|2012 Day of the Dead Ofrenda outside Oxnam Chapel|
As we covered an ordinary folding table with black and purple vestments; stacked open-fronted boxes to serve as niches for photographs and mementos; arranged paper flowers, electric candles, feathers, and calaveras; and set out offerings of bread and salt, I remembered doing the same thing last year at this time. Most of the objects we had gathered were the same as the ones we used before, but some were missing and others were newly offered – a life-sized Halloween skull covered with glitter, two large vases of silk flowers, and I’m not sure what else.
|Last year's ofrenda|
This year’s ofrenda is different from last year’s, and from the one that might appear next year in the same space. It is a temporary, collaborative artwork that marks a particular moment in time; a ritual space for remembering those who have died in the last year or two; and an offering into the life of the ongoing yet always changing community that is Wesley Theological Seminary.