Next Sunday is a major feast day on the Christian calendar -- All Saints Day. The day has its origins in the ancient church when it was celebrated on the Saturday before Easter -- the day now called Holy Saturday when Jesus descends to the dead to free everyone from the grip of death. All Saints and All Souls days merged to become special masses for martyrs and those who had died anonymously. In later centuries, the day shifted into the weeks before Advent, and the day we now call "Halloween" is actually All Hallows Eve, or the even of All Souls Day.
This year I am bringing a tradition to St. Paul's from the part of the world where I come: La Ofrenda, a special table in the church where we display items representing people we love who have died, maybe a photograph or a poem, or a candle and a paper flower. I wrote about this a week ago on this blog, and so I am doing so again to invite you to bring something for our ofrenda next week.
La Ofrenda comes from the Mexican "Day of the Dead" where people have a party in the cemetery so their dead relatives can join them. I am not recommending parties in any Charlottesville cemeteries, but I do hope you will bring something for our ofrenda at St. Paul's. We will leave the table up through November, and you can retrieve your items on the First Sunday of Advent.
On this blog are more photos from some amazing ofrendas in various churches.