Best of the Week 2021-2022: Holy Cross Values
ST. ED'S COMMUNITY CONSTRUCTS DECORATED OFRENDA TO CELEBRATE AND HONOR DIA DE LOS MUERTOS
St. Ed's SALSA Club (Spanish and Latino Student Association) constructed a tiered altar called an ofrenda in honor of those who have passed away in our community to commemorate Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. This Mexican tradition to honor the dead and inviting them to their earthly home reminds us that they are always welcome and loved. Customarily, ofrendas, meaning offerings, include decorations representing the four elements (water, wind, earth and fire), papel picado, which are traditional, colorful paper banners, and are built in levels to represent heaven, earth, and the underworld. Candles and incense are also added to help guide the spirits of difuntos (the deceased) home for a visit with their loved ones. Pan de muerto, Day of the Dead bread, is baked in a circular shape and offered on the ofrenda to represent the cycle of life and death. St. Ed's ofrenda, decorated with skulls and skeletons, flags, marigolds, notes and personal items, is the focal point of the main hallway, welcoming our community to stop and say prayers for those who have gone before us. Additionally, a guest book has been placed in front of the altar for students, faculty and staff to add names of family and friends they've lost to be prayed for by the community. "It's important to note that Dia de los Muertos is not a sad holiday. The living view it as a chance to remember those who have passed, share stories and celebrate their life," says Spanish teacher Sherie Quinn. In preparation for All Saints Day and All Souls Day, St. Ed's ofrenda invites our community to remember those who have greatly impacted St. Ed's and to celebrate and honor cultural traditions together.