering the faithful departed or simply recalling fondly our absent friends.

Lord we thank you for our absent friends gone from our presence but still dear to our hearts.

As we remember, help us also to look forward in hope of future reunion in Christ. Amen