Friends: Yesterday I saw my first Halloween display.
They say that pride cometh before the fall, but Fall has just begun, and I am already feeling pride over my correct surmise that Mrs. William Kirby of Larkspur Avenue would be the agent of Lucifer’s earliest handiwork this year. Her yard was indeed a scene from a children's version of Dante's Inferno. It isn’t that Mrs. Kirby has any of the obvious signs of being an agent of the Devil! But the subtle ones are legion! It was at the Spring Social that I noticed the way her lipstick matches her purse. In my book, accessorizing is the origin of the phrase “the Devil is in the details.” Even more, Mrs. Kirby’s obvious charms – not to mention the mole she has just above her elegant and shapely left ankle -- call to mind Shakespeare’s warning about “beauteous evil” being “empty trunks o’erflourished by the Devil.” And now that effigies of witches and mock tombstones flourish in her front yard, who would try to gainsay the Bard?
Sadly, I’m not even sure you will take my word for this. I feel betrayed by those of you who have called my sermons bellicose, intolerant, or buffoonish! And I know many of you secretly wish I would stop my campaign against Halloween, because you are tired of spending every October lying on sidewalks to disrupt the trick or treating. But I won’t, I tell you! Evil is evil, even if it be clad in adorable little shoes! You're all on notice out there!
This year, though, I have a simple proposal to end the controversy, something I call "Winning the War on All Hallow’s Eve."
Do you people even know what the Feast of All Hallows is? It is celebration of the saints, of all the saints who couldn’t have their own day! It is sort of like President’s Day, a generic day to remember martyrs for Christ! And today, the number of martyrs is growing astronomically. So, while putting pagan symbols on your lawn is blasphemous at any time of the year, it is doubly insulting to God on All Hallows Eve! So we need to recapture the spirit of the original holiday, before the forces of materialism and secularism ruin it. Here are my suggestions on alternate costumes for your children:
Popular Halloween Costume: Princess
Proper All Hallow’s Costume: Saint Cecilia
Description: Saint Cecilia should carry a musical instrument and have three bloody axe wounds on her neck to signify the three initially failed attempts to behead her.
Popular Halloween Costume: Harry Potter
Proper All Hallow’s Costume: Saint Peter
Description: Since Saint Peter was crucified upside-down, children will need their parents to hold the base of the crucifix. Don’t use a candy bag with an open top!
Popular Halloween Costume: Spiderman
Proper All Hallow’s Costume: Thomas the Apostle
Description: Since Thomas was was killed by a spear, make sure that Spidey appears to be impaled. A small pump can be used to similate bleeding. Helpful Hint: Use tomato juice for arterial blood and grape juice for venous blood!
Popular Halloween Costume: Witch
Proper All Hallow’s Costume: Saint Agatha
Description:: Saint Agatha had her breasts cut off. She is usually depicted carrying her breasts on a tray (which should be held in the opposite hand from the candy bag).
Can you imagine all the little martyrs running around the neighborhood? You can call me a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.
Today’s reading is from “For All the Saints” by Bishop How. I chose it because it was topical, and also because there is a lot of whinging these days about how we don’t need to send our soldiers into Iran. This saddens me, since our government has told us that their Revolutionary Guard are Terrorists, and it was Terrorists that struck us on 9/11! And while death is a sacrifice, it does not come without rewards:
O may Thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold,
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
And win with them the victor’s crown of gold.
A victor’s crown? Dandy! A victor’s crown of gold? Sweet!
And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
And hearts are brave, again, and arms are strong.
Sure, the troops are tired of being multiple deployments! But our Dear Leader’s constant optimism is nothing if it is not a “distant triumph song”! And the hymn describes that as more rejuvenating than shore leave (and less likely to result in STD’s!) How do you like those apples, Senator Webb?
The golden evening brightens in the west;
Soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest;
Sweet is the calm of paradise the blessed.
The golden evening of the West! The wax paper evening of the East!
Do you for a moment believe that the soldiers of Islam go to the paradise of the blessed? Not likely! They talk about 72 houris, but my own experience is that when you are promised virgins, you never end up with virgins. And I’ve got the medical bills to prove it!
But enough about me. Let’s cast our thoughts for a moment to all the soldiers who will have a chance to be martyrs! Not only will they go to the “paradise of the blessed” but they will also, if we win the War on All Hallow’s Eve, live on in the costumes of the Kirby children, carrying bags of candy, their faces covered with IED wounds lovingly painted there by their mother!
Labels: Sunday Sermon