Hallows Eve


Coming to this all hallows evening we hear the call to pay attention to the permeable fabric of time. It is a potent time in which those others who have lived before and will live after crowd with us onto the stage of our life. It is good to pay attention. We are put in perspective by the great crowd of witnesses that assemble. It is both humbling and comforting to welcome them.

Who might show up at the door of our life this evening, this sundown that ushers in All Saints? Perhaps one of the church fathers or the desert mothers, perhaps our great aunt with her arms full of washing fresh from the sunlit line, perhaps the child of our grand child, coming to us arms outstretched holding the quiet gift of the future.

Perhaps we will open a door to one we have yet to forgive or one we never knew had forgiven us.  Perhaps it will be someone we are now able to thank. Perhaps it will be to love.  All of us, great or glamorous, famous or little noticed are much the same size this evening. We are, as that hymn says, in the line I love so much, “small paper lanterns lighting the way”. That is enough.

I hope you open the door of your heart in these days to a bevy of small paper lanterns, a small bright cloud of witnesses and that you know yourself, one of them, lighting the way

Join me on the journey. Rest, Reflect, Replenish


  1. Margie Ann on October 31, 2023 at 9:30 pm

    Thank you, Catherine, for this meditation as I step into the place of my ancestors in Cape Breton. I will be remembering ancestors the next few days as I visit gravestones and I will celebrate with joy the news of the birth of Charlotte Catherine my great-great niece.

    • Catherine Smith on November 1, 2023 at 8:51 am

      Rich memories and joyful blessings as you welcome Charlotte Catherine and wrap remembrance around you.

  2. Leslie Burrows on October 31, 2023 at 6:56 pm

    The ringing of the bell, a smiling happy face that greets you as you open the door. I smile and my heart grows. We received our usual five trick or treaters. A real joy – a fairy, a pirate, a unicorn, an alien, and one I am not sure what! Even when we are not sure, we still greet and welcome, and receive the blessing. Happy Halloween!!

    • Catherine Smith on November 1, 2023 at 8:50 am

      A lovely reflection; “even when we are not sure, we still greet and welcome and receive the blessing” Thank you, Leslie.

  3. Catherine Smith on November 2, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Thank you Heather.
    I take courage from those tiny bright lanterns and a feel sense of vivd community when we sing.

  4. Heather MacDougall on November 1, 2015 at 12:56 am

    Thanks for these profound and provocative images and questions. I too love “small paper lanterns lighting the way.”

  5. Kerry Howarth on October 31, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    I’ve never been much for Hallowe’en…but your post has made me pause and think about it in a contemplative light. Thank you, Catherine!

    • Catherine Smith on November 2, 2015 at 1:35 pm

      Thank you Kerry, I’m glad a small light shining has opened possibility.

  6. Shirley Childs on October 31, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    How beautifully inviting to the possibilities we can imagine of those we are to welcome. Your words help Bob and I open our hearts to whomever may be waiting to greet, forgive, invite forgiveness, ask forgiveness. Awaiting the guests!

    • Catherine Smith on November 2, 2015 at 1:31 pm

      Yes, the delicious possibility of awaiting the guests. I hope each one revealed blessing.

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