Celebrating All Saints' Day
If you feel you don't know much about many of the saints, this may be a good time to tell your kids a bit about Saint Patrick, Saint Valentine and Saint Nicholas (we celebrate holidays for both, but with the commercialization of many occasions children may not be aware of their history).
This is a very good holiday to discuss or celebrate along with or instead of the typical Halloween festivities. Passing on the knowledge that All Hallow's Eve is about more than just collecting candy can help make your children better people. Discussing the lives of some of the Saints inspires us all towards better lives.
When planning Halloween type celebrations for Sunday School, have the children dress up as a favorite Saint or character from the Bible. Each can tell a bit about the person they have chosen.
You can also celebrate with some readings from the Bible, such as Matthew 5:1-12
History of All Saints' Day
[The vigil of this feast is popularly called "Hallowe'en" or "Halloween".]
Celebrated on the first of November, All Saints' Day was instituted to honour all the Christian saints, known and unknown, and, according to Urban IV, to supply any deficiencies in the faithful's celebration of saints' feasts during the year. Eastern churches celebrate it on the first day of Pentecost.
The first All Saints' Day occurred on May 13, 609 (C.E.) when Pope Boniface IV accepted the Pantheon as a gift from the Emperor Phocas. Boniface dedicated it as the Church of Santa Maria Rotonda in honor of the Blessed Virgin and all martyrs. At first only martyrs and St. John the Baptist were honoured by a special day. Other saints were added gradually, and increased in number when a regular process of canonization was established. Pope Gregory IV officially designated the day in 837.