For about as long as humans have been human, we have wondered, feared, and hoped about the souls of our companions who die. Both out of love for those we've lost, and out of fear for what might happen to us, we have felt it important to "put the dead in their place," to make sure they are not wandering the earth causing trouble.

Perhaps it's no problem that we are no longer quite so supertitious in this direction. But there's something missing when Halloween has become just an occasion for dress-up and excess.

Ghosts still wander the earth - in reality, or in metaphor. We do well to respect what they still have to say to us, what we need to do to help assure peace in their passing. In the Western Church, we will remember the departed tomorrow, on All Saints' Day. But tonight, for all the fun there may be in a Fall Carnaval, I hope we do not neglect the spirits that are just out of sight.


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