A bit of history:
The ancient population of the islands of Britain, Ireland and parts of modern France celebrated their main feast – Samhain, the end of the old and the beginning of the new year, on October 31. The revelry night of Samhain was one of the worst in the year: it was believed that on this night the veil separating people and the sídhe (magical creatures hostile to people) becomes very thin, so that people and the sídhe can penetrate each other’s worlds. After the Christianization of the islands of Britain and Ireland, the remembrance of Samhain still remained among next generations.
Since 835, at the direction of Pope Gregory IV, the Western Church began to celebrate All Saints’ Day on November 1. The day before – October 31 – was called in medieval English “All Haltows Eve” or “Halloween”. The coincidence of dates led to the fact that this feast and Samhain were partially equated in the public consciousness, which is why Halloween changed its color to Samhain and was celebrated violently. For Orthodox Christians, participation in this madness is blasphemy, because on the saints’ commemoration day “Christians” put on the costumes of demons and their servants. It is also an insult to their own Church, because the Orthodox Church celebrates All Saints’ Day not on November 1, but on Sunday following Pentecost (early summer).
Skulls, worms, and bats hang on blood-drenched walls, decorations of black cats and monsters with sparkling eyes are on the ceiling, huge transparent ghosts are on the windows, a skeleton is in the middle of the room, a severed doll’s head and an ax, red from blood, are on the table. This is not the “temple” of the satanists, this is one of the Russian city’s schools have been celebrating Halloween for several years now. All pupils dressed in costumes of various evil spirits, after telling stories of their death or dishonest acts, scream terrible curses, run around the school and “pitch out” the evil spirits, while they themselves “turn into saints”.
Many children have no idea about the meaning and origins of the “Halloween”, they say something they have learned by heart: “The feast was arranged for us to get acquainted with the traditions of other nations”. Even the teacher of the English language could not sufficiently explain it: “We were cultivating love to English language in our children. The feast is very ancient. It was introduced by the Celts and Druids. Irish immigrants brought it to England and America. This is a feast of the seasonal change – fall turns to winter. The ancients put on witch and ghoul costumes to scare real evil forces away from their homes. They put food and some small gifts for them… Well, they did such a show to appease or scare them away. It isn’t a big deal… The lord of darkness gathered the souls of the dead for the current year. In the new year – at the beginning of winter – the reign of the princess of darkness came … “
In man there are psychological moral barriers between the soul and sin, which the soul does not dare to overstep. During such games these barriers are destroyed and the soul becomes related to sin. Here is what psychologist Tatyana Goncharenko says about such feasts: “In the case of such spectacular, emotional shows, vivid pictures are deeply imprinted in the child’s subconscious, and the phantoms of such monsters live in his psyche. For sensitive, impressionable, suspicious children, this can turn into persistent fears of darkness, loneliness, neurosis, nightmares. And it doesn’t even occur to parents that such a feast could cause their child’s problems.
Perceiving emotionally such “feasts” or horror films, a person always puts himself in the place of the characters and, depending on his spiritual accumulations, lives the action in either a positive or a negative role, which is imprinted in him. In such “feasts”, they almost don’t give a positive image to children. Even those who are internally ready to reach for it. Children with excessively developed emotionality are not capable of moral life: tough fleshliness suppresses higher, spiritual needs of the soul.
And what does the Church say with its many thousands of years of experience in an upbringing of a person? The Holy Fathers call immodest and indiscreet behavior, words, and even glance daring. Saint Agathon, who was distinguished by great wisdom, was asked about daring, and he replied: “There is no more fierce passion than daring: it is the mother of all passions”. St. Dorotheus, commenting on these words, says: “It is their mother, because it casts out the fear of God from the soul. If everyone may depart from evil by the fear of the Lord, then surely there is evil where there is no fear of God”. The philosopher Livany, the mentor of the Antioch school, asked St. Basil the Great to give a lecture to young students. The saint, after telling them to keep their body and soul pure, taught them detailed rules of external behavior: a modest gait, not loud conversation, decency in conversation, modesty while eating, respect for elders, attention to the wise, removal from those infected with passions, prudence and slowness in words, slowness on laughter, modesty, etc. Wise Basil, in teaching the rules of external behavior, knew that piety would be communicated from body to soul, and the improvement of the body would soon lead to the improvement of the soul. And, on the contrary, unrestricted, careless behavior leads to the corruption of the soul.
What answer will we give before God? St. John Chrysostom says that those parents and educators who do not cultivate the fear of God in children will get worse punishment at the Last Judgment than a murderer, because bandits kill the body of people, and corruptors kill their souls for eternal life. “Woe to that man by whom the offence cometh” (Matthew 18:7). “It is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea” (Mark 9:42).
Pochaev Monastery’s rag
Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds