For the second year in a row, 28-year-old Jeannette Vasquez, her siblings, mother, and other family members will come together at Santa Clara Cemetery in Oxnard to create a traditional Day of the Dead altar in honor of her father, Rafael, who died Oct. 2, 2015.
For this Southern California family of Mexican origin, the point of the Day of the Dead (more commonly known as “Día de los Muertos” in Spanish) celebration is to honor the memory of their loved one. But now that they’ve immersed themselves in the altar-making as well as joined other families doing the same at Calvary Cemetery in East LA, they feel they are also celebrating his life.
Like the Vasquez family, thousands of others are expected to participate in the Day of the Dead celebrations in two Catholic cemeteries in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles: Oct. 26 at Santa Clara Cemetery in Oxnard, and Nov. 2 at Calvary Cemetery in East LA.
It’s only the sixth year that “Día de los Muertos”-themed events are taking place in LA’s Catholic cemeteries. But they draw from traditions deeply ingrained in Mexican culture, and to a lesser extent, in those of other Latin American countries.
According to Ernesto Vega, who oversees Adult Faith Formation in Spanish for the archdiocese, the version of the Day of the Dead celebrated in Southern California and all over Mexico has its roots in pre-Hispanic cultural traditions blended with the traditional Catholic festivities of All Saints’ Day (Nov. 1) and All Souls’ Day (Nov. 2). =
“The celebration did take place in the Church in parishes, prayer groups, youth groups, and Latino families, but there was no official archdiocesan celebration before,” said Vega. “But I remember that when I was in the seminary in the 1990s here in Los Angeles, we would be asked to bring portraits of relatives and we would make altars around All Souls’ Day.”
Full story at Angelus News.
We all want to respect all cultural traditions.
But “pre-Hispanic cultural traditions” = Pagan
“blended with the traditional Catholic festivities ” – It’s not blended, it disguises itself in
catholic feast days
Day of the Dead is more related to pagan halloween than All Souls’ Day.
They are invoking the dead (and dark powers), as honored guests
when the border between the spirit world and the real world dissolve.
Family members provide food for the dead as they journey in the afterlife.
This picture of lovely girls in colorful dresses is deceiving and manipulative.
In Oakland, Skeletons and ghouls were trapsing through at least 1 catholic cemetery
on All Souls’ Day while people were praying there for their deceased. An abomination!
Another time they were trapsing at the Christ the Light Cathedral
The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is now overrid by the
political feast day of Our Lady of Guadalope which seems more a political symbol
than a devotional feast day
Little by little they are secularizing the Catholic Church in the name of Cultural appreciation,
much like the Amazon synod.
It’s admirable to display photos of our ancestors and pray for them.
But please keep the skeletons out of our Catholic cemeteries and Churches.
No, I do not want to respect all cultural traditions which include cannibalism, human sacrifice, polygamy, child rape, etc etc. The Church should not be so welcoming as to allow pagan practices to be normalized.
Today these “Day of the Dead” celebrations are about dressing up in skeletal costumes and drinking to excess. Sadly the prayers for the dead are an afterthought., if they even happen at all. This beautiful holy day has been transformed into another day of morbid partying.
Dia de los muertos This is all based on the Aztec ceremony and to worshiip the goddess Mictecacihuati. It was all brought back slowly first as to honor the dead or more importantly pray for the dead. Then it kept adding what was in the original pagan ritual of inticing the dead to come for a visit with food, family and even the marigolds are part of the enticement. People to allow false worship will be your own damnation
“Together with other Spanish-speaking parishioners from St. Charles Borromeo in North Hollywood, they built an altar to remember the Central American children who have died crossing the desert into the United States or while in federal detention.” [full article]
I knew there was more than just residual Latin paganism in all this. There’s Gomez and his Social Justice charade. Of course.
-Seems like herculean machinations and cherry-picking cafeteria-style to ONLY present the Day of the Dead as the day for displaying photos of one’s deceased family members as a remembrance and to pray for them.
This celebration of the DOD, can solicit and indulge the revival of its profane aspects.
-Sure, the church should have a special day of prayer and Holy Mass for their parishioners’ deceased family members and families should remember their deceased in their daily prayers. But such a family prayer day shouldn’t “OCCUPY” “All Souls’ Day.”
– If “All Souls’ Day” is substituted by the “Day of the Dead”, it is establishing preferential treatment for one culture, and is self-centered on one’s own family.
Most importantly, It is obscuring the work of Mystical Body of Christ. We as the Church Militant pray for ALL departed souls, the Church Penitent, especially those in Purgatory with no one to pray for them.