While faithful Catholics in the Diocese of Orange, California, can get in a lot of trouble for kneeling to receive Communion or wanting to show greater reverence for the Eucharist, Gerald notices that holding a Halloween Mass and encouraging everyone to come in costume is just fine. From the church bulletin of Corpus Christi “Catholic-Christian community” in Aliso Viejo:
In anticipation of All Hallows Eve parishioners are invited to come to Mass in costume (yep…that means adults AND kids). In addition, families/individuals are invited to carve a family Fred- O’Lantern (related to Jack but a lot more fun) for placement around the altar. Special treats (and very few tricks) will be available to the young and young at heart at all the Masses. In addition, let the wondering and guessing begin as to who or what FKB (Fred K. Bailey, the pastor) will become at the end of Mass; final clue: I love you, you love me. While some church communities scare their members with silly talk of Halloween being devil worship and other such nonsense, we Catholic-Christians understand that All Hallows Eve is the EVE of All Saint’s Day, an autumn celebration that honors our spiritual heritage.
And what, pray tell, does dressing up as Barney the Dinosaur and pumpkin carving and other trappings of the secular event have to do with All Saints’ Day? If you want to have a Halloween party in the parish hall after Mass, I have no problem with that. But the Eucharist is a solemn celebration of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.
I wonder if “FKB” would show up for jury duty in his Barney costume. I doubt it. Yet if he would show such honor and respect to a secular institution, how much more honor and respect should we show to our Lord and Savior?