An altar for saints and souls ...
This activity has become a part of our All Souls Day tradition - an altar filled with candles, flowers and pictures of loved ones passed away. This year I added symbols of family patron saints as well.
I used clean leftover baby food jars (from those Halloween carrot breads!) to hold the candles, and for candles I used tea lights blessed by our pastor on Candlemas. The jars could certainly be "fancied up" with paint or glue and glitter or colored tissue paper. But EB got such a kick out of washing the jars - and honestly, my energy was running quite low - we just left them "as is." :)
Marigolds are traditional flowers for All Souls Day (aka the Day of the Dead) but I'm hard pressed to find marigolds at this time of year. Even our hearty mums are well past withered at this point. So instead, I picked up a very small bouquet of russet-colored chrysanthemums and cut them down to fit the jars and a couple of glass votives I had on hand.
I've set up the altar in different spots through the years, but this year I chose the family room mantel. I nestled the jars into a leafy fall garland that stretches along the length of the mantel, and then I set out the pictures we had gathered of loved ones who have passed on. Behind the pictures we set up holy cards, pictures and other symbols of family saints.
My grandfather ("Pa") with a two year-old Bookworm and me. Behind the picture is a holy card for Blessed John Paul II - a man my grandfather not only admired, but happened to look very much like. :)
(At the far right in the wooden frame is Crackerjack's patron, Saint George.)
Bill's grandmother ("Grammie") with Crackerjack, who was probably about four in this picture. I had not found my holy card of St. Therese before I took these pictures ~ Grammie was extremely devoted to The Little Flower. :)
In the background is Earlybird's "Saint Nicholas" dvd. :)
My mother's brother ("Uncle George) with Crackerjack (on his First Communion). CJ adored his great uncle, and the feeling was mutual.
(Not shown off to the left is a framed picture of Bookworm's patron, Saint Thomas Aquinas.)
My beloved Gram ("Damee" to the boys) with me, on her "divan" many years ago. (Judging by my haircut, this was shortly after Earlybird was born.) In the background is a holy card for Saint Francis which once belonged to my grandmother and - though it's hard to tell in this picture - was hand-stiched with fine embroidery thread.
I love how the whole altar glows as the light fades on All Souls Day. We keep our altar lit till the candles burn down ... or until Earlybird begs to blow them out. ;)
On this day for all souls, we think about, talk about, and pray for these dear people. We remember how much we loved them ... and how much they loved us. And I remind the boys that that love never ever ends ... and that someday we'll see them again.
Well my friends, thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope you've all had a good week. Have yourselves a nice, rejuvenating weekend ... and I'll see you here again very soon!