Community helps celebrate “D’a de los Muertos”

By Gus Bode

Community helps people honored loved ones that are gone but not forgotten

During “D’a de los Muertos,” burning incense and the light of candles are intended to help the deceased find their way home.

The Mexican holiday, translated as “The Day of the Dead,” is a chance for people to honor their loved ones who have passed away.


Several local community organizations are giving people the chance to honor their loved ones this weekend.

The Delta Phi Mu Sorority Inc., along with the Hispanic Student Council, is having a “Celebrating Life” presentation from 6 to 10 p.m. Nov. 1 in the Student Center Video Lounge. There will be a discussion on what the Day of the Dead means and its symbolism.

“Really, it is an explanation of the observance and an explanation of culture,” said Carmen Suarez, the faculty adviser for the Hispanic Student Council.

There will also be a presentation of artifacts used during the holiday and students will be given an opportunity to honor their deceased loved ones.

St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church will also have special masses and an All Souls Liturgy at noon on Saturday.

Members of the congregation will also have an opportunity to honor their loved ones with a candlelight ceremony.

All Saints Day, Nov. 1, and All Souls Day, Nov. 2, are celebrated by many different customs that vary according to ethnic roots of different regions. Most common are lively reunions at family burial plots and offerings laid out for the departed on commemorative altars and religious rites.


Usually remembrance of deceased infants and children is on Nov. 1 and those who have died as adults are honored on Nov. 2.

The Halfway Home organization is also having an event inspired by the holiday. There will be workshops from 8:45 a.m. to midnight at the Church of the Good Shepherd United Church of Christ on Nov. 2.

“We were inspired by the way in which they live with death,” said Sirriya Din, coordinator of the event. “In our culture, we push death aside.”

The Halfway House is an organization that provides a homelike setting to people who are dying. The support group is comprised of friends, family, coworkers, hospice workers, social workers, and health care, psychological and spiritual practitioners.

The event, “Reflections on Living, Dying and the Passage Between” offers workshops on dealing with grief, mourning, preparation for dying and helping children deal with death.

There will also be music from different cultures, a labyrinth walk, meditation, video presentations and a candlelit walk to the cemetery.

“This will be an educational experience and a celebration for the transition of death,” Din said.

Reporter Kristina Dailing can be reached at [email protected]