My personal favourite version of the Litany of the Saints is by John Becker.
The Litany is a prayer invoking the intercession or help of the saints. Traditionally when it is prayed or sung as part of the Mass, the congregation prostrates or kneels in reverence. When this happens, I like to imagine that what we are all doing is praying with the saints, and for those seven or eight minutes of music, we all fit right into that communion as peers. That unity is, in my opinion, another form of companionship, of the Spirit of God with us and for us, in many different and creative ways.
My daughter came home from school exclaiming, “Mum, we can’t have the Halloween party because we’re a Catholic school and Halloween is the devil’s birthday!”
She and her brother had been invited to a Halloween party on Sunday, where they would dress up in costume and I presume, run around talking like wart-covered witches or ghosts. Dressing up in costume is as Halloweeny as we get. Many of us Aussies haven’t quite got into the rustic, earthen, orange feel that characterises the holiday. This might be because we’re too busy preparing (I mean, bracing ourselves!) for the topsy-turvy Christmas at the end of the year, complete with bells jingling, and sleighs swishing. And do not forget, that after we’ve filled ourselves with hot roasts and brandy-drenched puddings, we sweat it through a summer that stretches right into the next year.
Halloween in Australia? Not as huge a festival as north of the equator, but admittedly growing commercially as plastic pumpkins sprout in supermarket aisles.
“Halloween is not the devil’s birthday,” I stated. “It’s actually the eve – the evening – the …e’en of All Saints’ Day.”
“Oh,” said my daughter. And off she went, relieved that we could still go to the party guilt-free.
To cut a long story short, here’s a picture I came across on Twitter.