Researching Mexican cultural traditions for the dead.  I’m specifically looking at how Mexicans (hispanics, mexican-americans) view cremation.  There are mixed views on it.  Cremation, however, is becoming more acceptable.

“According to beliefs in this culture, the dead return on certain days of the year and are remembered through special events. The body must be buried for this to occur as cremation is not a common option in the Hispanic culture.”

http://dying.lovetoknow.com/death-cultures-around-world/hispanic-culture-death-dying

Morning Musings

remembering the dead

remembering the dead

There is no remembrance of men and women of old…

You turn people back to dust,
saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”

Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

It seems to me that when I talk with people on the cusp of retiring, some are afraid to stop working for fear of not having something to do that is meaningful or purposeful.  Getting old and being old makes some to feel forgotten and obsolete.

It seems to me that people fear not being remembered after they have passed away.  Jesus, as He is about to face death, says to His students, “Remember me”.  This is much of what the Eucharist is about. It’s about remembering Someone who faced the reality of death and was given a new life.  Even Jesus had a need to be remembered.

I told my parents while we were at my Tata and Nana’s burial grounds that I would remember them.  That I wouldn’t forget them.  I cried over the future reality that I won’t have them.  But I promised to remember them.

A couple of thoughts come to mind:

1.  I want to live a storied life that at the end of it, people will remember how much I loved them.

2.  I want to be someone who remembers my close family and friends, even after they’ve passed away.

3.  Remembering that our life is dust and will come to end is a great motivator to live a worthy life now.  There is a wisdom in remembering that our life will end.

Love now.
Have Faith now.
Forgive now.
Do charitable work now.
Pursue a dream now.

Prayers for the Dead

God our Father,
Your power brings us to birth,
Your providence guides our lives,
and by Your command we return to dust.

Lord, those who die still live in Your presence,
their lives change but do not end.
I pray in hope for my family,
relatives and friends,
and for all the dead known to You alone.

In company with Christ,
Who died and now lives,
may they rejoice in Your kingdom,
where all our tears are wiped away.
Unite us together again in one family,
to sing Your praise forever and ever.

Amen.