Our Place on the Altar

by Eleanor VanDeusen

I am re-reading the Harry Potter book series once again this fall….it’s the fourth time for me, as I must confess that I am an avid Harry Potter fan and I keep discovering deeper layers of meaning each time I re-read the books.

Yesterday I was struck by the scene where Harry visits Dumbledore’s office for the first time and sees the portraits of the all of the past Headmasters of Hogwarts hung on the walls. They move inside their frames and Dumbledore can commune with all of these wise people from the past, draw on their wisdom and feel their support and companionship. I often long for that kind of connection with my loved ones who have died and with my heroes from the past that have left a legacy of good works as an example for me.

our place on the altar

On Sunday, October 28th, our church community will celebrate the lives of our departed loved ones and contemplate our own legacy in our service to celebrate the Day of the Dead. Some of the questions we will consider together are: who do you remember? And what gift did their life give you? What will our place on the altar be? What do we hope that people will remember about our lives?

We invite you and your family to bring items representing people and animals who you have loved that have died. We will share our memories of our loved ones by placing them on a shared altar of remembrance.

Ideas for things to bring:

  • A small picture, framed or unframed.
  • A favorite sweet, game or toy that would have brought a smile to your loved one’s face.
  • A favorite poem, a joke or the lyrics to a song they loved.
  • An object that reminds you of them, things they loved or representations of their job or hobbies.
  • Flowers or other objects from nature

We will join together in honoring our departed  loved ones as we create our Day of the Dead altar. In this way, they will live on in our hearts as the joy of their memory reminds us that love never dies.  



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