Day of the Dead has been an important celebration for so many of us for the last few years. I have felt grateful for the opportunity to share with this congregation this holiday during worship. And I know this is a meaningful service for so many of our Mexican, Mexican-American, and Latinx members. An affirmation of our culture and an opportunity to honor our beloved dead in community. The pandemic has already prevented us from gathering and celebrating so many occasions together: Easter, Pride, Pachamama, and more. For our services and some rituals, we have tried new virtual ways to recreate them. But, leading a Day of the Dead service online didn’t feel right to me this year.
My invitation, when I have created this worship service for our community in the past, is to enter an intimate space where we can both laugh and grieve together for our beloved dead. In US culture, the Day of the Dead has entered pop-culture and with that it has been often misunderstood and, in so many cases, commodified. Streaming a Day of the Dead service that will also continue to live online, did not sit well with me. For that reason, we will offer, instead, a workshop with a Mexican writer about the origins of this celebration on October 24th and I will hold a Day of the Dead vespers service on zoom. See our newsletter for more information if you want to attend. I am grateful that the Earth Centered Spirituality Circle will offer a worship service around the theme of honoring our beloved dead but in a way that invites the congregation to connect with appropriate cultural practices. This service will be rich and meaningful and I hope you won’t miss it.
I look forward to the moment where you can join me in building community altars to celebrate the Day of the Dead and help me decorate our campus with marigolds everywhere once we are able to be together in person.
~ Rev. Tania Y. Márquez
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