El Dia de los Muertos Celebrated at St. Luke’s

Above is an example of a traditional altar that was found at St. Luke’s.
Photo provided by St. Luke’s.


The community is invited to celebrate the Day of the Dead – el Dia de los Muertos –at St. Luke’s of the Mountains Episcopal Church.

This year the Halloween-type celebration will expand with a more international reach and include the countries of Mexico, Guatemala, U.S., Nigeria and Ireland.

“This year we plan to celebrate Day of the Dead with multiple altars remembering our loved ones who have passed on,” said Vicar Guy Leemhuis.

There will be food and live music. The constants that run throughout this tradition are to celebrate and honor loved ones who have passed.

“We invite members of the community to participate in honoring and fondly remembering our departed loved ones who are ever-present in our lives whose memories are kept alive by our sharing of their stories,” Leemhuis said. “Join us as we celebrate family friends including our fur babies who also have crossed the rainbow bridge.”

Everyone is invited to bring a photo of their loved one who has passed.

El Dia de los Muertos is a happy Halloween. It is not based in fear of the spooky but is a celebration of those who have gone before. The altars where loved ones are honored are decorated with bright yellow marigold flowers and photos of the departed. The offerings are believed to encourage visits from the land of the dead as the departed souls hear their prayers, smell the great food and join in the celebration.

Samhain is the Irish celebration that traditionally begins on sunset on the last day of October to sunset on the first day of November. Samhain means “end of summer.” It is traditionally celebrated at the end of the harvest and the beginning of winter. It is said this is the time when the veil between the living and the departed is the thinnest. Like Dia de los Muertos, photos of the departed are displayed. Food plays a role in Samhain as well.

The Odo Festival is held in Nigeria to mark the time of Halloween. This is also a time of celebration to honor those who passed.

All Saints Day is celebrated on Nov. 5 and commemorates all saints, known and unknown, and is one of the seven principal feasts of the church year.