For All the Saints Who from Their Labors Rest

Barb Spies, OFS, Director of Mission Services and Pastoral Care

One of my favorite traditions that I experienced both at the university where I used to teach and at my home parish is the Ofrenda for Dia de los Muertos. These altars full of memories, pictures, and gifts create a beautiful space for focusing on those who have gone before us, keeping them present in our minds and hearts. I love learning about other cultures and their traditions. This particular practice of altars for All Souls Day really brings to our attention the lives of those we love in a striking visual manner. Each altar is colorful, filled with images, flowers, and items to remind us of our families and friends.

The Disney movie, Coco, shows an interpretation of what Dia de los Muertos means. The story unfolds with song and the deep love of our ancestors who have gone before us. While it doesn’t offer an explicit treatment of faith, it can help children and adults begin a conversation about their beliefs. It’s a sweet film that you might enjoy at this time of year.

Cultures around the world have lovely ways of remembering those who we have lost, and often have a special time of year where the celebration of those we cherished comes to prominence. It gives us a time to grieve and a time to heal. We know that Jesus wept over the death of his friend, Lazarus. We too weep when our precious ones die. It’s important for us to recognize our loss, to remember the person who died, working through our grief and incorporating the memories of our loved ones into our lives. May your precious memories sustain you.

Blessed Angela: “The more fervently I turned to God, the more peace and joy I felt, the more I felt God’s presence.”

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