Mercy Home’s Ofrenda Raises Spirits within the Community

Mercy Home’s Ofrenda Raises Spirits within the Community

Generations of unconditional love and friendship are etched into the culture of Mercy Home. And during this year’s Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), our friends in Community Care are honoring that lineage with a traditional ofrenda display. 

A Tradition of Remembrance and Care

An essential resource for our Mercy Home family, Community Care exists because Mercy Home is not only a home in name, but in action. So while our young boys and girls do not live within our doors forever, they still benefit from therapeutic resources offered by Mercy Home long after they leave our full-time care.  

A Mercy Home coworker lays some pan dulce on a decorated ofrenda as he observes DÍa de los Muertos.
A Mercy Home coworker lays some pan dulce on a decorated ofrenda as he observes DÍa de los Muertos.

This sentiment parallels the hope of the ofrenda, a spread of food, candles, photos, and other elements that carry the memories of our former residents who have passed away. As in past years, a similar ofrenda was placed in a common area at the Home for current residents and coworkers to honor any lost loved ones.” 

Mobilized by Community Care, this ofrenda is in tradition with Mexican Día de los Muertos celebrations taking place between October 31 and November 2. And while this display remembers lost loved ones, its intention is not to generate somber feelings but to instead act as a celebration of life. At Community Care’s ofrenda, favorite foods and photos of our now deceased family members decorate the altar. 

These tangible artifacts are traditionally believed to nourish the souls of those dear to us who have passed and are, for one day, visiting their former home. A complete ofrenda display is also created in tandem with the four elements of earth, fire, water, and air. So, typically, their transitory visit to the ofrenda comes with bread, candles, water and papel picado, or symbolic paper banners.

Reflecting On This Year

While this ofrenda honors those who have touched members of our community personally, this display is also in solidarity with those whose lives were cut short due to incidences of tragedy and injustice across the country and beyond. The hope is that this ofrenda would connect Mercy Home to larger communities who are grieving for the recent victims of violence in Uvalde, Texas, Buffalo, New York, and Iranian Mahsa Amini protestors. This year’s ofrenda welcomes our young people and coworkers to reflect on these events.  

During this year’s Día de los Muertos, we’re celebrating the mosaic of cultures and backgrounds of our loved ones who have made the Mercy Home family unique. We are so thankful for the thoughtfulness of our coworkers who made this ofrenda truly memorable, and to our supporters who allow us to continue in our mission of hope and healing. 

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