October is the month of Halloween. It is a wonderful time. Children get to dress up as ghouls, monsters, super heroes, or a multitude of fictional characters. They get to walk around their neighborhoods, knocking on the doors of strangers and saying “Trick or treat?” Adults get to have fun seeing the kids in their costumes and handing out candy or more healthy substitute treats.
The word Hallowe’en can be broken into two parts ‘Hallow’ and ‘e’en’. ‘Hallow’ is another word for saint in Old English. ‘E’en’ is a Scottish shortening of the word ‘even’ or ‘evening’. In Christian liturgy, October 30 is referred to as All Hallows Eve or the day before November 1, All Saints Day.
On All Saints Day we celebrate the lives of those who were persecuted and died in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, Emanuel. Those who spread the Gospel and preached the Word even at the peril of their lives and made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of our Christian Faith.
On All Hallows Eve we prepare for the celebration of All Saints Day by a general celebration of all the dead, all those who came before us and have since been gathered into the Kingdom of Our Father in Heaven. All our brethren who passed to the Celestial Lodge above.
Sir Knights, remember and keep holy these time honored traditions in their Christian character. Celebrate with your families and with your congregations.
At your stated conclaves this October, I recommend that you hold a short memorial service in honor of all who died in the service of the Christian Faith. Include a moment of silent prayer and reflection. Share memories of those members who passed some time ago but linger in your memory in fondness and tenderness.
In your Lodges, remember the story of the martyr who you emulated in the Master Mason Degree. Suggest to your Worshipful Masters that your Lodge hold a general celebration of all the brethren who passed to the Celestial Lodge.
Finally, Sir Knights, remember that death is not the end of life, it is the transformation from the mortal and transient to the eternal, the Crown of Life promised by The Lord to all who faithfully serve Him. “Be thou faithful unto death and I will give unto Thee a Crown of Life” (Revelation 2:10).
As Christians, we celebrate life in all its joys and we try to emulate the most worthy example set by God The Son, to honor God The Father, and to embody God The Holy Spirit.
As Masons, we are taught to build industriously while our strength endures, strengthening the quality of life for others before our own time comes. Joyously celebrating with our friends and loved ones the remaining time we can spend together before we go to the land where our fathers have gone before us.
Ponder well, my brethren, on all these things and have happy All Allhallowe’en and All Saints Day.
Non nobis, Domine, sed Nomini tuo da gloriam.
Ryan Winters, KCT
of the Grand Commandery of Oregon, KT