Words of Wellness

October 26, 2009 | The Rev. Dr. Scott Stoner

Hallowed be your....

The phrase "hallowed be your name" is of course quite familiar to Christians, coming from the faith's most famous prayer.†† As familiar as that phrase might be, the word "hallow" or "hallowed" is not used much today, except of course at this time of year.† The word "Halloween" is a contraction of the phrase "All Hallows Eve."† November 1 is "All Saints Day," sometimes still referred to as "All Hallows Day," and so the evening before became know as "All Hallows Eve" or "Halloween" in, its shortened form.

The word "hallow" means "to make holy; to consecrate; to consider holy or sacred."† Battlefields and cemeteries are traditionally considered to be hallowed grounds† Ancient practices and traditions from all the world religions are considered to be hallowed.† The last book in the J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series is entitled, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, a reference to three magical objects mentioned in the book.† In J.R.R. Tolkien's, The Lord of the Rings, the kings of Gondor are laid to rest in the "Hallows of Rath Dinen."

So the term "hallow" can clearly be used in a variety of ways.† The question I wish to ask in this Halloween edition of the "Weekly Words of Wellness" is how do you use "hallow?"† What I am asking you (as well as myself) is not just how you might use the word in your speaking, but more importantly, "what is hallowed--what is considered to be holy and sacred-- in your life?"† This is a much harder question because it means an honest reflection on what the choices we make in our lives truly reveal about what we consider to be holy and sacred.†† In fact if we want the most honest feedback, we might ask those who know us best to reflect on what they see as holy and sacred in our lives based on the choices they see us making.

How do we know for ourselves, or reveal to others what is holy and sacred in our lives?† How is something hallowed in our lives?† There are probably several ways of assessing this.†† What comes to my mind is how we spend our time, energy, money, commitment and love.† It is one thing to pray, "hallowed be God, or hallowed be my family, or my church/synagogue, or my friends, or my commitment to serve others" and another thing to live these prayers out in our daily lives.† Praying or believing that we are hallowing something in our lives when we truly are not, is like dressing up in a costume and believing that we really are that person or character. †

So Happy Halloween everyone.† I hope you all have a great time dressing up, trick-or-treating, or doing whatever you do to celebrate.† It is truly a fun time of year.† Before or after all the fun, I hope you will give some reflection to what you do indeed make holy in your life.† If you are less than pleased with your reflection, I hope you will make some changes to align your life more closely with what you truly believe to be holy and sacred.

Read more Words of Wellness