Dia De Los Muertos


I present a few verses of questionable quality in honor of Dia de los Muertos, All Saint’s Day, Halloween, and Jesus.

Dia de los Muertos,

Scholars say, pre-dates Christianity;

Joyous caladeras dancing in the streets,

Cemeteries decorated in marigolds.

All scholars have are books. 


Make no mistake.

It was a shrewd imperial power play

That aligned All Saint’s Day

To so many pagan holidays.


Atheists are fond of imagining

The Resurrection to be a zombie infestation;

A classic Halloween costume,

A tired B-movie,

Superimposed on ancient belief.


We all are searching for a way

To deal with mortality.

Blessed be that holy trinity

Physics, Chemistry, and Biology

Save us now, and in the hour of our death.


A Mexican saying goes:

“In a hundred years we will all be skeletons.

In a thousand years we will still be skeletons.”

How can a scientist be so sure?

But, I do believe in a thousand years

Of dancing in the streets.


We are still searching for a way

To face the hour of our death.

I’ll settle on the Resurrection (and candy skulls)

Over Holy Father Science any day.


Make no mistake.

God loves the old switcher-roo.

Now is when Zombies stalk the earth;

But when graves break open,

When justice and peace roll down,

When the Great Contradiction

Overcomes the logic of death,

That will be a day for the living.


  1. “Make no mistake. It was a shrewd imperial power play

    That aligned All Saint’s Day To so many pagan holidays”

    No joke however the reverse is now in play. Note how Christmas is now becoming Winter Holidays and Easter is becoming Spring break. And St. Patty’s day is about getting drunk and St. Valentines is about spending money on the women you want to get in bed. And Sunday is about going to your NFL temple to worship and feast.


  2. It is an interesting trend. The only things that save holidays for me is the Church Calendar and Liturgy. In my opinion they are the Church’s only hope in re-appropriating our holy days from the sacriligious consumer orgies that “holidays” have become.

    My pet peeve is calling civic celebrations holidays. Call me a stickler for language but holiday means holy day, and there is nothing holy about the 4th of July. There’s all sorts of co-optation that goes on with holidays, we allow Christ’s gospel to be co-opted to serve the purposes of Empire, and as a result our credibility as His witnesses is weakened.


  3. I agree with you that the “Church Calendar” is helpful in keeping holidays meaningful. I hope you do not fail to recognize less formalized traditions and traditions that do not date back to Henry the Eighth as part of the Church Calendar, even if you choose not to observe them. “Jesus is the reason for the season” is trite but it makes people think all the same.

    Nice poem by the way. When I was at the Denver Art Museam I remember seeing old pictures where skeletons portrayed were used by the church as a portrayal of hope in the resurrection. I do not know if that was a Roman Catholic take on a pre-existing tradition or not.


  4. Deb,

    Thanks for reading the blog! I did say that Liturgy and the Church Calendar were what saved holidays for me, that as far as I’m concerned is an incontestable fact. Then I went on to say that they were the church’s only hope. At very least that’s an unprovable opinion, at most it’s overdramatic hyperbole. I’ll let you decide which.

    As far as skeletons used to remind us of our hope in the Resurrection, I don’t know the origin, but it’s widespread. Those really old cemeteries in Boston use skeletons and skulls to remind us (and loved ones left behind) of the same thing, and those guys were Puritans.




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