Today is the vigil of All Saints, or as it was known in years past, All Hallows Eve. In England, saints or holy people were called “hallowed”, hence the name “All Hallows Day” or “Hallowmas.” The evening, or “e’en” before the feast became popularly known as “All Hallows Eve,” or even shorter, “Hallowe’en.”
Since the night before All Saints Day, “All Hallows Eve”, was the vigil and required fasting, many recipes and traditions have come down for this evening, such as pancakes, boxty bread and boxty pancakes (the boxty made from potatoes), barmbrack (Irish fruit bread with hidden charms), and colcannon (combination of cabbage and boiled potatoes). This was also known as “Nutcrack Night” in England, where the family gathered around the hearth to enjoy cider and nuts and apples. In England “soul cakes” were another traditional food. People would go begging for a “soul cake” and promise to pray for the giver’s departed friends and family in exchange for the treat, an early version of today’s “Trick or Treat.”
Tonight at St. Augustine’s, we will welcome children from the neighborhood and rather than giving them “soul cakes,” we will give them the Americanized version of the treat for the vigil, candy.
Let us pray: Rejoice, people of God, Praise the Lord. Let us keep the feast in honor of all God’s saints, in whose victory the angels rejoice and glorify the Son of God. Amen.
Remember to set your clocks back one hour this Saturday!
All Hallows Eve at St. Augustine, this Thursday. Starting at 6 PM, we will be welcoming the children of the neighbor and giving away treats!
This Sunday we will celebrate the Feast of All Saints at the 9 AM Eucharist.
Please remember everyone on our Prayer List, especially Jo and Pat.
Your servant in Christ,
Fr. Chester J. Makowski+St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550