The eerie facet of All Souls’ Day
ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago-Visaya (The Freeman) - November 3, 2018 - 12:00am

The projection of All Souls’ Day in the consciousness of the faithful, ever since, has always been the dark, creepy side and in the tender years of our children. They have been exposed to the dark association of the celebration, yes, into something that they are afraid of.


Malls, restaurants, houses, wherever we go, scary decorations are ubiquitous. Television shows and radio programs have aired creepy stories even weeks before the celebration. The social media, because of its wide reach, has also come out with scary stories for everyone to read and view. They all practically aim to highlight the tormenting prospect of death, the uncertainties of the other side of life. And for so long such way of projecting scary image of the celebrations has ingrained both consciously and otherwise in the past, present, and for the future generations.

What originally started as a pagan ritual is today a light-hearted tradition. Kids are dressing up in adorable costumes and go door-to-door for trick-or-treat. Adults are enjoying Halloween parties outdoing each other in scary costumes. And all over there are parades, haunted houses, and spooky hayrides for the entire family.

Zombies, bad spirits, “the other world” are all being utilized to condition their young minds. And this is so because parents and grandparents have been oriented on the same creepy notions about the commemoration. And because of the long history of such kind of belief then all the more it is difficult to have a change of heart and mind.

And although such celebration has a long tradition of being associated with paganistic and even Christian practices, such focus must be apropos to remembering the lessons of our departed. Such lessons are useful to how we face our present challenges. Their life’s lessons would serve as our starting point for positive approach to life.

The line that separates Halloween and All Souls’ Day is blurred because the fact is they don’t even come from the same culture or religion as the former is thought to have come from the Celts, while the latter is a product of Christianity. All Souls’ Day is a day of reverence for all those who have died—especially the ones Catholics believe are still stuck in Purgatory. And no amount of mesmeric and creepy costumes and fashion shows to hype the occasion, plus the grand arrangement of flowers and colorful candles, will save the souls of our departed. However, our prayers and good deeds can accomplish its essence.

Their stories and lessons should not scare us from facing life’s challenges for we are strengthened by the experiences they have audaciously faced. The acceptance of the inevitability of death helps us to prepare for the eventuality. There is always an opportunity for every human undertaking to prepare us in our actualization of our very purpose in life, making a meaningful life for others.

As a natural occurrence, death should not be viewed as a finale but rather a stage to attain an end. Such end enables us to join with our Creator. Like an expectant father, He is waiting for us to experience the eternal bliss in His promised paradise—where there are no more pains, struggles, and persecutions.

And if we really believe that the life after death is determined by what we do on earth then we will continue to do good for others. In this way we believe that such means is the way to achieve the end.


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