Today we held a Day of the Dead service. It may seem like too much of a leap into cultural appropriation for a bunch of gringos in Reynoldsburg Ohio to try to attempt such a service, but cultural appropriation is in the mind of the beholder. None of us today are Aztecs. Even the Mexicans who have preserved this celebration over the milenia cannot know for certain what it truly meant to their Aztec ancestors. So it is a perfectly appropriate ceremony for us.
We insist that our ancestors share a common alter, so we have just the one. Each of us brings a memento, a physical object, to the alter and tells us about that person. We share a little about our departed friends. In the cultural context, these objects, or offerendas, provide a portal for which dead are able to come through and participate in life again. But in our context, t what is really going on is that those of us who participate in this life use these objects as a way of reaching through the portal and rekindle our memories of the person. Either way, the dead are living again, if just for the moment.
We do this every year. Don't wait that long, come visit us soon. If this sounds interesting to you, then we would love to have you join our group of free-thinking people.