UUs to honor ancestors at Sunday service


By Pauline Benetti | Pagosa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Pagosa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in-person services are usually on the first and third Sundays of the month at 10:30 a.m.; however, this month our second service was scheduled for the fifth Sunday in order to celebrate a special time of the year when several religious traditions come together: the pagan holiday of Samhain, which has its modern manifestation as Halloween, as well as the ancient Aztec custom of celebrating ancestors which over time combined with All Soul’s Day, brought to the new world by the Spanish invaders, and evolved into the current Mexican celebration Day of the Dead. 

Clearly, humankind has always had a great need to honor the dead and has chosen the end of the year — the end of the harvest — as that time.

Our service leaders this Sunday will be Michael Demchak and Julie Loar with their focus on Samhain and dreamwork.

Samhain is a pagan holiday or “sabbat,” traditionally celebrated on the evening of Oct. 31 through Nov. 1. Also known as Halloween, Samhain is a time when the annual turning of the wheel opens a portal to the world of spirits. It is a powerful time to communicate with those who are no longer in physical form, to respect our ancestors and those loved ones who have passed. Likewise, the ability to receive messages through this opening is also enhanced.

Demchak will discuss this time of year and lead us in honoring the dead. If you would like, please bring a photo or memoir of someone who you wish to honor that has passed. There will be an altar set up for these objects as well as a brief ceremony.

Loar will speak on setting the intention for dreamwork for Samhain. This might involve unfinished business or declarations of love which can yield huge dividends in forgiveness, release and surrender, paving the way to move on. 

We hope you can join us for this special time of year.

Depending on the current COVID recommendations, please be prepared to wear a well-fitting mask, if deemed necessary, while in the building. Social distancing will be encouraged and, to that end, the maximum capacity of the fellowship has been reduced to 25, a very good reason for arriving a few minutes early. 

Our fellowship offers each individual support in our unique spiritual path and an opportunity to participate in positive social and environmental action. We welcome diversity and invite everyone to share in our faith community. 

Find us in Unit B-15 of the Greenbriar Plaza, 301 N. Pagosa Blvd., on the north side facing the mountains. Join us. For more information about the fellowship, please see the website, www.pagosauu.org.