Samhain is a Celtic celebration of the end of harvest season, and by extension we can see it as the spiritual observance of the sacredness of Endings in the cycle of life. Included in such celebrations are rituals for honoring The Ancestors, as those whose have come before us, and have contributed to the many blessings in our own lives -- indeed, to our very existence.
Growing up in a protestant household, though, none of this was present. Oh sure, grandparents were fondly remembered when viewing old photos or home movies, but that was it. Once someone was dead, they it was thought that they ceased to have any role in the lives of the living. It was close to blasphemy to think otherwise. How sad is this limited belief.
Yet, many spiritual traditions around the world have some form of honoring of The Ancestors. It is common in Asian cultures for ancestral altars to be present in homes. The Catholic church established All Hallows and All Souls days for remembrance of saints, martyrs and others. Holding perpetual res