Traditional Ofrenda we all Create and Ceremonial Fire we Participate......
Tradition has it that some individuals feel that death is a special occasion, but with elements of celebration, because the soul is passing into another life. Plans for the festival are made throughout the year, including gathering the goods to be offered to the dead. During the period of November 1and November 2, families usually clean and decorate the graves. It is traditional to visit the cemeteries where their loved ones are buried and decorate their graves with ofrendas, or offerings, which often include orange marigold called "cempasuchil", originally named cempaxochitl,Nahuatl for "twenty flowers", in modern Mexico this name is often replaced with the term "Flor de Muerto", Spanish for "Flower of the Dead". These flowers are thought to attract souls of the dead to the offerings.
Toys are brought for dead children (los angelitos, or little angels), and bottles of tequila, mezcal, pulque or atole for adults. Families will also offer trinkets or the deceased's favorite candies on the grave. Ofrendas are also put in homes, usually with foods such as candied pumpkin,pan de muerto ("bread of the dead") or sugar skulls and beverages such as atole. The ofrendas are left out in the homes as a welcoming gesture for the deceased. Some people believe the spirits of the dead eat the "spiritual essence" of the ofrenda food, so even though the celebrators eat the food after the festivity, they believe it lacks nutritional value. The pillows and blankets are left out so that the deceased can rest after their long journey. In some parts of Mexico, such as the towns of, people spend all night beside the graves of their relatives.
Some families build altars or small shrines in their homes.These altars usually have the Christian cross, statues or pictures of the Blessed Virgin Mary, pictures of deceased relatives and other persons, and scores of candles. Traditionally, families spend some time around the altar praying and telling anecdotes about the deceased. In some locations.
The Ofrenda is built for 360 degree participation, this allows everyone to participate in the ceremony and will offer you an opportunity to place a photo or a momento of a loved one, which you may leave to be placed out every year, or return home with you. We ask that you also bring a candle. Flowers that are brought will traditionally be placed in the rooms a Hospice (on Coronado between 7th and 3rd Streets) the following day. It offers a bright moment for those who are preparing to pass on from this life.
For the attendees who gather throughout the night at the Ofrenda it is the time to take out of our lives to converse with others about those loved ones who are no longer with us, this is the conversation at the ofrenda......please take advantage of this unique opportunity to share your memories, and your diversity of beliefs with others gathered that evening.
The Blessing and the Ceremony
Father Jorge and others present a blessing of the Ofrenda
If you so choose there is a opportunity to write a letter to those who are living in your memories.....this letter will be placed in a ceremonial fire at a designated time during the evening. If you are unable to attend this year's event please feel free to write the traditional letter, seal it and send it to me marked as such.