The Archdiocese of Xalapa, Mexico has called on the faithful to preserve Catholic traditions associated with All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day amid the increasing celebration of Halloween in the country.
The archdiocese noted that the two feast days are traditionally celebrated in Mexico with symbolic decorations and colorful flowers “to remind us that the feast of All Saints is upon us.”
“Our homes are decorated with colors that are very typical of Mexico, especially the decorations we place upon our altars to renew the tradition of drawing near to our dear faithful departed,” the statement said.
The archdiocese urged Mexican Catholics to reinforce their traditions “that bring families together and foster peace with each other. In this case we need to preserve these traditions from the invasion and commercialization of Halloween.”
“These feast days are not supposed to be an occasion to dress up as monsters or to frighten others with the most violent costumes we can find. This is not in harmony with the spirit of these traditions” and does not “foster peace.”
Instead, All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day “provide us an opportunity to reflect on the theme of death,” which remains a “mystery” and “reflection of our condition as humans and our limitations,” the archdiocese stated.
The archdiocese also rejected the veneration of “St. Death,” a practice in some parts of Mexico. “Personal death is the only death that exists, and our Lord Jesus Christ has rescued us from it with his glorious resurrection.”
“Let us revive our traditions by decorating our altars for the faithfully departed, visiting the places of final rest, sharing in the traditional dishes of these celebrations and adorning our homes and churches with Mexican colors,” the statement concluded.