AREVALO, Iloilo City, Oct. 27, 2015 – As commercial establishments set up Halloween decorations, a parish in Iloilo would like to show the world that it’s more fun striving to be holy than trying to be scary to mark the holiday.
Instead of the usual festival of ghouls, goons, and ghosts, the Holy Name of Jesus Parish in the Arevalo district of Iloilo City will hold a Procession of Saints as an alternative Halloween celebration on Oct. 31.
Arevalo parish priest Msgr. Amadeo Escañan explained that the genuine meaning of Halloween is the festival of all holy men and women celebrated on the eve of the Solemnity of All Saints.
Escañan lamented that the modern celebration of Halloween, held usually in exclusive villages and shopping malls, has degenerated into an overly-commercialized event.
Solemn and fun-filled celebration
For the alternative Halloween in Arevalo, parish event-organizers prepared a solemn and fun-filled celebration for children and their parents on Oct. 31.
The faithful will assemble at the parish grounds at 2:15 p.m. for the Holy Mass. After which the presentation and procession of saints will follow in which 50 children hailing from the 10 barangays of the parish – each representing a particular saint- will walk along the streets of Arevalo.
Aside from the Parade of Saints, there will be group games, drum and bugle presentation, candy treats, and the community singing of the 2015 Papal Visit theme song “We are all God’s children”.
Queen of All Saints
Escañan added that Oct. 31, being the last day of the month of the Holy Rosary, will also be the celebration of Holy Mary as the Queen of All Saints.
For this, the Parade of Saints will also be a Marian Procession with the prayer of the Holy Rosary and the representations of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as a fitting way to honor all the saints and their Queen. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas / CBCP News)