October 28, 2020  |  By:   |  Press Releases  |  

The Catholic Cemeteries & Mortuaries of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Office of Religious Education will be hosting a virtual Día de los Muertos celebration, on November 1, in order to provide a safe way to celebrate the Feast Day of All Souls during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past 6 years, a special catechetical program for local Catholic school students was offered leading up to the public community celebration commemorating Día de Los Muertos according to Catholic teaching and tradition. This year, due to pandemic restrictions, the catechetical program will be offered through an online video series available at along with an activity booklet found at  

Through the video series, students will learn about the meaning of Día de los Muertos as a celebration that commemorates the Feast of All Souls. Step by step, they will learn how to decorate sugar skulls and picture frames for photos of their departed loved ones, craft paper marigold flowers and build a Día de los Muertos altar with mementos of loved ones.

“Traditionally, more than 350 third-grade students from about 12 nearby Catholic schools would gather at Calvary Cemetery & Mortuary in East Los Angeles to learn about the meaning of Día de los Muertos,” said Brian McMahon, director of Community Outreach of the Catholic Cemeteries and Mortuaries Department. “Although we cannot celebrate in our traditional fashion our team has been hard at work to create a meaningful program that allows students to continue this magnificent tradition safely. Together with our partners in the Archdiocese’s Office of Religious Education, we have developed a program for both our catechetical and cultural celebrations that encourages participation in prayer, reflection and Catholic traditions safely from home.”

In previous years, the students would attend presentations on the Catholic faith and belief in the resurrection, the care and treatment of the dead, and the faith and cultural traditions behind Día de los Muertos. The students also created and decorated traditional elements to construct an altar such as sugar skulls, picture frames and craft paper flowers. This year, Catholic Cemeteries and Mortuaries has provided special Día de los Muertos crafts kits and for students at the 12 local Catholic schools that normally participate in the annual celebration for the schools to distribute to students to participate from home with their families.

On Sunday, November 1 a virtual Prayer Vigil Mass will be led by Archbishop José H. Gomez at 6 p.m. in the outdoor courtyard of the Mausoleum of Calvary Cemetery and Mortuary in East Los Angeles for the 7th consecutive year livestreamed on Día de los Muertos, an All Souls Day celebration, is a vibrant faith-based tradition, when the life of the deceased is honored and celebrated through songs, prayer and ofrendas (altars).

Please find attached a bilingual Día de los Muertos flyer. For more information, please visit or