A Mexican Day of the Dead ceremony was held at Saint Paul’s on Nov. 2.

With Halloween, All Saints Day and All Souls Day also that week, life at Saint Paul’s was extremely busy.

On the day following the All Saints Day, school Mass was a special Day of the Dead ceremony celebrating the souls of all those who have died. Students taking upper-level Spanish courses assisted with special readings and other tasks such as lighting candles and holding baskets for the student body’s prayer intentions.

The slips of paper that students and faculty placed in the baskets contained the names of loved ones that they wished to pray for. 

Zachary Nichols read a script about the traditions and importance of the Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, to the administration, faculty and student body gathered in the Briggs Assembly Center for the annual event:

“The first day of the holiday is called Dia del los Inocentes, when the lives of deceased children are celebrated. Kids dress up as skeletons with makeup and costumes and do an activity similar to trick-or-treating, except children must sing in order to receive candy.

"On the second day, deceased adults are celebrated. It is believed that the gates of heaven are opened on this day so people can reunite with their families. They make altars with memorabilia from their specific family’s deceased members.

"One important aspect of the altar is that all four elements are recognized. Fire is present through the candles on the altar to light the way for souls to get into heaven. While fire is a symbol of light, it is also a symbol of burning and earthly pain.

"Water is there to quench the thirst of the souls during their journey. While being the lifeblood of humanity, it is also a killer, murdering by drowning its victims. Wind is made present through the designs that blow through the wind in honor of the deceased during festivities. Wind is important, providing wind power and cooling areas off during the summer. It, however, has a tremendous destructive power, namely in hurricanes.

"Earth is represented through the food that came from the earth that sits on the altar and feeds the deceased. Earth is God’s sacred kingdom, and provides for humanity like God’s loving hand.”

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