October 26, 2020  |  By:   |  Press Releases  |  

DDLM Flyer 2020

—Archbishop José H. Gomez will celebrate a Día de los Muertos Virtual Prayer Vigil at Calvary Cemetery on Nov. 1 and an All Souls Virtual Mass on Nov. 2 at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City– 

The Catholic Cemeteries & Mortuaries, in collaboration with the Office of Religious Education of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, are hosting a Día de Los Muertos celebration in East Los Angeles for the 7th consecutive year, with a virtual Prayer Vigil Mass led by Archbishop José H. Gomez on Sunday, November 1 at 6 p.m. in the outdoor courtyard of the Mausoleum of Calvary Cemetery and Mortuary in East Los Angeles. 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).

On Monday, November 2, Archbishop Gomez will preside a virtual All Souls Day Mass in remembrance of our departed faithful brothers and sisters, which will be livestreamed at 10 a.m. onhttps://lacatholics.org/ andhttps://www.facebook.com/lacatholics/ from Holy Cross Cemetery and Mortuary’s Chapel of the Risen Christ in Culver City.

The virtual celebrations will offer a unique opportunity for families to celebrate from home a Catholic tradition that unites faith, prayer and cultural heritage to honor the faithful departed. Due to pandemic restrictions, both celebrations will not be open to the public, and will be livestreamed on https://lacatholics.org/ andhttps://www.facebook.com/lacatholics/. They will also be broadcast live on TV and online by  EWTN and EWTN Español.

“Each year we look forward to our annual Día de los Muertos and All Souls Day observances as they are genuinely one of the most uplifting celebrations for all of our employees and staff,” said Brian McMahon, director of Community Outreach of the Catholic Cemeteries and Mortuaries Department. “This year, due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, our team was challenged to create a meaningful program that allowed our patrons, family and friends to continue this magnificent tradition safely. Together with our partners in the Archdiocese’s Office of Religious Education, we have developed a program that encourages participation in prayer, reflection and Catholic traditions.”

Due to pandemic restrictions, this year only eight altars will be on display at Calvary Cemetery as part of the November 1 celebration. They will be dedicated to victims of Covid-19, to Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi, and to the homeless and veterans, among others. They will be built by non-profit organizations, parish ministry groups, students from a Catholic school, and Archdiocese representatives. The altars will be blessed by Archbishop Gomez as part of the vigil. The vigil will also feature the pilgrim images of the Virgin of Guadalupe and San Juan Diego. 

The public will be able to view the altars from Nov. 2-9, during Calvary Cemetery’s visitation hours, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. All are encouraged to send copies of photos of their departed loved ones to help decorate the large-scale community altar, via email atoutreach@catholiccm.org.

In preparation for the Nov. 1 event, Catholic Cemeteries & Mortuaries will co-present with the Archdiocese’s Office of Religious Education a Virtual Día de los Muertos Catechetical Day, which will include an online video series that will allow students from 15 local Catholic schools to participate from home and will encourage them to create a sacred space or altar in their home. Through the video, the 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. Craft kits will be delivered to the schools by Catholic Cemeteries and Mortuaries personnel this week.

“Dia de los Muertos is a joyful celebration in many Latin American countries originating in the traditions of our indigenous ancestors,” said Sister Rosalia Meza, director of Religious Education for the Archdiocese. “It is a day where we commemorate the lives of our loved ones who passed away. It helps us to reflect on the transcendence of life. Gabriel Marcel, a French Catholic philosopher said, ‘to love someone is to tell the person you will never die.’ When we love someone, our beloved will live forever. Love penetrates so deeply in the lives of human beings, that when we love separation does not exist even in death. Every act of love gives us a hint of eternity.”

Please find attached a bilingual Día de los Muertos flyerFor more information, please visit https://lacatholics.org/ddlm/ orhttps://catholiccm.org/.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is the largest Archdiocese in the United States with approximately five million Catholics. For the latest news, events and to subscribe for media alerts visit media.la-archdiocese.org. Follow us using @LACatholics on FacebookInstagram andTwitterVideo playlist of Masses celebrated by Archbishop José H. Gomez is also available.