Some information about the Day of the Dead and altars:
The annual Mexican celebration, Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead, is a time when families gather to honor and remember deceased loved ones. It is believed that the souls of the dead return to visit the living families in homes, businesses and cemeteries. The festivity takes place at the end of October and November 1st & 2nd; it is a joyful festivity for families and the community. During this time graves are cleaned and decorated. Entire Mexican families construct traditional ofrendas (altars, offerings) that reflect a mixture of Catholicism and ancient Mexican/Aztec cultural practices. The altars vary greatly, depending on village and regional traditions. In the homes, much effort goes into preparing traditional foods.
Anything can be placed on the altar for the visiting souls, including traditional foods, fresh flowers (especially marigolds), pan de muerto (bread for the dead), candles, incense, fruits, cloths, photographs, favorite drinks of the deceased, sugar skulls, and religious images. Decorations also include tombstones, skeletons and papel picado (cut paper). Most importantly, a photograph of the departed soul is placed on the altar.
The flower of the dead is called Cempasúchil (Náhuatl, or Aztec, name for marigold. This was the symbolic flower of death for the Aztecs, because once it is cut, it dies very quickly. Candles and fresh marigolds are placed on the altar to light and guide (by scent) the way of the souls to the altar.
Living with death in this way means that Mexicans learn to accept death as part of life. Death is not to be feared, it is something to be embraced, in the belief that life is the dream, and only in death does someone become truly “awake.”
I would suggest that if you haven’t already seen CoCo, the movie, that you create some time this unique weekend to watch it; it is a rich demonstration of altars, being remembered, where the dead reside until these days, and what happens when the deceased are forgotten.
Here is a link to view a few ideas for you altar. Please send your photos to Sr. Irma at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to see how you decorated your altar and celebrated the Day of the Dead.
Este domingo, 8 de Noviembre,
se ofrecerá la Santa Misa cara-a-cara, a las 2pm.
Debido a limitaciones de espacio, pedimos que quien quiera asistir a Misa, nos den su nombre (aunque parezca inscripción aquí en el sitio-web) para facilitar planificación.
Por favor llene este formulario con su nombre y el número de personas que van a asistir. (Teléfono y correo electrónico se necesitan para que funcione – pueden usar mi número y email@example.com )
Muchísimas gracias, agradecemos su cooperación en asegurar la salud de todos nuestros peregrinos.
primer miércoles, 4 noviembre,
6:30pm Adoración con rosario
7pm Misa de Sanación con unción
por favor, aguarde su asiento con esta inscripción; gracias
Sr. Irma Avila, SL
618-394-6440 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org