This year, celebrate the true meaning of Halloween by throwing an All Hallows Eve party. Halloween for kids can be unattractive to many families, and rightly so. A wholesome and beneficial alternative to Halloween is throwing a party that focuses on the feast of All Saints' Day. We have found that it is way more fun than trick-or-treating and all that scary stuff. You and your guests are sure to have a blast!
A big pot of soup is perfect for this party. It’s festive to include Halloweenish appetizers such as "ghost bananas" and "pumpkin oranges".
Ask half of the guests to bring an appetizer and half to bring a dessert, that way you can make a big pot of soup, provide table wear and forget the rest. When throwing children parties keep the food simple. They don't eat very much during parties anyway.
You may want to provide soul cakes. They are a traditional roll that serve as a reminder to pray for poor souls during the month of November.
When children first started trick-or-treating, they would be given, instead of candy, a soul cake. Rather than saying "Trick-or-treat" as the door was opened they would say the soul cake rhyme:
A soul cake, a soul cake, a prayer for a soul cake.
The children would be given a soul cake along with a list of the family's departed family and friends. The children would then agree to pray for these souls during the month of November.
You can make these traditional rolls by following the recipe below. They are a sweet roll and are very tasty especially when served with butter and jam--peach jam compliments them very well.
yields: 18-24 cakes, according to size
6 cups flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup+1tsp. sugar
1 package of yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 cups milk
2 tsp. salt
4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 egg white
Cream butter and 1/2 cup of sugar. Dissolve yeast in the water and the remaining sugar. Set aside. Scald milk and add to the creamed mixture. When cooled add yeast mixture and stir until thoroughly blended. Sift together flour, salt and spices. Add gradually to other ingredients, kneading until a soft dough. Set sponge to rise in warm place in greased, covered bowl. When doubled in bulk, shape into small round or oval buns. Brush tops with slightly beaten egg white. Bake at 400* for 15 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 350* and bake until delicately browned and thoroughly done.
Recipe credit: www.catholicculture.com
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To make your banana ghosts you will need:
Peel each banana and cut them in half. Put two little chocolate chips side-by-side for the eyes and one big one in the middle as the mouth. And...Voila! you have just made an edible ghost.
To make your pumpkin oranges you will need:
Peel each orange. Cut the green beans into little, 1/2-inch chunks. Put the green bean chunks into the tops of the oranges. Who can resist these mini pumpkin?
Download our All Hallows Eve Party invitation
We just love our All Hallows Eve Parties! Every year we recycle our costumes and add some new things. Because most people's expectation will be something different at a Halloween party, enclose as many details in your invitation as you can. Our invitation prints out lovely and has a place to provide your address and RSVP information. It is a square invitation measuring 5 1/2 inches for envelope purchasing purposes.
The best decorations for an All Hallows Eve party include:
If you plan on carving pumpkins during the All Hallows Eve party, which I like to do if it is just our family, you will need to start early. Prepare as much as possible by gutting the pumpkins, printing templates, and having tea lights ready.
This itinerary works well but adjust as you see fit:
A visit from a poor soul in the graveyard can add an element of scary as well as imply the need for prayers for the souls suffering in Purgatory. A simplified skit from Catholicculture.org is provided below:
Children of God and Members of His Holy Church, we I have come from Purgatory to beg your prayers and urge you to amend your lives.
While I lived on earth, I was forgetful of my true home in heaven. My sins were not so great as to condemn me to Hell, but neither did I strive to love God with my whole heart and soul, mind and will. I am now bound to suffer...(moan)
Oh! The sufferings I endure now to make up for my sins. My brothers and sisters in the Mystical Body, begin today to change your ways.
Remember, it is in the Cross that we most resemble Jesus, our Savior. And finally love our Vicar on Earth, and our Blessed Mother Mary. I must leave now to my temporary prison of Suffering.
Pray for me!! Pray for all the faithful departed. Repent NOW! Repent now! (trail off)
Preparing Your Graveyard And Assembling Your Gravestones
When constructing your own graveyard, you will need a few things to make it look real. The things necessary are:
Set the gravestones out and put a pile of leaves at the end of each gravestone. Make each pile the length of an adult. This will give the effect that the buried have not been dead long.
You can easily make your own gravestones with:
Put a rock in each of the cardboard boxes, arranging it so that it stands up straight. Then wrap the boxes completely in butcher paper. Tape your label on the front of the box.
Now you have a "gravestone" to place in your graveyard ahead of each pile of leaves. It really turns out great! If you have time, make more graves.
Preparing Your Hell Room
A Hell room is a part of an All Hallows Eve party because it reminds the children that there is a place of punishment for those who die in mortal sin.
Preparing your Hell room is easy with:
Using the crayons or markers, color the paper side of the butcher paper with flames. Tie the string to the head cut-out. Hang your cut-out in the room that you are going to use as the Hell room. Using a few thumbtacks, hang the colored butcher paper in the doorway to your Hell room. Inside the room put a shop light in a position that the shadow of the head will show clearly silhouetted against the butcher paper.
Turn on the scary music and let it repeat playing throughout the party. We play "Tocatta and Fugue in D Minor".
Finally create a sign and place over the door that reads: Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here!
On this page you will find King St. Louis IX holding the real crown of thorns, next to him is St Helen with the true cross, St. Joan of Arc is next in her military regalia, next is St. Peter receiving the keys from the Infant Lord Who is on the Queen of All Saints lap, St. Joseph is to the right of her and St. Mary Magdalene is at Our Lord's feet.
To the right of St. Mary Magdalene is St. Philomena with an anchor, then St. Therese the Little Flower, next is St. Isaac Jogues and finally St. John the Baptist with his banner, which reads "Behold the Lamb of God."
"Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God, in thy blood, out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation." -Apocalypse 5:9
Don't forget to encourage your guests to dress in the garb of their favorite saint. This fun need not be reserved for the kids only. Moms and dads should join in the fun!
There are some activities that work great for larger crowds like at parish or homeschool group parties. Depending on time and effort you can include the following:
A Cakewalk that is actually a cupcake walk. Cut out clouds numbering them. Play music and when the music stops draw a number. Call out the number and the child standing on the cloud with that number gets a cupcake.
Pumpkin Carving Contest. Have guests bring an already carved pumpkin to enter. Assign judges to vote on anonymous Jack O' Lanterns displayed on a table. The one with the most votes wins a prize.
A Saint Trivia Game is fun for a small more mature crowd. This will take more planning than other activities but you can put together a trivia game highlighting well known saints and some interested trivia questions gleaned from their lives.
Everyone loves a Best Costume Contest. Judges can vote on their favorite costume as the parade of saint takes place. Depending on the size of the gathering, categories can be added. A prize goes to the winners.
Guess How Many Goodies Are In The Jar is another game that children love. Theme appropriate mason jars should be prepared and the person who guesses the closes to the correct number wins the jar.
Wrap up the party by distributing the goodie bags that the parents brought for their own children. After the Rosary and before your guests leave. As a part of an All Hallows Eve Party, it is easy to incorporate the meaning of All Souls’ Day.
In each goodie bag include a for each child a prayer and a list of souls to pray for during the month of November. This way the children will begin the habit of praying for poor souls as they partake in their treats.
Compile your poor souls list by brainstorming departed family members, friends and clergy. Divide this list of names among your children. A short prayer that works well for little ones is:
Divine Heart of Jesus, convert sinners, save the dying, deliver the holy Souls in Purgatory. Amen. (300 day indulgence)
A longer prayer can be found for bigger children.
Another November tradition to adopt is making visits to cemeteries. Visiting several during November while praying for the poor souls is highly recommended. It is fun to look at all the old graves.
Don’t forget to add to your morning offering during the month November:
I wish to gain all the indulgences attached to the prayers I shall say and to the good works I shall perform this day for the poor souls in Purgatory.
November is a great opportunity to teach children about the Communion of Saints!
Our annual All Hallows Eve party is my favorite party of the entire year! I hope it becomes a yearly tradition and that the guests at your party never forget the evening of fun that you provided.
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