Bulletin Insert – October 28, 2018

All Hallows' Eve

October 31, the night before All Saints’ Day, is All Hallows’ Eve, or as it is more commonly known, Halloween. Although All Saints’ Day is one of the major holy days on the church’s liturgical calendar, All Hallows’ Eve is not as widely celebrated in the Church as it is in secular culture.

However, for Episcopalians seeking a Halloween liturgy, The Book of Occasional Services (Church Publishing, 2004) does offer a service for All Hallows’ Eve (pp. 108-110).

It begins with a rite taken from the Service of Light in the Book of Common Prayer (p. 109), using the Prayer for Light appointed for the Festivals of Saints: “Lord Christ, your saints have been the lights of the world in every generation: Grant that we who follow in their footsteps may be made worthy to enter with them into that heavenly country where you live and reign for ever and ever. Amen” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 111).

Suggested scriptural readings for All Hallows’ Eve include: “The Witch of Endor,” 1 Samuel 28:3-25; “The Vision of Eliphaz the Temanite,” Job 4:12-21; “The Valley of Dry Bones,” Ezekiel 37:1-14; and “The War in Heaven,” Revelation 12:(1-6)7-12.

Prayers offered during the service include:

Almighty and everliving God, you have made all things in your wisdom and established the boundaries of life and death: Grant that we may obey your voice in this world, and in the world to come may enjoy that rest and peace which you have appointed for your people; through Jesus Christ who is Resurrection and Life, and who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen (Book of Occasional Services, p. 108).

O God, you have called your people to your service from age to age. Do not give us over to death, but raise us up to serve you, to praise you, and to glorify your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (Book of Occasional Services, p. 109).

It is also recommended that “suitable festivities and entertainments may take place before or after this service, and a visit may be made to a cemetery or burial place” (Book of Occasional Services, p. 108).

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