Halloween – A Catholic Holiday?

Every year, Catholics hear about how Halloween is a Satanic holiday, and ask ” is it ok to celebrate Halloween?”  In that vein, as we near All Hallows Eve, aka Halloween,  Word on Fire asked some  questions of the walking encyclopedia that is Father Steve Grunow, and he responded with everything you ever wanted to know about Halloween and its deeply Catholic roots, and got some pretty good answers. The full interview may be found at:

It’s Time for Catholics to Embrace Halloween

Begging at the door grew from an old English custom of knocking at doors to beg for a “soul cake” in return for which the beggars promised to pray for the dead of the household. In some areas of England, the practice of “Souling” and the making of soul cakes also became a Christmas tradition.

A Traditional Shropshire  Soul Cake recipe:  (Yield: 18-24 cakes, according to size)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 egg white, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

DIRECTIONS:

Cream shortening and sugar. Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup lukewarm water to which a teaspoon of sugar has been added. Set aside. Scald milk and add to the creamed mixture. When cooled add yeast mixture and stir until thoroughly blended. Sift together flour, salt, and spices, and add gradually to other ingredients, kneading into a soft dough. Set sponge to rise in warm place in greased covered bowl. When doubled in bulk, shape into small round or oval buns. Brush tops with slightly beaten egg white. Bake in moderately hot oven (400° F.) for 15 minutes. Drop temperature to 350 ° F. and bake until delicately browned and thoroughly done.

WRITTEN BY: Harold Clitheroe