Reformation Day as Halloween

I think it’s wonderful that Reformation Day is now the most popular holiday after Christmas.  We scare ourselves as a reminder of death and damnation.   Children go around receiving unmerited candy, which symbolize the gift and the sweetness of salvation.   We wear masks to symbolize the doctrine of vocation. We carve pumpkins. . . .uh, I don’t know why we do that.   Someone help me in my crusade to co-opt Halloween for Reformation Day.

 

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://www.examiner.com/x-27802-Televangelism--Pop-Christianity-Examiner Bob Hunter

    We carve pumpkins to symbolize the dent we made in the Roman Catholic doctrine of salvation by works.

  • http://www.examiner.com/x-27802-Televangelism--Pop-Christianity-Examiner Bob Hunter

    We carve pumpkins to symbolize the dent we made in the Roman Catholic doctrine of salvation by works.

  • fws

    we carve pumpkins with happy faces because God loves his whole creation and he satisfies the desires of every living thing… and because we have candle stubs from church left over with nothing better to use them for.

  • fws

    we carve pumpkins with happy faces because God loves his whole creation and he satisfies the desires of every living thing… and because we have candle stubs from church left over with nothing better to use them for.

  • James Sarver

    We have a hard enough time co-opting Christmas for….. well, Christmas.

    As for Reformation Day, I have trouble working up very much jubilation over what my former pastor referred to as “The Commemoration of the Sundering of the Western Church”. We should probably be a bit circumspect about passing from a single, well organized heterodoxy into a proliferation of heterodoxies with a few Lutherans thrown in for good measure.

  • James Sarver

    We have a hard enough time co-opting Christmas for….. well, Christmas.

    As for Reformation Day, I have trouble working up very much jubilation over what my former pastor referred to as “The Commemoration of the Sundering of the Western Church”. We should probably be a bit circumspect about passing from a single, well organized heterodoxy into a proliferation of heterodoxies with a few Lutherans thrown in for good measure.

  • WebMonk

    I’d rather not try to co-opt Halloween. It would get turned into a cheesy, “Christianized” version of itself and people would try to keep people from dressing up as witches or ghosts and instead make sure kids only dress up as princesses, animals, or Bible characters.

    To avoid the worldly connotation of the word, it would wind up being renamed. Since most Christians aren’t worried about “Reformation Day”, parties or other celebrations would most likely be called something like “harvest parties”.

    I’d even be willing to bet that churches would set up their own little gatherings so that their kids don’t need to go anywhere that they might see the non-Christian version of Halloween. Probably gathering at churches and passing out candy from the trunks of their vehicles. They might even call it a “Trunk or Treat” so some such kitschy title.

    No, better to celebrate Halloween as Halloween if one wants to do so, while celebrating Reformation Day or All Saints Day as what they are.

  • WebMonk

    I’d rather not try to co-opt Halloween. It would get turned into a cheesy, “Christianized” version of itself and people would try to keep people from dressing up as witches or ghosts and instead make sure kids only dress up as princesses, animals, or Bible characters.

    To avoid the worldly connotation of the word, it would wind up being renamed. Since most Christians aren’t worried about “Reformation Day”, parties or other celebrations would most likely be called something like “harvest parties”.

    I’d even be willing to bet that churches would set up their own little gatherings so that their kids don’t need to go anywhere that they might see the non-Christian version of Halloween. Probably gathering at churches and passing out candy from the trunks of their vehicles. They might even call it a “Trunk or Treat” so some such kitschy title.

    No, better to celebrate Halloween as Halloween if one wants to do so, while celebrating Reformation Day or All Saints Day as what they are.

  • Sean McCoy

    That’s easy. Carving pumpkins symbolizes the way God cleans out the nastiness that’s inside us, gives us a new identity as a child of God and puts His light in us to shine out for others to see. The pumkin can’t carve itself or get out the icky stuff inside – it has to rely on the carver to do all the work.

  • Sean McCoy

    That’s easy. Carving pumpkins symbolizes the way God cleans out the nastiness that’s inside us, gives us a new identity as a child of God and puts His light in us to shine out for others to see. The pumkin can’t carve itself or get out the icky stuff inside – it has to rely on the carver to do all the work.

  • Jonathan

    Try as I might, Somehow, I can never seem to get that last bit of goo out of my pumpkin. I need to keep trying. Maybe take a few pumpkin carving lessons to have my “best pumpkin now.”

  • Jonathan

    Try as I might, Somehow, I can never seem to get that last bit of goo out of my pumpkin. I need to keep trying. Maybe take a few pumpkin carving lessons to have my “best pumpkin now.”

  • Cincinnatus

    There’s nothing to Christianize. Hallowe’en is the suitably spooky night before All Saints’ Day.

    What is all this “Reformation Day” nonsense?

  • Cincinnatus

    There’s nothing to Christianize. Hallowe’en is the suitably spooky night before All Saints’ Day.

    What is all this “Reformation Day” nonsense?

  • Kirk

    ZOMG! War on Halloween!!

  • Kirk

    ZOMG! War on Halloween!!

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Who is coopting whom?

    Fun article I found on a pastor’s blog. Here are a few excerpts:

    But there is a lot of new mythology about Halloween that has been invented to claim that Halloween is a pagan holiday. It is not, and it never was.

    The earliest reference to a day being dedicated to the commemoration of All the Martyrs and All Saints of the Christian Church comes from the 2nd century. The document is titled “The Martyrdom of Polycarp.” Polycarp was a Christian killed because he would not deny Christ.

    In the year 609 or 610 Pope Boniface IV established a date for All Saints’ Day on May 13th. And later, in the early 700s AD, Pope Gregory III changed the date to November 1st. Decrees like this took some time to propagate from Rome to the more remote areas where the Church was found. But the change in date had nothing to do with any pagan practices. Pope Gregory IV extended the celebration on this day to the entire Western Church in the early 800s.

    Many of the Christian Churches in the Reformed traditions claim that Halloween is a pagan celebration. And there are many in the Neopagan and Wiccan communities who have tried hard to make it look like the truth.
    Don’t ever expect truth from Neopagans and Wiccans. They already live in a fantasy world created by their own fakelore.
    The claim is that the old folklore demonstrates where we got Halloween. But folklore does not support the Neopagan or the Wiccan claims about Halloween. Instead they depend on fakelore: invented, and fake, pretend folklore,

    1) In order for the Neopagan and Wiccan claim that Samhain is the origin of Halloween to be true, then Halloween and All Saints’ Day should have started in Celtic areas. But we’ve already seen that All Saints’ Day was celebrated in Syria as early as 373 A.D, in Caesarea in 397 A.D., and in Constatntinople (under Chrysostom—modern Istanbul) by 407 A.D.
    All Saints’ Day, and Halloween didn’t start in the Celtic countries. But it did take some time for the declarations of Rome to reach distant Celtic areas like Ireland.
    2) In order for the Neopagan and Wiccan claim that Samhain is the origin of Halloween to be true the particular day chosen should have some significance to the Celts and Samhain. But here we run into some serious problems. According to the best sources, Samhain was a Lunar festival of harvest. That means that the day of Samhain can vary up to a month in difference from any Solar year day. Compare, for example, the wide variety of days upon which Easter can take place. When sources claim that Samhain was October 31 to November 1 osf the modern Solar Calendar they are being dishonest and disingenuious. They are intending to decieve the reader. Only once in about every 30 years would Samhain take place exactly on those dates.

    http://diatheke.blogspot.com/2011/02/word-of-week-for-june-1-2011.html

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Who is coopting whom?

    Fun article I found on a pastor’s blog. Here are a few excerpts:

    But there is a lot of new mythology about Halloween that has been invented to claim that Halloween is a pagan holiday. It is not, and it never was.

    The earliest reference to a day being dedicated to the commemoration of All the Martyrs and All Saints of the Christian Church comes from the 2nd century. The document is titled “The Martyrdom of Polycarp.” Polycarp was a Christian killed because he would not deny Christ.

    In the year 609 or 610 Pope Boniface IV established a date for All Saints’ Day on May 13th. And later, in the early 700s AD, Pope Gregory III changed the date to November 1st. Decrees like this took some time to propagate from Rome to the more remote areas where the Church was found. But the change in date had nothing to do with any pagan practices. Pope Gregory IV extended the celebration on this day to the entire Western Church in the early 800s.

    Many of the Christian Churches in the Reformed traditions claim that Halloween is a pagan celebration. And there are many in the Neopagan and Wiccan communities who have tried hard to make it look like the truth.
    Don’t ever expect truth from Neopagans and Wiccans. They already live in a fantasy world created by their own fakelore.
    The claim is that the old folklore demonstrates where we got Halloween. But folklore does not support the Neopagan or the Wiccan claims about Halloween. Instead they depend on fakelore: invented, and fake, pretend folklore,

    1) In order for the Neopagan and Wiccan claim that Samhain is the origin of Halloween to be true, then Halloween and All Saints’ Day should have started in Celtic areas. But we’ve already seen that All Saints’ Day was celebrated in Syria as early as 373 A.D, in Caesarea in 397 A.D., and in Constatntinople (under Chrysostom—modern Istanbul) by 407 A.D.
    All Saints’ Day, and Halloween didn’t start in the Celtic countries. But it did take some time for the declarations of Rome to reach distant Celtic areas like Ireland.
    2) In order for the Neopagan and Wiccan claim that Samhain is the origin of Halloween to be true the particular day chosen should have some significance to the Celts and Samhain. But here we run into some serious problems. According to the best sources, Samhain was a Lunar festival of harvest. That means that the day of Samhain can vary up to a month in difference from any Solar year day. Compare, for example, the wide variety of days upon which Easter can take place. When sources claim that Samhain was October 31 to November 1 osf the modern Solar Calendar they are being dishonest and disingenuious. They are intending to decieve the reader. Only once in about every 30 years would Samhain take place exactly on those dates.

    http://diatheke.blogspot.com/2011/02/word-of-week-for-june-1-2011.html

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Pumpkins are pretty thick which makes them great for sculpting in relief with lovely translucent effects. Great for teaching relief sculpting. The best part is that they are perishable, so you aren’t stuck with your young artists’ early attempts.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Pumpkins are pretty thick which makes them great for sculpting in relief with lovely translucent effects. Great for teaching relief sculpting. The best part is that they are perishable, so you aren’t stuck with your young artists’ early attempts.

  • Dan Kempin

    I suppose it is too much to hope that this is the day when lutherans go out into the neighborhood and knock on doors . . .

  • Dan Kempin

    I suppose it is too much to hope that this is the day when lutherans go out into the neighborhood and knock on doors . . .

  • http://lhpqbr.blogspot.com Rev. Paul J Cain

    From the email box, recycled from the internet:

    Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin. God lifts you up, takes you in, And washes all the dirt off you. He opens you up, touches you deep Inside and scoops out all the yucky stuff– including the seeds of doubt, Hate, greed, etc. Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His Light inside you to shine for all the world to see.

  • http://lhpqbr.blogspot.com Rev. Paul J Cain

    From the email box, recycled from the internet:

    Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin. God lifts you up, takes you in, And washes all the dirt off you. He opens you up, touches you deep Inside and scoops out all the yucky stuff– including the seeds of doubt, Hate, greed, etc. Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His Light inside you to shine for all the world to see.

  • Tom Hering

    We can take our cue from what happened to Christmas, and eliminate any supernaturalism connected with Halloween by commercializing the holiday. Stores wouldn’t just carry candy and costumes for the kids, but house and yard items for the adults. Then adults would spend as much time and money (and in many cases, more time and money) decorating their properties for Halloween than they do for Christmas, and eventually grow tired of the holiday because of all the burdens associated with it. I know it’s hard to imagine such a scenario actually playing out, but it’s worth a shot.

  • Tom Hering

    We can take our cue from what happened to Christmas, and eliminate any supernaturalism connected with Halloween by commercializing the holiday. Stores wouldn’t just carry candy and costumes for the kids, but house and yard items for the adults. Then adults would spend as much time and money (and in many cases, more time and money) decorating their properties for Halloween than they do for Christmas, and eventually grow tired of the holiday because of all the burdens associated with it. I know it’s hard to imagine such a scenario actually playing out, but it’s worth a shot.

  • LAJ

    @5 & 8 Really like that way of looking at pumpkins for Halloween!

  • LAJ

    @5 & 8 Really like that way of looking at pumpkins for Halloween!

  • WebMonk

    sg, you have to be more careful about where you get info off the Internet. That was one of the more … fanciful interpretations I think I’ve ever read on the topic. And I’ve read some doozies.

    Yes, All Saints Day came into existence before the official name “Samhain” came to exist (maybe – it depends on when you consider the word to begin existing – it’s proto forms were probably around in the BCs). However, the celebration which came to be known as Samhain existed long, long before Christianity came around. It existed both in the British isles and across all of Europe since at least 500 BC. At least. Most likely it existed long before that, but records get pretty spotty.

    That celebration is a fairly generic harvest/end-of-summer/beginning-of-winter celebration. Those celebrations have had a lot of different superstitions attached to them over the eons. They are ‘pagan’ in that regard, and long predate Christianity.

    Placing an artificial “creation” date on Samhain from when the word was first used in its modern usage and then using that to claim that because the date for All Saints Day came first means that pagans stole it from Christianity is a seriously twisted and flawed method.

    Sorry, this is one of my pet peeves. This wasn’t aimed at you sg, just that person who wrote that post.

  • WebMonk

    sg, you have to be more careful about where you get info off the Internet. That was one of the more … fanciful interpretations I think I’ve ever read on the topic. And I’ve read some doozies.

    Yes, All Saints Day came into existence before the official name “Samhain” came to exist (maybe – it depends on when you consider the word to begin existing – it’s proto forms were probably around in the BCs). However, the celebration which came to be known as Samhain existed long, long before Christianity came around. It existed both in the British isles and across all of Europe since at least 500 BC. At least. Most likely it existed long before that, but records get pretty spotty.

    That celebration is a fairly generic harvest/end-of-summer/beginning-of-winter celebration. Those celebrations have had a lot of different superstitions attached to them over the eons. They are ‘pagan’ in that regard, and long predate Christianity.

    Placing an artificial “creation” date on Samhain from when the word was first used in its modern usage and then using that to claim that because the date for All Saints Day came first means that pagans stole it from Christianity is a seriously twisted and flawed method.

    Sorry, this is one of my pet peeves. This wasn’t aimed at you sg, just that person who wrote that post.

  • Shane A

    There’s nothing like celebrating the schism of the Church on All Saint’s Day instead of its unity. Still, I suppose Reformation Day is superior to Jesus-Ween.

  • Shane A

    There’s nothing like celebrating the schism of the Church on All Saint’s Day instead of its unity. Still, I suppose Reformation Day is superior to Jesus-Ween.

  • Tom Hering

    “There’s nothing like celebrating the schism of the Church …”

    I thought we were celebrating the recovery of the true Gospel, which is cause for celebration indeed – here and in Heaven!

  • Tom Hering

    “There’s nothing like celebrating the schism of the Church …”

    I thought we were celebrating the recovery of the true Gospel, which is cause for celebration indeed – here and in Heaven!

  • Tom Hering

    By the way, is it just me, or is anyone else having trouble with this site? All this morning (and all last Friday morning too) the site takes a long time to load, and accessing a comments section takes even longer. When I submit a comment, the page times out (though the comment posts). This has happened about once a week in the past, and clearing my cache, cookies, history, etcetera doesn’t help. Todd?

  • Tom Hering

    By the way, is it just me, or is anyone else having trouble with this site? All this morning (and all last Friday morning too) the site takes a long time to load, and accessing a comments section takes even longer. When I submit a comment, the page times out (though the comment posts). This has happened about once a week in the past, and clearing my cache, cookies, history, etcetera doesn’t help. Todd?

  • DonS

    We celebrate Halloween as an opportunity to love our neighbors by engaging with them on the one night a year when neighbors engage. We hand out candy, often with tracts, and with good cheer and greetings, and make sure to walk the streets of our neighborhood, greeting and loving our neighbors. It is disappointing to me that the homes of so many Christians remain dark on that one night when neighbors are about, either hiding in their homes or off in their own “safe” festival events because of a fear of being somehow tainted by the pagan connotations of the date. When our children were younger, and dressed up, we would dress them in positive costumes, often Bible characters, patriotic figures, sports heroes, and the like — it was part of the fun. Jesus supped with sinners in the homes of sinners. We are redeemed sinners, and we need to be among other sinners when the opportunity presents itself (Phil. 2:15).

  • DonS

    We celebrate Halloween as an opportunity to love our neighbors by engaging with them on the one night a year when neighbors engage. We hand out candy, often with tracts, and with good cheer and greetings, and make sure to walk the streets of our neighborhood, greeting and loving our neighbors. It is disappointing to me that the homes of so many Christians remain dark on that one night when neighbors are about, either hiding in their homes or off in their own “safe” festival events because of a fear of being somehow tainted by the pagan connotations of the date. When our children were younger, and dressed up, we would dress them in positive costumes, often Bible characters, patriotic figures, sports heroes, and the like — it was part of the fun. Jesus supped with sinners in the homes of sinners. We are redeemed sinners, and we need to be among other sinners when the opportunity presents itself (Phil. 2:15).

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Nice one, DonS!

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Nice one, DonS!

  • http://www.utah-Lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    We carve Pumpkins because we celebrate the Freedom of the Christian that the Reformation won for us, by celebrating Halloween, for all the reason’s DonS above says. If you ask me this “reformation” day is liturgical innovation of the worst pietistic stripe. If we really wanted to celebrate the Reformation, we would move Reformation to June 25th when the Augsburg Confession was signed, and make that a big deal rather than the nailing of the 95 theses which we pretty much just rehashed Romanism being used against Romanism. Luther doesn’t get around to Justification by Grace through Faith in those. And this time of year has too many holidays about it already, what with Halloween, Veterans day, and Thanksgiving, and Advent just around the Corner, June could use a holiday more to give Father’s day some company.

  • http://www.utah-Lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    We carve Pumpkins because we celebrate the Freedom of the Christian that the Reformation won for us, by celebrating Halloween, for all the reason’s DonS above says. If you ask me this “reformation” day is liturgical innovation of the worst pietistic stripe. If we really wanted to celebrate the Reformation, we would move Reformation to June 25th when the Augsburg Confession was signed, and make that a big deal rather than the nailing of the 95 theses which we pretty much just rehashed Romanism being used against Romanism. Luther doesn’t get around to Justification by Grace through Faith in those. And this time of year has too many holidays about it already, what with Halloween, Veterans day, and Thanksgiving, and Advent just around the Corner, June could use a holiday more to give Father’s day some company.

  • Joshua

    We celebrated Reformation Day this weekend, albeit we’ll also be “trick or treating” tonight. We colored pictures of Luther’s Rose, our (young) boys dressed like monks, they “nailed” their pictures to the door, and we taught about the Church refocusing on Christ. We wrote up our experience with some pictures on The Parental Office website, “Learning about Reformation Day with the Kids”: http://parentaloffice.com/reformation-day

    My friend Brian and I also did a podcast last week with ideas on how to handle Halloween as a Christian parent: http://parentaloffice.com/episode-8-trick-or-treat-in-the-christian-home

    Maybe this will give other parents out there some ideas on peaching God’s Word and Christ, even on Hallows Eve!

  • Joshua

    We celebrated Reformation Day this weekend, albeit we’ll also be “trick or treating” tonight. We colored pictures of Luther’s Rose, our (young) boys dressed like monks, they “nailed” their pictures to the door, and we taught about the Church refocusing on Christ. We wrote up our experience with some pictures on The Parental Office website, “Learning about Reformation Day with the Kids”: http://parentaloffice.com/reformation-day

    My friend Brian and I also did a podcast last week with ideas on how to handle Halloween as a Christian parent: http://parentaloffice.com/episode-8-trick-or-treat-in-the-christian-home

    Maybe this will give other parents out there some ideas on peaching God’s Word and Christ, even on Hallows Eve!

  • Cincinnatus

    Following Shane A and mimicking Bror@21 a bit, I have a somewhat trivial but nonetheless serious question: why has Reformation Day replaced, for Lutherans and, apparently, Calvinists, supplanted All Saints Day? Maybe “supplanted” is too harsh for what has happened, but I am inclined to agree with Bror that Reformation Day is “liturgical innovation of the worst pietistic stripe.”

    I can understand why Lutherans in particular would desire to celebrate the Reformation, but why occlude one of the most hallowed days of the Church year to do so? I grew up in the United Methodist Church and am now, of course, Anglican, so I’ve always celebrated All Saints Day, not Reformation Day. Am I missing something? I wouldn’t necessarily put it in terms so stark as Shane–though it is a bit ironic that a day formerly dedicated to church unity now marks a day of schism, regardless of the spin Tom and others put on it–but I am slightly troubled.

  • Cincinnatus

    Following Shane A and mimicking Bror@21 a bit, I have a somewhat trivial but nonetheless serious question: why has Reformation Day replaced, for Lutherans and, apparently, Calvinists, supplanted All Saints Day? Maybe “supplanted” is too harsh for what has happened, but I am inclined to agree with Bror that Reformation Day is “liturgical innovation of the worst pietistic stripe.”

    I can understand why Lutherans in particular would desire to celebrate the Reformation, but why occlude one of the most hallowed days of the Church year to do so? I grew up in the United Methodist Church and am now, of course, Anglican, so I’ve always celebrated All Saints Day, not Reformation Day. Am I missing something? I wouldn’t necessarily put it in terms so stark as Shane–though it is a bit ironic that a day formerly dedicated to church unity now marks a day of schism, regardless of the spin Tom and others put on it–but I am slightly troubled.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @15

    I wouldn’t have written that post exactly as he did, but I liked all the links he supplied so that readers could look up the stuff for themselves. There is a wealth of ignorance, so the info he provides is needed. He makes some good points and includes a lot of good history that lots of folks don’t know. I think his point about the calendars not working in favor of pagan fakelore claims to Halloween is pretty relevant even if I wouldn’t have stated it the same way he did. It seems pretty likely pagans had various holidays throughout the year but that in no way means Christians were somehow coopting pagan holidays just because we have holidays, too. I also liked his point that regardless of what far north pagans were doing in the fall, the observance of All Saints started in the east and the modern date for Halloween came from Rome and worked its way up to the far north. So, no, it wasn’t as though the church invented All Saints Day to sort of trump popular pagan holidays. When I link something, I assume that readers are discerning enough to get something out of it without reading it uncritically.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @15

    I wouldn’t have written that post exactly as he did, but I liked all the links he supplied so that readers could look up the stuff for themselves. There is a wealth of ignorance, so the info he provides is needed. He makes some good points and includes a lot of good history that lots of folks don’t know. I think his point about the calendars not working in favor of pagan fakelore claims to Halloween is pretty relevant even if I wouldn’t have stated it the same way he did. It seems pretty likely pagans had various holidays throughout the year but that in no way means Christians were somehow coopting pagan holidays just because we have holidays, too. I also liked his point that regardless of what far north pagans were doing in the fall, the observance of All Saints started in the east and the modern date for Halloween came from Rome and worked its way up to the far north. So, no, it wasn’t as though the church invented All Saints Day to sort of trump popular pagan holidays. When I link something, I assume that readers are discerning enough to get something out of it without reading it uncritically.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Ah, pithy Kirk perhaps wins (@8) with “War on Halloween”. … Made me laugh, anyhow.

    WebMonk (@15), for one urging us to “be more careful about where you get info off the Internet”, you appear to have given us no superior references to consider in your would-be corrective comment. That said, I ultimately don’t really care which came first or whatever.

    I really like DonS’s comment (@19). In fact, I’m more convinced that 10/31 would be better refashioned as “meet the neighbors” night — or at least “meet the neighbors’ kids”.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Ah, pithy Kirk perhaps wins (@8) with “War on Halloween”. … Made me laugh, anyhow.

    WebMonk (@15), for one urging us to “be more careful about where you get info off the Internet”, you appear to have given us no superior references to consider in your would-be corrective comment. That said, I ultimately don’t really care which came first or whatever.

    I really like DonS’s comment (@19). In fact, I’m more convinced that 10/31 would be better refashioned as “meet the neighbors” night — or at least “meet the neighbors’ kids”.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bror’s comment was good, too (@21). It is odd that Lutherans have chosen this day (10/31) and that action (nailing theses) to celebrate all of the Reformation. The Theses aren’t exactly a core of Reformation theology. They were the beginning, not the end.

    That said, I am struck by the similarity between October 31 and July 4. In both holidays, a big deal is made about the public announcement of a declaration. In both cases, the declaration was, as of its posting, merely hopeful — the beginning of the change, not the end of it. In both cases, much more important documents would be the result of the respective wars (Book of Concord, Constitution), but they would have to be worked out as a result of what was started on those days.

    And on and on. But just as no one much observes Constitution Day, likewise, I doubt anyone much will care about Bror’s suggested Augsburg Confession Day.

    After all, July 4th appeals to the American spirit by proclaiming, “We’re free!” Which is often interpreted to mean, “You can’t tell me what to do, it’s a free country!” But the Constitution actually enshrines beliefs about how we should act, and that’s where things get less idealistic and more tricky.

    Likewise with Reformation Day. In theory, any old Protestant can (and, in fact, might) celebrate a day of spiritual freedom from the papacy, etc. It’s easy enough to rally around what we’re not. But when we have to nail down (see what I did there) what we are (i.e. the Book of Concord), suddenly there’s not a lot of people celebrating with us (including many Lutherans).

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bror’s comment was good, too (@21). It is odd that Lutherans have chosen this day (10/31) and that action (nailing theses) to celebrate all of the Reformation. The Theses aren’t exactly a core of Reformation theology. They were the beginning, not the end.

    That said, I am struck by the similarity between October 31 and July 4. In both holidays, a big deal is made about the public announcement of a declaration. In both cases, the declaration was, as of its posting, merely hopeful — the beginning of the change, not the end of it. In both cases, much more important documents would be the result of the respective wars (Book of Concord, Constitution), but they would have to be worked out as a result of what was started on those days.

    And on and on. But just as no one much observes Constitution Day, likewise, I doubt anyone much will care about Bror’s suggested Augsburg Confession Day.

    After all, July 4th appeals to the American spirit by proclaiming, “We’re free!” Which is often interpreted to mean, “You can’t tell me what to do, it’s a free country!” But the Constitution actually enshrines beliefs about how we should act, and that’s where things get less idealistic and more tricky.

    Likewise with Reformation Day. In theory, any old Protestant can (and, in fact, might) celebrate a day of spiritual freedom from the papacy, etc. It’s easy enough to rally around what we’re not. But when we have to nail down (see what I did there) what we are (i.e. the Book of Concord), suddenly there’s not a lot of people celebrating with us (including many Lutherans).

  • Susan

    I’m wearing my ‘Old Lutheran’ sweatshirt. I figure being thus attired I can accomplish two things at once 1) celebrate Reformation Day, and 2) scare all my Catholic friends. :)

  • Susan

    I’m wearing my ‘Old Lutheran’ sweatshirt. I figure being thus attired I can accomplish two things at once 1) celebrate Reformation Day, and 2) scare all my Catholic friends. :)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus asked (@23):

    Why has Reformation Day replaced, for Lutherans and, apparently, Calvinists, supplanted All Saints Day?

    Which is a bit odd, given that Reformation day is October 31 (All Saints Eve), while All Saints Day is, I believe, November 1.

    Nevertheless, it’s true that, in my Lutheran life, I haven’t done a lot of celebrating of All Saints Day, while I can remember a few celebrations of the Reformation.

    Why occlude one of the most hallowed days of the Church year to do so?

    Hmm. That seems a bit strong, to me. I mean, of course it does — I’m a Lutheran — but I’m wondering if even a Catholic would agree with that assessment. I mean, Christmas, Easter, Good Friday, Maundy Thursday, Pentecost, Ash Wednesday … those seem to comprise a more likely list of the “most hallowed days of the church year”.

    Still, I would suggest that All Saints Day itself points to the very question at issue in the Reformation: how one is saved. In the Catholic tradition, it is the celebration only of those who have died and, by having their souls purged of sin in Purgatory, have gone on to attain the “beatific vision”. That is, just those few named saints that most people think of when they say “saint”. In the Protestant tradition, a saint is anyone who believes in Jesus as his savior — dead or alive. (This is also pretty clearly how the Bible uses the word.)

    So, to me, All Saints Day as understood in the latter sense suffers from a lack of focus. It’s a day about Christians. All of them. I mean, I could think of some good things to discuss and teach were one to celebrate such a day in one’s congregation. But I can also see why it may have fallen out of favor.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus asked (@23):

    Why has Reformation Day replaced, for Lutherans and, apparently, Calvinists, supplanted All Saints Day?

    Which is a bit odd, given that Reformation day is October 31 (All Saints Eve), while All Saints Day is, I believe, November 1.

    Nevertheless, it’s true that, in my Lutheran life, I haven’t done a lot of celebrating of All Saints Day, while I can remember a few celebrations of the Reformation.

    Why occlude one of the most hallowed days of the Church year to do so?

    Hmm. That seems a bit strong, to me. I mean, of course it does — I’m a Lutheran — but I’m wondering if even a Catholic would agree with that assessment. I mean, Christmas, Easter, Good Friday, Maundy Thursday, Pentecost, Ash Wednesday … those seem to comprise a more likely list of the “most hallowed days of the church year”.

    Still, I would suggest that All Saints Day itself points to the very question at issue in the Reformation: how one is saved. In the Catholic tradition, it is the celebration only of those who have died and, by having their souls purged of sin in Purgatory, have gone on to attain the “beatific vision”. That is, just those few named saints that most people think of when they say “saint”. In the Protestant tradition, a saint is anyone who believes in Jesus as his savior — dead or alive. (This is also pretty clearly how the Bible uses the word.)

    So, to me, All Saints Day as understood in the latter sense suffers from a lack of focus. It’s a day about Christians. All of them. I mean, I could think of some good things to discuss and teach were one to celebrate such a day in one’s congregation. But I can also see why it may have fallen out of favor.

  • http://www.whenisayrunrun.blogspot.com Andrew

    I riffed on this today as we celebrated Reformation. My students really caught on to this and it opened some really cool doors for discussion. We were really able to talk about the free gift when one student asked if there was something they can do to earn extra candy. Guess the answer…
    Thanks for the inspiring post!

  • http://www.whenisayrunrun.blogspot.com Andrew

    I riffed on this today as we celebrated Reformation. My students really caught on to this and it opened some really cool doors for discussion. We were really able to talk about the free gift when one student asked if there was something they can do to earn extra candy. Guess the answer…
    Thanks for the inspiring post!

  • Charles B. Burhop

    Everyone who arrives at the parsonage door tonight with the cry “Happy Reformation Day” on their lips gets an extra big ($2) candy bar to represent the sweetness of the Good News of Christ crucified and risen from the dead. Happy Reformation Day !!!

  • Charles B. Burhop

    Everyone who arrives at the parsonage door tonight with the cry “Happy Reformation Day” on their lips gets an extra big ($2) candy bar to represent the sweetness of the Good News of Christ crucified and risen from the dead. Happy Reformation Day !!!

  • http://www.matthewcochran.net/blog Matt Cochran

    I don’t know, Webmonk. Is counting “generic harvest/end-of-summer/beginning-of-winter celebrations” as a collective proto-Samhain really a better methodology? Regardless of whether they were recorded, there have likely been such celebrations as long as there have been humans and seasons. Claiming that such things are really the precursor of whatever one’s favored holiday happens to be seems no more fair than starting at the point when said holiday actually becomes uniquely identifiable. The latter might be too precise, but the former is far too imprecise.

    And at the end of the day, if we have no clear answer from a clearly superior methodology… I’m ok with that. If we have nothing better than different perspectives on the question, then let the perspective sg quoted balance the other.

  • http://www.matthewcochran.net/blog Matt Cochran

    I don’t know, Webmonk. Is counting “generic harvest/end-of-summer/beginning-of-winter celebrations” as a collective proto-Samhain really a better methodology? Regardless of whether they were recorded, there have likely been such celebrations as long as there have been humans and seasons. Claiming that such things are really the precursor of whatever one’s favored holiday happens to be seems no more fair than starting at the point when said holiday actually becomes uniquely identifiable. The latter might be too precise, but the former is far too imprecise.

    And at the end of the day, if we have no clear answer from a clearly superior methodology… I’m ok with that. If we have nothing better than different perspectives on the question, then let the perspective sg quoted balance the other.

  • http://www.matthewcochran.net/blog Matt Cochran

    And come on, nobody on this supposedly Lutheran blog has pointed out that getting candy requires knocking on doors and saying a special phrase? Why that’s practically the sinner’s prayer! Far from symbolizing the free gift of grace, it’s a celebration of synergism if ever there was one! ;)

  • http://www.matthewcochran.net/blog Matt Cochran

    And come on, nobody on this supposedly Lutheran blog has pointed out that getting candy requires knocking on doors and saying a special phrase? Why that’s practically the sinner’s prayer! Far from symbolizing the free gift of grace, it’s a celebration of synergism if ever there was one! ;)

  • Pingback: What’s a girl to do with Halloween? | from the stacks

  • Pingback: What’s a girl to do with Halloween? | from the stacks

  • Rose

    The original trick or treat was the sale of indulgences: Pay us, or we’ll send you to hell.

  • Rose

    The original trick or treat was the sale of indulgences: Pay us, or we’ll send you to hell.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Matt (@32), maybe Lutherans for Halloween should, instead, go around to their neighbors’ houses and give out candy — even if the people inside obviously don’t deserve it. After all, even the best Halloween costume is nothing but bloody rags.

    The problem is, if you knock on a Baptist’s door, he’ll suddenly start making a big pretense about how it was he who opened the door, going on and on about asking your candy into his hand.

    But if anyone leaves their porch light out, even though you can tell they’re inside, I’m going to tack a note to their door, listing everything I disagree with them about.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Matt (@32), maybe Lutherans for Halloween should, instead, go around to their neighbors’ houses and give out candy — even if the people inside obviously don’t deserve it. After all, even the best Halloween costume is nothing but bloody rags.

    The problem is, if you knock on a Baptist’s door, he’ll suddenly start making a big pretense about how it was he who opened the door, going on and on about asking your candy into his hand.

    But if anyone leaves their porch light out, even though you can tell they’re inside, I’m going to tack a note to their door, listing everything I disagree with them about.

  • kerner

    Cinncinatus @23

    I don’t think we were trying to supplant or otherwise detract from All Saints Day. It’s just that we came to celebrate Reformation Day on 10/31, because that’s when Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses on the Castle Church door in Wittenburg (or mailed them to the Bishop of Mainz…or something). Having decided to commemorate this event on the day it purportedly happened, anything that was there on the calendar already is necessarily diminished somewhat. But not intentionally. It just worked out that way.

    I mean, apparently Nov. 24 is the feast of St. Andrew Dung Lac.

    http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=540

    Now, I have nothing against Vietnamese Christians, nor martyred Catholics, and I have no wish to diminish the contributions made by St. Andrew Dung Lac. But, I’m afraid that this Nov. 24, I will be over-eating on turkey and trimmings to celebrate the survival of white Calvinists in North America. Why? Because, culturally, that’s an important event to me.

    But for what it’s worth, lately Lutherans have begun celebrating “Reformation Sunday” the Sunday on or before 10/31, and “All Saints Sunday” the Sunday on or after 11/01. I don’t know if that makes everyone happy or not.

  • kerner

    Cinncinatus @23

    I don’t think we were trying to supplant or otherwise detract from All Saints Day. It’s just that we came to celebrate Reformation Day on 10/31, because that’s when Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses on the Castle Church door in Wittenburg (or mailed them to the Bishop of Mainz…or something). Having decided to commemorate this event on the day it purportedly happened, anything that was there on the calendar already is necessarily diminished somewhat. But not intentionally. It just worked out that way.

    I mean, apparently Nov. 24 is the feast of St. Andrew Dung Lac.

    http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=540

    Now, I have nothing against Vietnamese Christians, nor martyred Catholics, and I have no wish to diminish the contributions made by St. Andrew Dung Lac. But, I’m afraid that this Nov. 24, I will be over-eating on turkey and trimmings to celebrate the survival of white Calvinists in North America. Why? Because, culturally, that’s an important event to me.

    But for what it’s worth, lately Lutherans have begun celebrating “Reformation Sunday” the Sunday on or before 10/31, and “All Saints Sunday” the Sunday on or after 11/01. I don’t know if that makes everyone happy or not.

  • Grace

    “I think it’s wonderful that Reformation Day is now the most popular holiday after Christmas.

    I disagree, it isn’t the most “popular holiday” after Christmas -

    Resurrection Sunday, commemorating Christ as our risen Savior from the dead, along with the birth of Christ is by far, the most popular – but the most important for us, as Believers. Without Christ’s death and Resurrection, we are lost.

    It used to be, that vacations, referred to as “Christmas Vacation” and “Easter Vacation” was in celebration of HIS birth and Resurrection – today it’s referred to as “winter holiday” and “spring break” –

    Thanksgiving is certainly awaited for and met with joy as we thank God for what HE has done, HIS blessing to us.

  • Grace

    “I think it’s wonderful that Reformation Day is now the most popular holiday after Christmas.

    I disagree, it isn’t the most “popular holiday” after Christmas -

    Resurrection Sunday, commemorating Christ as our risen Savior from the dead, along with the birth of Christ is by far, the most popular – but the most important for us, as Believers. Without Christ’s death and Resurrection, we are lost.

    It used to be, that vacations, referred to as “Christmas Vacation” and “Easter Vacation” was in celebration of HIS birth and Resurrection – today it’s referred to as “winter holiday” and “spring break” –

    Thanksgiving is certainly awaited for and met with joy as we thank God for what HE has done, HIS blessing to us.

  • Cincinnatus

    kerner@35: That’s as good a compromise as any I suppose. The language in my original comment was perhaps too strong, as I am genuinely curious as to why Reformation Day has effectually supplanted All Saints Day. tODD’s remakrs about the vacuity of All Saints Day notwithstanding, this is an important day in the church year and, regardless of when the 95 Theses were posted, it seems a bit odd. In short, this day is already taken, and one should always exercise caution when modifying the liturgical year willy-nilly.

    I think we can all agree that Thanksgiving Day is culturally more significant than the feast of St. Andrew Dung Lac (who?), but who declared that “Reformation Day” is more important than All Saints Day? Maybe no one did in so many words, but the proof is in the practice. Lutheran churches I have attended (my experience, of course, is not general) simply do not acknowledge All Saints Day–and, of course, its inimitable prequel All Hallow’s Eve (Hallowe’en). It’s an odd choice, I think, given the particular Lutheran concern, as expressed on this blog, for eventual church unity.

  • Cincinnatus

    kerner@35: That’s as good a compromise as any I suppose. The language in my original comment was perhaps too strong, as I am genuinely curious as to why Reformation Day has effectually supplanted All Saints Day. tODD’s remakrs about the vacuity of All Saints Day notwithstanding, this is an important day in the church year and, regardless of when the 95 Theses were posted, it seems a bit odd. In short, this day is already taken, and one should always exercise caution when modifying the liturgical year willy-nilly.

    I think we can all agree that Thanksgiving Day is culturally more significant than the feast of St. Andrew Dung Lac (who?), but who declared that “Reformation Day” is more important than All Saints Day? Maybe no one did in so many words, but the proof is in the practice. Lutheran churches I have attended (my experience, of course, is not general) simply do not acknowledge All Saints Day–and, of course, its inimitable prequel All Hallow’s Eve (Hallowe’en). It’s an odd choice, I think, given the particular Lutheran concern, as expressed on this blog, for eventual church unity.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@37), “vacuity”? Again, isn’t that a bit strong? Are you taking this personally? I said maybe it lacks focus. Most celebrations in the church calendar focus on a particular person or even a particular event.

    Why don’t you tell us what you get out of All Saints Day, if that’s what you want to discuss? Tell us how you celebrate it at your church or in your life. What customs do you observe? What texts are the focus? What hymns traditionally sung? In short, why do you consider it “one of the most hallowed days of the Church year”?

    And, given your tying All Saints Day to the notion of “church unity”, tell me: when you observe the day, do you commemorate only those who have attained the beatific vision? Or do you commemorate all believers, both dead and alive? Because it seems to me that, in picking one or the other, you necessarily express the fact that there is not unity of doctrine between Catholics and Protestants.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@37), “vacuity”? Again, isn’t that a bit strong? Are you taking this personally? I said maybe it lacks focus. Most celebrations in the church calendar focus on a particular person or even a particular event.

    Why don’t you tell us what you get out of All Saints Day, if that’s what you want to discuss? Tell us how you celebrate it at your church or in your life. What customs do you observe? What texts are the focus? What hymns traditionally sung? In short, why do you consider it “one of the most hallowed days of the Church year”?

    And, given your tying All Saints Day to the notion of “church unity”, tell me: when you observe the day, do you commemorate only those who have attained the beatific vision? Or do you commemorate all believers, both dead and alive? Because it seems to me that, in picking one or the other, you necessarily express the fact that there is not unity of doctrine between Catholics and Protestants.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    At the church where I serve (Lutheran) there are special sounds on both days, Reformation and All Saints’. A trumpet on Reformation Day (observed, Oct. 30) and a bell on All Saints’ Day (observed, Nov. 6) – as we read the names of those in our congregation who have died in the past year. Seems pretty even to me. By the way I sure wish we could get some Lutherans around here to come to church on the actual holidays (and I’m not sure moving the observance to the most convenient Sunday helps).

    Anyway, on both days, we call on the name of the Lord, receive forgiveness, hear the appointed readings, hear the Word expounded today, get to commune with Christ himself, and go in the peace of the Lord. I’m really not aware of this “effectual supplanting” that Cincinnatus is talking about. Actually, the additions to the liturgy that All Saints’ Day bring at my Lutheran Church seem to be more substantive than Reformation Day. For what its worth.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    At the church where I serve (Lutheran) there are special sounds on both days, Reformation and All Saints’. A trumpet on Reformation Day (observed, Oct. 30) and a bell on All Saints’ Day (observed, Nov. 6) – as we read the names of those in our congregation who have died in the past year. Seems pretty even to me. By the way I sure wish we could get some Lutherans around here to come to church on the actual holidays (and I’m not sure moving the observance to the most convenient Sunday helps).

    Anyway, on both days, we call on the name of the Lord, receive forgiveness, hear the appointed readings, hear the Word expounded today, get to commune with Christ himself, and go in the peace of the Lord. I’m really not aware of this “effectual supplanting” that Cincinnatus is talking about. Actually, the additions to the liturgy that All Saints’ Day bring at my Lutheran Church seem to be more substantive than Reformation Day. For what its worth.

  • kerner

    Cinncinatus:

    OK, so St. Andrew Dung Lac was a little obscure. But according to this:

    http://www.calendardate.com/thanksgiving.htm

    and this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calendar_of_saints_(Episcopal_Church_in_the_United_States_of_America)

    On Thanksgiving day 2012, we’ll be ignoring C.S. Lewis. On Thanksgiving Day 2013 we’ll be ignoring King Kamehameha and Queen Emma of Hawaii.

    But, seriously folks. I think Lutherans do, in fact, celebrate All Saints. I know we do at my church. And it’s in the Lutheran Liturgical Calendars I’ve been able to find. But I confess I have not found it very memorable to devote a Sunday to the fact thhat the Church is an eternal institution. But maybe that’s because the substance of that is not very distinct from what we do every Sunday. I’ve always felt that way about “Trinity Sunday” too. While it’s great to recite the Athanasian Creed once a year, just to keep it all straight, emphasizing that we worship a triune God is not startling news.

    But tODD has asked you the best question. What do Anglicans do on All Saints that you miss elsewhere?

  • kerner

    Cinncinatus:

    OK, so St. Andrew Dung Lac was a little obscure. But according to this:

    http://www.calendardate.com/thanksgiving.htm

    and this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calendar_of_saints_(Episcopal_Church_in_the_United_States_of_America)

    On Thanksgiving day 2012, we’ll be ignoring C.S. Lewis. On Thanksgiving Day 2013 we’ll be ignoring King Kamehameha and Queen Emma of Hawaii.

    But, seriously folks. I think Lutherans do, in fact, celebrate All Saints. I know we do at my church. And it’s in the Lutheran Liturgical Calendars I’ve been able to find. But I confess I have not found it very memorable to devote a Sunday to the fact thhat the Church is an eternal institution. But maybe that’s because the substance of that is not very distinct from what we do every Sunday. I’ve always felt that way about “Trinity Sunday” too. While it’s great to recite the Athanasian Creed once a year, just to keep it all straight, emphasizing that we worship a triune God is not startling news.

    But tODD has asked you the best question. What do Anglicans do on All Saints that you miss elsewhere?

  • fws

    what theological substance! what theological substance? This is the kinda stuff that makes us all keep comming back and commenting on.

    cinn: what do united methodists do on all saints day? Grace what do calvary-we-are-NOT!!!!-a-denomination-chapelites do on all saints day?

    and…

    since when is thanksgiving an anything-at-all at church? since when is it the governments business to inform the church that they need to pray and give thanks?

  • fws

    what theological substance! what theological substance? This is the kinda stuff that makes us all keep comming back and commenting on.

    cinn: what do united methodists do on all saints day? Grace what do calvary-we-are-NOT!!!!-a-denomination-chapelites do on all saints day?

    and…

    since when is thanksgiving an anything-at-all at church? since when is it the governments business to inform the church that they need to pray and give thanks?

  • Joe

    Kerner, Cinncy and tODD, my congregation celebrates All Saints Day as well. I have been a Lutheran all of my life and have never not celebrated All Saints Day.

  • Joe

    Kerner, Cinncy and tODD, my congregation celebrates All Saints Day as well. I have been a Lutheran all of my life and have never not celebrated All Saints Day.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I really like DonS’s comment (@19). In fact, I’m more convinced that 10/31 would be better refashioned as “meet the neighbors” night — or at least “meet the neighbors’ kids”.

    Like Ray Bradbury’s Halloween Tree in which Halloween is really about fun and kids and community.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I really like DonS’s comment (@19). In fact, I’m more convinced that 10/31 would be better refashioned as “meet the neighbors” night — or at least “meet the neighbors’ kids”.

    Like Ray Bradbury’s Halloween Tree in which Halloween is really about fun and kids and community.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Cincinnatus, where do you get the idea that Lutherans don’t celebrate All Saints’ Day? Maybe tODD’s Wisconsin Synod congregation doesn’t do much with it, but in all of the Missouri Synod congregations I’ve been associated with, we make a big deal about it. An especially powerful ritual to me is reading the names of the people who have died that past year while ringing the church bell for each one. What do you Anglicans do? I know that you don’t include the commemoration of the Reformation in your church calendar, though I can see that all that Henry VIII business is not anything to really celebrate.

    Thanks for the pumpkin interpretations, you all. That settles it for me.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Cincinnatus, where do you get the idea that Lutherans don’t celebrate All Saints’ Day? Maybe tODD’s Wisconsin Synod congregation doesn’t do much with it, but in all of the Missouri Synod congregations I’ve been associated with, we make a big deal about it. An especially powerful ritual to me is reading the names of the people who have died that past year while ringing the church bell for each one. What do you Anglicans do? I know that you don’t include the commemoration of the Reformation in your church calendar, though I can see that all that Henry VIII business is not anything to really celebrate.

    Thanks for the pumpkin interpretations, you all. That settles it for me.

  • Cincinnatus

    Indeed, we don’t prefer to celebrate our rather seamy past.

    Perhaps, in my limited experience, I was mistaken–about Lutherans, at least (though the few Lutheran churches I have visited–LCMS–did ignore All Saints in favor of Reformation Day). I know that I am not generally mistaken about our Reformed/Calvinist/Presbyterian brethren (not to mention Baptists et al. who tend to ignore the most of the church year altogether).

    Since (most) Lutherans do celebrate All Saints, however, I suspect that the Anglican celebration is rather unremarkable: appropriate hymns, candles, a special collect, a brief memorial for those saints departed from our congregation in the past year, etc. The Eucharistic service is altered slightly. United Methodists do roughly the same, though they don’t celebrate communion as regularly.

    In reply to kerner, I never said I “missed” anything elsewhere. I merely find the idea of Reformation Day odd within the context of my own religious experience. And I stand by the somewhat cruel irony in the fact that Lutherans and Co. celebrate church schism at roughly the same time they celebrate church unity. Though I was raised Protestant, I had never even heard of Reformation Day until college. No doubt I am the provincial one in this case, however.

  • Cincinnatus

    Indeed, we don’t prefer to celebrate our rather seamy past.

    Perhaps, in my limited experience, I was mistaken–about Lutherans, at least (though the few Lutheran churches I have visited–LCMS–did ignore All Saints in favor of Reformation Day). I know that I am not generally mistaken about our Reformed/Calvinist/Presbyterian brethren (not to mention Baptists et al. who tend to ignore the most of the church year altogether).

    Since (most) Lutherans do celebrate All Saints, however, I suspect that the Anglican celebration is rather unremarkable: appropriate hymns, candles, a special collect, a brief memorial for those saints departed from our congregation in the past year, etc. The Eucharistic service is altered slightly. United Methodists do roughly the same, though they don’t celebrate communion as regularly.

    In reply to kerner, I never said I “missed” anything elsewhere. I merely find the idea of Reformation Day odd within the context of my own religious experience. And I stand by the somewhat cruel irony in the fact that Lutherans and Co. celebrate church schism at roughly the same time they celebrate church unity. Though I was raised Protestant, I had never even heard of Reformation Day until college. No doubt I am the provincial one in this case, however.

  • helen

    I’m wearing my ‘Old Lutheran’ sweatshirt. I figure being thus attired I can accomplish two things at once 1) celebrate Reformation Day, and 2) scare all my Catholic friends.

    I wore my “Genuine Antique Lutheran (been there, done that; still prayin’)” shirt to a Halloween party at work today. No comment, although some may have agreed with the “antique” part. :)

    Our Librarian whose avocation is pottery made some pretty little dishes for the charity silent auction.
    The one I got is blue and tan and has little fish all around the outside of it.

    But to get back to the topic: at church we currently have Reformation celebrated on the nearest Sunday, (yesterday) and next week we’ll do “all saints” with the reading of the roll of the dead during the past year.

    However, you could say that Lutherans celebrate “all saints” every time they have the service of the Sacrament with the prayer that concludes “…there fore with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven we laud and magnify thy glorious Name….”

  • helen

    I’m wearing my ‘Old Lutheran’ sweatshirt. I figure being thus attired I can accomplish two things at once 1) celebrate Reformation Day, and 2) scare all my Catholic friends.

    I wore my “Genuine Antique Lutheran (been there, done that; still prayin’)” shirt to a Halloween party at work today. No comment, although some may have agreed with the “antique” part. :)

    Our Librarian whose avocation is pottery made some pretty little dishes for the charity silent auction.
    The one I got is blue and tan and has little fish all around the outside of it.

    But to get back to the topic: at church we currently have Reformation celebrated on the nearest Sunday, (yesterday) and next week we’ll do “all saints” with the reading of the roll of the dead during the past year.

    However, you could say that Lutherans celebrate “all saints” every time they have the service of the Sacrament with the prayer that concludes “…there fore with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven we laud and magnify thy glorious Name….”

  • helen

    Oh, and a class on the pericope was cancelled tonight so the participants could be at home to hand out candy!

  • helen

    Oh, and a class on the pericope was cancelled tonight so the participants could be at home to hand out candy!

  • helen

    Cincinnatus’ remark about Methodists reminded me: the first town I lived in, in New Jersey was 80% Roman Catholic; the remainder were Lutheran, Methodist and a Christian church, primarily. The interesting thing to me was that the Lutherans and the Methodists alternated in hosting a Reformation Day celebration, on the date, with a church service and ‘coffee’ afterward. The Methodists’ rationale was that Luther got the whole thing going (and I think, that there was comfort in numbers, once a year).

  • helen

    Cincinnatus’ remark about Methodists reminded me: the first town I lived in, in New Jersey was 80% Roman Catholic; the remainder were Lutheran, Methodist and a Christian church, primarily. The interesting thing to me was that the Lutherans and the Methodists alternated in hosting a Reformation Day celebration, on the date, with a church service and ‘coffee’ afterward. The Methodists’ rationale was that Luther got the whole thing going (and I think, that there was comfort in numbers, once a year).

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Veith said (@44),

    Maybe tODD’s Wisconsin Synod congregation doesn’t do much with it…

    Yes, well, and all the LCMS congregations I was a member of before that, too. Your Lutheran mileage may vary, obviously.

    An especially powerful ritual to me is reading the names of the people who have died that past year while ringing the church bell for each one.

    So is it a focus mainly on the Christian dead, then, a la the Catholic understanding of the day?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Veith said (@44),

    Maybe tODD’s Wisconsin Synod congregation doesn’t do much with it…

    Yes, well, and all the LCMS congregations I was a member of before that, too. Your Lutheran mileage may vary, obviously.

    An especially powerful ritual to me is reading the names of the people who have died that past year while ringing the church bell for each one.

    So is it a focus mainly on the Christian dead, then, a la the Catholic understanding of the day?

  • Shane A

    The entire conversation is based on the premise of “co-opting” the feast day of All Saints with the innovation of “Reformation Day”. I don’t think Cincinnatus was objecting to “Reformation Day” as such, just the supplanting of All Saints Eve. I suspect Dr. Veith’s original comment was rather tongue in cheek, but I originally did not read it entirely as such. As Cincinnatus mentioned above, “Reformation Day” is actually thought of as an alternative to Halloween in some Reformed churches; this is rather sad.

  • Shane A

    The entire conversation is based on the premise of “co-opting” the feast day of All Saints with the innovation of “Reformation Day”. I don’t think Cincinnatus was objecting to “Reformation Day” as such, just the supplanting of All Saints Eve. I suspect Dr. Veith’s original comment was rather tongue in cheek, but I originally did not read it entirely as such. As Cincinnatus mentioned above, “Reformation Day” is actually thought of as an alternative to Halloween in some Reformed churches; this is rather sad.

  • Joe

    tODD @49 – it is appropriately a reformed version of the RC understanding. We focus on the dead Saints, in particular the Saints of our congregation who have died in the past year – but we don’t worry about whether they are stuck in purgatory waiting for someone one to pray them out.

  • Joe

    tODD @49 – it is appropriately a reformed version of the RC understanding. We focus on the dead Saints, in particular the Saints of our congregation who have died in the past year – but we don’t worry about whether they are stuck in purgatory waiting for someone one to pray them out.

  • WebMonk

    tODD and Matt way back up there. Yeah, I know that I wasn’t putting any verification on there, but the verification I have on that is from history books I have or have borrowed. Technically I guess that relegates my post to my-opinion-only. I don’t feel like trying to track down Internet verification.

    There were pagan harvest festivals around Nov 1 long before Christianity, obviously. They all involved a great deal of superstition and various sorts of rituals to appease spirits/gods/ghosts/whatever. The celebrations in the British Isles which became known as Samhain, were nothing special in that regard. There were nearly identical celebrations all over the Roman empire and had been for millenia. When Pope Gregory III moved the date for All Saints Day (ASD) he didn’t have Samhein in mind, in particular, but he was purposefully putting it at the time of the existing pagan harvest celebrations.

    Pagan common knowledge on the subject tends to be almost as bad as as Christian common knowledge. No, ASD wasn’t specifically timed for the Samhain celebration, but it was specifically timed for the pagan harvest celebration which already existed and eventually became known as Samhain. A pagan claiming Samhain is the origin of Halloween is nit-picky technically incorrect, yet still functionally correct.

    (actually, the argument is a lot more nuanced than that, because it starts getting into looking at whether or not Church celebrations were modifications of existing celebrations or if they were distinct celebrations which were placed to overwrite the previous celebrations – it’s not as clear of an argument as either side might like. some celebrations were almost certainly modifications on existing celebrations, whereas others are almost as certainly new creations set to take the place of the existing ones, and some have a less clearly definable source)

    That article mentioned in @9, is an extremely twisted view – insisting that something (the celebration) didn’t exist until it was officially recorded under its modern name (Samhain). A bizarrely stupid claim. Well, maybe not stupid. Probably just extremely ignorant.

  • WebMonk

    tODD and Matt way back up there. Yeah, I know that I wasn’t putting any verification on there, but the verification I have on that is from history books I have or have borrowed. Technically I guess that relegates my post to my-opinion-only. I don’t feel like trying to track down Internet verification.

    There were pagan harvest festivals around Nov 1 long before Christianity, obviously. They all involved a great deal of superstition and various sorts of rituals to appease spirits/gods/ghosts/whatever. The celebrations in the British Isles which became known as Samhain, were nothing special in that regard. There were nearly identical celebrations all over the Roman empire and had been for millenia. When Pope Gregory III moved the date for All Saints Day (ASD) he didn’t have Samhein in mind, in particular, but he was purposefully putting it at the time of the existing pagan harvest celebrations.

    Pagan common knowledge on the subject tends to be almost as bad as as Christian common knowledge. No, ASD wasn’t specifically timed for the Samhain celebration, but it was specifically timed for the pagan harvest celebration which already existed and eventually became known as Samhain. A pagan claiming Samhain is the origin of Halloween is nit-picky technically incorrect, yet still functionally correct.

    (actually, the argument is a lot more nuanced than that, because it starts getting into looking at whether or not Church celebrations were modifications of existing celebrations or if they were distinct celebrations which were placed to overwrite the previous celebrations – it’s not as clear of an argument as either side might like. some celebrations were almost certainly modifications on existing celebrations, whereas others are almost as certainly new creations set to take the place of the existing ones, and some have a less clearly definable source)

    That article mentioned in @9, is an extremely twisted view – insisting that something (the celebration) didn’t exist until it was officially recorded under its modern name (Samhain). A bizarrely stupid claim. Well, maybe not stupid. Probably just extremely ignorant.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    No, Shane! I was, tongue in cheek, trying to co-opt Halloween, not All Saints’ Day! Those are not the same. Halloween is the evening before All Hallows. All Saints Day doesn’t need to be co-opted. The problem with that day is that it tends to be ignored, even among those who claim to honor it. It needs to be brought back in force.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    No, Shane! I was, tongue in cheek, trying to co-opt Halloween, not All Saints’ Day! Those are not the same. Halloween is the evening before All Hallows. All Saints Day doesn’t need to be co-opted. The problem with that day is that it tends to be ignored, even among those who claim to honor it. It needs to be brought back in force.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Todd, yes, indeed, a focus on the Christian dead, but also the Christian living. It is a day to reflect upon “the communion of the saints” in all that means. Of course it isn’t celebrated as it is in Roman Catholicism, with prayers to and veneration of the saints.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Todd, yes, indeed, a focus on the Christian dead, but also the Christian living. It is a day to reflect upon “the communion of the saints” in all that means. Of course it isn’t celebrated as it is in Roman Catholicism, with prayers to and veneration of the saints.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    That’s perfect, Cincinnatus! On one day we celebrate Christian differences and the very next day we celebrate Christian unity! Both, I would argue, are salutary. Note the wisdom of the church year.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    That’s perfect, Cincinnatus! On one day we celebrate Christian differences and the very next day we celebrate Christian unity! Both, I would argue, are salutary. Note the wisdom of the church year.

  • Tom Hering

    “One day we celebrate Christian differences …”

    We celebrate the fact that Rome doesn’t have – and doesn’t want – the true Gospel?

  • Tom Hering

    “One day we celebrate Christian differences …”

    We celebrate the fact that Rome doesn’t have – and doesn’t want – the true Gospel?

  • fws

    tom @ 56

    No Tom. We dont celebrate the effects of sin upon the Church, but we DO celebrate that the visible Holy Catholic Church is scattered over the entire world and cannot be contained by ethnic, political or even eclesiastical divisions but is found wherever sinful men are found baptizing other sinful men.

    and then we also celebrate that even though this earthly Government called the Holy Catholic Church is full of both hypocrites and true Believers, yet only there, in with and under that earthly kingdom is the Communion of Saints we celebrate on ALL Saints Day that is joined in voice to those who are with Christ in heaven.

    This Holy Catholic Church is governed exactly as those other governments of family and society by Law. The only difference with this government from all others , is that, in faith we know is found only within it’s confines, the sum total of all the living who are member of the Communion of Saints which we celebrate on All Saints Day.

  • fws

    tom @ 56

    No Tom. We dont celebrate the effects of sin upon the Church, but we DO celebrate that the visible Holy Catholic Church is scattered over the entire world and cannot be contained by ethnic, political or even eclesiastical divisions but is found wherever sinful men are found baptizing other sinful men.

    and then we also celebrate that even though this earthly Government called the Holy Catholic Church is full of both hypocrites and true Believers, yet only there, in with and under that earthly kingdom is the Communion of Saints we celebrate on ALL Saints Day that is joined in voice to those who are with Christ in heaven.

    This Holy Catholic Church is governed exactly as those other governments of family and society by Law. The only difference with this government from all others , is that, in faith we know is found only within it’s confines, the sum total of all the living who are member of the Communion of Saints which we celebrate on All Saints Day.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    No, Tom. We celebrate the contention for the faith that is part of what the church in its history has always had to be about, the struggles and the martyrdoms and the confession against opposition.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    No, Tom. We celebrate the contention for the faith that is part of what the church in its history has always had to be about, the struggles and the martyrdoms and the confession against opposition.

  • Tom Hering

    Frank, the “one day” Dr. Veith was referring to was Reformation Day, not All Saints Day (“the very next day”). I just thought that “we celebrate Christian differences” (on Reformation Day) was an odd way of describing our remembrance of the 95 Theses being nailed to the church door – the beginning of the recovery of the true Gospel.

  • Tom Hering

    Frank, the “one day” Dr. Veith was referring to was Reformation Day, not All Saints Day (“the very next day”). I just thought that “we celebrate Christian differences” (on Reformation Day) was an odd way of describing our remembrance of the 95 Theses being nailed to the church door – the beginning of the recovery of the true Gospel.

  • Tom Hering

    Dr. Veith @ 58, I understand that. See above.

  • Tom Hering

    Dr. Veith @ 58, I understand that. See above.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @52

    Regarding harvest festivals. What about Thanksgiving? Some assume that All Saints Day is supposed to redirect attention away from a celebration of the harvest toward remembering the gift of salvation that the saints have in Christ. The purpose of Thanksgiving is to be thankful for the provision of our physical needs in contrast to All Saints Day which focuses on salvation into eternity. It seems Thanksgiving has more in common with the ancient harvest festivals than All Saints Day does.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @52

    Regarding harvest festivals. What about Thanksgiving? Some assume that All Saints Day is supposed to redirect attention away from a celebration of the harvest toward remembering the gift of salvation that the saints have in Christ. The purpose of Thanksgiving is to be thankful for the provision of our physical needs in contrast to All Saints Day which focuses on salvation into eternity. It seems Thanksgiving has more in common with the ancient harvest festivals than All Saints Day does.

  • WebMonk

    I agree sg, thatThanksgiving has a lot more direct similarities to harvest festivals, however, there are some pretty distinct differences too.

    Thanksgiving was specifically scheduled to occur at a date that was NOT associated with preexisting celebrations. Thanksgiving as we celebrate it in the US has its roots in the harvest festivals of the Indians and Europeans. However, our modern particular celebration was scheduled to not have overlap with other celebrations.

    However, one also needs to consider that by the time the first Thanksgivings were celebrated in America, harvest festivals as a whole were already fading away from their traditional meaning. Food was becoming much more stable. There was no longer the threat of widespread death if a winter came early or if there were bad rains at the wrong time. Harvest festivals were dying out.

    It was only because the new settlers in America were thrown back into subsistence-level farming, that Thanksgiving got a resurgence that lasted long enough to be officially codified today. In most places in Europe, by the time the practice of permanent, nation-wide proclamations of holidays began, the harvest celebrations had faded away in importance enough that they usually didn’t get their own official celebration like Thanksgiving did here in the USA and Canada.

    Thanksgiving has its roots firmly in harvest celebrations, but the harvest celebrations that spawned Thanksgiving were considerably faded from their earlier importance. The specific celebration which spawned the American Thanksgiving had strong Christian overtones. (though some of the early colonial celebrations still had strong pagan aspects in practice) And then, Thanksgiving was codified completely away from harvest times and given a strongly pro-USA message by President Lincoln, which added yet more layers of separation from the pagan-oriented harvest festivals of the millenia before.

    But yes, in some ways Thanksgiving has stronger ties to harvest celebrations than does All Saints Day. In some ways. In other ways, ASD has stronger ties to the pagan aspects of the harvest celebrations.

  • WebMonk

    I agree sg, thatThanksgiving has a lot more direct similarities to harvest festivals, however, there are some pretty distinct differences too.

    Thanksgiving was specifically scheduled to occur at a date that was NOT associated with preexisting celebrations. Thanksgiving as we celebrate it in the US has its roots in the harvest festivals of the Indians and Europeans. However, our modern particular celebration was scheduled to not have overlap with other celebrations.

    However, one also needs to consider that by the time the first Thanksgivings were celebrated in America, harvest festivals as a whole were already fading away from their traditional meaning. Food was becoming much more stable. There was no longer the threat of widespread death if a winter came early or if there were bad rains at the wrong time. Harvest festivals were dying out.

    It was only because the new settlers in America were thrown back into subsistence-level farming, that Thanksgiving got a resurgence that lasted long enough to be officially codified today. In most places in Europe, by the time the practice of permanent, nation-wide proclamations of holidays began, the harvest celebrations had faded away in importance enough that they usually didn’t get their own official celebration like Thanksgiving did here in the USA and Canada.

    Thanksgiving has its roots firmly in harvest celebrations, but the harvest celebrations that spawned Thanksgiving were considerably faded from their earlier importance. The specific celebration which spawned the American Thanksgiving had strong Christian overtones. (though some of the early colonial celebrations still had strong pagan aspects in practice) And then, Thanksgiving was codified completely away from harvest times and given a strongly pro-USA message by President Lincoln, which added yet more layers of separation from the pagan-oriented harvest festivals of the millenia before.

    But yes, in some ways Thanksgiving has stronger ties to harvest celebrations than does All Saints Day. In some ways. In other ways, ASD has stronger ties to the pagan aspects of the harvest celebrations.

  • Grace

    A lovely site to visit:

    From Pilgrim Hall Museum
    America’s museum of Pilgrim possessions

    PRIMARY SOURCES FOR
    “THE FIRST THANKSGIVING”
    AT PLYMOUTH

    There are 2 (and only 2) primary sources
    for the events of autumn 1621 in Plymouth :

    Edward Winslow writing in Mourt’s Relation and
    William Bradford writing in Of Plymouth Plantation

    Edward Winslow, Mourt’s Relation :

    “our harvest being gotten in, our governour sent foure men on fowling, that so we might after a speciall manner rejoyce together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labours ; they foure in one day killed as much fowle, as with a little helpe beside, served the Company almost a weeke, at which time amongst other Recreations, we exercised our Armes, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoyt, with some ninetie men, whom for three dayes we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five Deere, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governour, and upon the Captaine and others. And although it be not always so plentifull, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so farre from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plentie.

    READ MORE:

    http://www.pilgrimhall.org/1stthnks.htm

  • Grace

    A lovely site to visit:

    From Pilgrim Hall Museum
    America’s museum of Pilgrim possessions

    PRIMARY SOURCES FOR
    “THE FIRST THANKSGIVING”
    AT PLYMOUTH

    There are 2 (and only 2) primary sources
    for the events of autumn 1621 in Plymouth :

    Edward Winslow writing in Mourt’s Relation and
    William Bradford writing in Of Plymouth Plantation

    Edward Winslow, Mourt’s Relation :

    “our harvest being gotten in, our governour sent foure men on fowling, that so we might after a speciall manner rejoyce together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labours ; they foure in one day killed as much fowle, as with a little helpe beside, served the Company almost a weeke, at which time amongst other Recreations, we exercised our Armes, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoyt, with some ninetie men, whom for three dayes we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five Deere, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governour, and upon the Captaine and others. And although it be not always so plentifull, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so farre from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plentie.

    READ MORE:

    http://www.pilgrimhall.org/1stthnks.htm

  • JonSLC

    Re. Dr. Veith’s and tODD’s comments about Wisconsin Synod Lutheran customs… The Wisconsin Synod typically observes “Saints Triumphant” on the second-last Sunday in the church year. Admittedly, “Saints Triumphant” Sunday is an innovation, but its intent is to observe what it traditionally emphasized on All Saints’ Day, namely, the grace of God shown in his deliverance of believers into glory. We thank God for those fellow saints now in heaven with him, and we pray that he will, in his time, deliver us from this life to himself in heaven.

    I think this Saints Triumphant Sunday in WELS came about because of what has been mentioned: All Saints’ Day can get bypassed because the Reformation is being commemorated on the Sunday closest to Nov. 1. The WELS hymnal committee in the early 1990s wanted to keep a Sunday with the All Saints emphasis. (That said, my WELS congregation did observe All Saints’ Day a few years ago when Nov. 1 fell on a Sunday, in addition to Saints Triumphant a couple weeks later. There are propers listed for All Saints in WELS worship materials.)

    At any rate, there are many excellent “heaven” hymns, both old and new. I’ll sing them any chance I get!

  • JonSLC

    Re. Dr. Veith’s and tODD’s comments about Wisconsin Synod Lutheran customs… The Wisconsin Synod typically observes “Saints Triumphant” on the second-last Sunday in the church year. Admittedly, “Saints Triumphant” Sunday is an innovation, but its intent is to observe what it traditionally emphasized on All Saints’ Day, namely, the grace of God shown in his deliverance of believers into glory. We thank God for those fellow saints now in heaven with him, and we pray that he will, in his time, deliver us from this life to himself in heaven.

    I think this Saints Triumphant Sunday in WELS came about because of what has been mentioned: All Saints’ Day can get bypassed because the Reformation is being commemorated on the Sunday closest to Nov. 1. The WELS hymnal committee in the early 1990s wanted to keep a Sunday with the All Saints emphasis. (That said, my WELS congregation did observe All Saints’ Day a few years ago when Nov. 1 fell on a Sunday, in addition to Saints Triumphant a couple weeks later. There are propers listed for All Saints in WELS worship materials.)

    At any rate, there are many excellent “heaven” hymns, both old and new. I’ll sing them any chance I get!

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @62

    I wonder about Thanksgiving being moved beyond the harvest. Canada which is about the same latitudes as Europe had Thanksgiving Oct. 10th this year. The harvest in Europe and Canada is earlier than it is in the US. Thanksgiving also is not a fixed date.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @62

    I wonder about Thanksgiving being moved beyond the harvest. Canada which is about the same latitudes as Europe had Thanksgiving Oct. 10th this year. The harvest in Europe and Canada is earlier than it is in the US. Thanksgiving also is not a fixed date.

  • WebMonk

    sg, it’s a bit of “common knowledge” that the Canadian Thanksgiving is earlier because their crops are harvested earlier than ours. That’s maybe partly true, but only partly, at best.

    Their scheduling of Thanksgiving developed in a similar way to the US’s – bouncing around on lots of different dates before finally being fitted it in where it wouldn’t conflict with other holidays.

    I just checked Wikipedia. They have the basics on there.

  • WebMonk

    sg, it’s a bit of “common knowledge” that the Canadian Thanksgiving is earlier because their crops are harvested earlier than ours. That’s maybe partly true, but only partly, at best.

    Their scheduling of Thanksgiving developed in a similar way to the US’s – bouncing around on lots of different dates before finally being fitted it in where it wouldn’t conflict with other holidays.

    I just checked Wikipedia. They have the basics on there.


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