Sunday, October 31, 2010

Blog hosts LGBT-friendly memorial for All Saints, All Souls and Day of the Dead (10/31/10)

LOS ANGELES, CA -- Oct. 31, 2010 -- A queer-friendly online memorial for All Saints and All Souls Days, also known as Day of the Dead, is happening now at the Jesus in Love Blog.

Visit to submit names and light virtual candles. Everyone is invited to light a memorial candle for a loved one now through Nov. 2. Free listings are available, and individual candles can be lit for a donation.

“Religion and society have often dishonored and desecrated queer lives. We created a place for ALL saints and ALL souls to be restored to wholeness and holiness,” says Kittredge Cherry, the lesbian spiritual author who runs the online memorial.

The flickering virtual candles are posted with a tasteful mix of traditional and alternative readings and art.

“Normally we focus on gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer saints at the Jesus in Love Blog, but on All Saints, All Souls and Day of the Dead we warmly welcome all saints and all souls,” Cherry says. “People of all faiths or no faith are invited.”

Cherry founded in 2005 to support LGBT spirituality and the arts with a blog and e-newsletter. The website promotes artistic and religious freedom, with an emphasis on queer saints and gay Jesus images. Cherry was ordained by Metropolitan Community Churches and served as its national ecumenical officer. Her books include “Equal Rites: Lesbian and Gay Worship, Ceremonies and Celebrations” and “Art That Dares: Gay Jesus, Woman Christ, and More.”

The memorial begins on Oct. 31, when it is Halloween in the United States, but All Saints Day (Nov. 1) in other parts of the world. Readings come from gay clergy Chris Glaser, African American author Alice Walker, Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh, the Bible and many others.

In Catholic and Protestant Christianity, the Feast of All Saints commemorates all saints, known and unknown. The following day, the Feast of All Souls, pays respect to the faithful departed who have not yet reached heaven. Prayers are offered to ask the saints to help the living, and to offer help to the souls of deceased friends and family.

All Souls Day is celebrated in Latin America as the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos). The holiday is especially popular in Mexico, where the happy celebration is one of the biggest events of the year.

All Saints Day used to be called All Hallows Day, and the preceding evening was the Eve of All Hallows, now celebrated as Halloween. These holidays are associated with the Celtic Festival of the Dead (Samhain). They grow out of the pagan belief that the souls of the dead return to visit at this time of year.

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Click here to visit the memorial

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