There is a Mexican saying that we die three deaths: the first when our bodies die, the second when our bodies are lowered into the earth out of sight, and the third when our loved ones forget us. The Greeks have a saying which is repeated at every memorial service beginning at the funeral and continuing as long as anyone alive remembers the fallen one: May his/her memory be eternal. Eonia I Mnimi, memory Eternal…

Let us this day hang the lamp of illumination and spiritual radiance before the sepulchres of of ancestors, and dead loved ones. Let us even hang it reverently before the tombs of our enemies, if we have them, and beseech the Almighty to let forgiveness flow down the riverbeds of time and mortality to bathe us now and forevermore.

Let us deck the table with flowers, and visit graves with bouquets, and find old family photographs and kiss them. Let us tell our children stories of great grandpa’s days as a mule driver or the dusty tale of the great great great great uncle who fought the British at Valley Forge…Let us make the sugar skulls of Mexico and have them with our tea…memory elernal, dear brothers and sisters, memory eternal…

II Maccabees 12:43-46: “And making a gathering, he [Judas] sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection, (For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead,) And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them. It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.”

All Souls Day

MotherBear