Like most any kid growing up in America, I went trick-or-treating. In my day, more than likely, my costume was homemade and my candy container was a pillow case. We didn’t really celebrate so much as we participated in what everyone else in our community was doing. I honestly don’t remember talking about any significance of the day other than candy and dress up.
Somewhere along the way as I grew up, I came to appreciate the reason Halloween is called Halloween, “hallowed-eve”. It’s the night before All Saint’s Day. Only as an adult have I used All Saint’s Day as a day of remembrance for those who have died, but played an important part of my life. My congregation helped play a role in that realization because we spend time in our service each year naming names of those we want to remember. We sing songs about all the saints. It’s nothing elaborate, but it is meaningful.
I am a fan of the simple, yet poignant. When I take time to remember the saints who have impacted my life, I give thanks. I also remember how a small word of kindness can matter a great deal to a young child. I remember how a smile from someone I love can brighten a day. I remember that I did not arrive to the place I am in life without these saints guiding my way, loving me always.
So, without much of a tradition in my background, All Saint’s Day has become a meaningful day to me.
Rev. Mary Wilson is pastor of Church of the Savior in Cedar Park, which is affiliated with The United Church of Christ, American Baptist Churches - USA and The Alliance of Baptists.