Days of the Dead in the Diocese of California

The days of the dead celebrated in Mexico were adapted to the local community at St. James / Santiago in Oakland. In Mexico people remember children on November 1 and adults on November 2, at their home altars; at St. James the two days are combined to celebrate All Saints and All Souls. The preparation of the Ofrendas is a time to think about the deceased. Memories and gratitude are recalled while the altars are set in the church.

Bilingual Morning Prayer was observed Sunday morning, focusing on the All Saints Feast and prayers for all the Church, especially for the newly installed Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry. In the evening 60 families came to honor their deceased. People brought photos and food to complete the Ofrendas/Altars for the Dead. One of the Native American families censed all the altars with lavender and sage making the entire experience much more cross-cultural. 

After Mass, the families shared traditional Mexican and Salvadorian dishes. It was indeed a night where the living and dead entered in communion again. Photos from St. James / Santiago are available via Google photos.

St. James / Santiago was not the only congregation to incorporate multicultral observances into All Saints / All Souls. Below are some photos from St. Giles’, Moraga.