Saturday, October 31, 2009
Mocking the Devil
People who weigh in on the annual "Halloween Debate" often cite the costumes that are used by children and adults alike; they dress as devils, monsters, ghosts, witches, and all sorts of creepy creatures, juxtaposed with the also-traditional saints and angels or, of course, movie characters, persons from history (Mary Queen of Scots comes to mind), etc. To some people's minds, the more devilish costumes seem to them to be a form of "affirmation" of dark powers and principalities, and really, nothing could be further from the truth. At least not in the original intention.
In ye olde tymes, the children dressed up devilishly not to give honor, but to MOCK the devil, and oh, how the devil HATES to be mocked! It takes his power away when we refuse to fear him, and when those innocent children are doing so, it's even WORSE for him! And of course, the practice of dressing as Saints and Angels WAS a sign of honor, of how God overcomes evil. I seem to recall reading somewhere about "passion plays" where the Saints and Angels would banish the little "devils", and so the children both had fun and learned about the triumph of the redemption.
So in the spirit of remembering the olde traditions, I have been pondering how I should dress up this year if I hand out candy. A couple years ago, at work my boss and I dressed as Saints and went around to different classrooms in the school to talk about who we were. My Saint happened to have been a religious sister, so I wore a "habit" and carried the symbols proper to the Saint, then kept the costume on when I handed out candy to the little cuties who came by.
I've decided though, to be SCARY this year! I like the idea of mocking the devil, although I have no interest in putting on red footie pajamas and attaching horns to my head and a little forked tail to my butt. Somehow that look works on a child but just makes an adult look so ridiculous the actual mocking of the devil is lost and becomes mocking of the ridiculous adult.
So I pondered and pondered, thinking of all the creative costumes I've worn in the past. None are really proper. And then...it occurred to me. What's the SCARIEST thing I can think of? What mocks the devil and his work in this world?
I can't even CONSIDER anything scarier than that! So tonight, I'm going to dress as a womynpryst! Of course, EVERYONE knows they don't really exist, but that's also what makes them SCARIER! ARRRRRRR!
Here's how I'm going to create my costume: I'm going to find an old white sheet and cut a hole in the middle for my head, then find some kind of a belt or rope or something to tie it at my waist. We'll call that an "alb". Then I'll get a red or neon-colored plastic tablecloth, cut a hole in the center of that, and drape it over my head. We'll call that the "chasuble". Then I'll find a clashing swirly-patterned or rainbow-colored scarf, and drape that over the "chasuble" and we'll call that the "stole". Oh, and I have to find a grey wig or maybe use flour or something to make my hair gray.
Actually, as I think about it, that IS the authentic outfit of "womynpriests"! For props, I'll carry around a kool-aid pitcher filled with grape juice and a tiffany-glass bowl containing cubed French or Italian bread, maybe mixed with honey-wheat pita bits.
I wonder if I can find anyone to dress up as members of CTA or VOTF? Any takers? I might also need a womynbishop with a tall clashing badly-designed "mitre". You have to look as authentic as I do! Oh, and if you're going to do this, you have to go around scowling and railing against the male hierarchy but smiling and cowtowing to anyone who sings your same mantra.
I seriously can't think of a better way than this to mock the devil and his work.
Oh, I'm off to put my costume together!
I LOVE Halloween! This is great!