I hope everybody had a good All Hallows’ Eve and All Hallows Day! I did!
The British Museum is having a Mexican Day of the Dead “study day” broadcast tomorrow on All Souls’ Day.
Unfortunately, their whole Day of the Dead exhibit has focused mainly on dubious connections to Aztec religion (and let’s ignore every other tribe and culture in Mexico, shall we?), and some of the fringier rural festival customs. Naturally, they don’t show any of the similarities to traditional English All Souls’ Day customs, or the ones followed by the large UK Polish emigre population, or just plain Catholic/Christian stuff.
But there’s almost no point protesting this. Art museums always marginalize the unfashionably homey (and hence evil and oppressive) in favor of the fashionable (and hence regarded as “exotic” instead of hicksville).
here’s how you can pray for the souls in Purgatory the next few days and get them a plenary or partial indulgence! Don’t forget to go to Confession!
(And no, this isn’t magic. This is the Church using its authority, to allow us on earth to team up with the merits of the saints in heaven, in order to help the souls in Purgatory. And the souls in Purgatory will of course pray for us, too, so it’s a big circle of friendly oneness in Christ. Be part of it.)
Visit cemeteries, whether or not they’re Catholic, and pray for the folks there! From November 1 to November 8, you can get a plenary indulgence for them. (And on any other day of the year, you can get them a partial indulgence, so don’t forget to visit and pray!)
And of course you can always get indulgences for yourself and for the dead by normal stuff that you can do all year round, like praying the “Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord” prayer, or saying the Rosary together, or reading the Bible and contemplating it for thirty minutes. But the Church knows that we need schedules and deadlines and drama, so we have seasonal pilgrimage-type indulgence activities, too.