Significance of the various elements present on the Altar-Offerings in Morelos

In Traditions

•The deceased picture serves to help the soul’ departure from purgatory, if it resides there.

  • Candles symbolize mourning, especially if they are purple in color or if the candleholders has any purple coloring.
  • A small ash cross is used if the soul is in purgatory, thereby helping it to leave this place and continue its journey leading to the Creator.
  • Medium size sugar skulls placed on the top run of an altar symbolize death that is always present.
  • Four candles that form a cross represent the four cardinal points through which souls can be guided to their homes.
  • The three small sugar skulls placed on the lower rungs are in honor of the Holy Trinity.
  • The large sugar skull also placed on the lower rungs is dedicated to the Eternal Father.
  • The aguamanil, soap and small towel are used in case the soul wishes to wash after a long journey.
  • The water jug is used for the soul to wet its lips, dry after the long journey from beyond the grave.
  • Liquor, preferably tequila, is placed on the altar to remember the wonderful, joyful events of his life with which the soul is persuaded to return to visit his family again.
  • The copal is used for its aroma, to cleanse the surroundings from evil spirits; hence, enabling the soul to enter the home without any danger.
  • The different foods are placed on the altar so that they may delight in their aroma.
  • The big ash cross is used so that upon the soul’s arrival to the altar it may be freed from any pending feeling to remorse.
  • The flowers provide decoration and perfume during the souls’ stay so that when it is time to leave the souls will leave content of having shared with their relatives.


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