Friday, September 23, 2011

Fire Festival of Remembrance

Bolas de Fuego 
Rituals and festivals take many forms.  The Bolas de Fuego Festival of Remembrance in Nejapa, El Salvador commemorates the eruption of a volcano.  Young men act out this horrifying calamity through a ritual firefight waged with gasoline soaked rags.  How does this make anyone in the town sleep easier?

Ritual can act as a form of vaccination.  We deal with a small piece of what terrifies us.  This small dose can be beaten by our defenses.  Throwing the balls ourselves gives us a sense of control over the unpredictable.  Getting hit by a flaming ball, we survive and relish the excitement.   
Does the festival prevent us from being decimated by another volcanic eruption?  Do I want this festival to take place in my neighborhood?  No and No.  However, it does provide the residents of Nejapa with a way to approach and deal with the overwhelming, and that is the powerful quality that ritual brings to our approach to the difficult and insurmountable issues that confront us in life and death.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Twitter Tuesday - More Funeral related Tweets

My Favorite tweets about death since April this year - enjoy

 Zip Zap Zoom Jetta 

Wil never attend a funeral of the people who are not going to attend mine 

you're so not invited to my funeral.
 Paul S 

Funerals suck.
 Paul S 

In no particular order, today I: made a priest doubt my Catholicism, laughed during a cremation, and confused a nun.
 Stephanie Kenez 

Useless fact I learnt at uni today: pacemakers have to be removed before cremation, otherwise they explode & cause damage to the furnace
 carla isabel 

quite informative. The Daily Undertaker, The Variety and Importance of Ritual 

Oh god they just showed a clip on the news of a dog lying next to the coffin of his soldier owner at his funeral and I am BAWLING.
 Jack Burditt 

Based on the movies and TV I watched as I kid, I used to believe that the number one cause of death was quicksand
 Charles Cowling 

Can you help with this enquiry: Is there a nice river in Scotland a family can scatter ashes in? No water treatment effluent permissible.
 Sam Benson. 

Oh and, I'm seeing my aunt's body on Monday evening. Her cremation is the day after. I'm pretty sure I'll cry a lot...

Gonna miss my granddad's cremation. :(
 kyara holmes 

Stuck behind a funeral line !
 Amber V 

 Agreed. Which is why I hope the Swedish Promession technology is available in the US when I die.
 Ciara Paine 

A blooming good idea for organic burials: To date, promession has been tested on naturally deceased animal carca...
 Elyce Gabriella ^_.^ 

 : I want to die in Hawaii and have a natural cremation. then let my ashes float out to see as my friends look on to me flying away

I'm at a funeral,& my dad goes up to the pianist in the church & asks if she has any hip hop,she replies:"ooh no!, we don't play that here!"
 Michael Sennhauser 

Most words have long been sentenced to death.
 M U F A S A . 

I had a dream that my step dad had a second funeral and he's been gone going on 3 years o_O
 Jordan Henry 

Maybe I should go church this weekend! The only time I've ever been is when there's been a funeral lol 
Will I ever forgive myself for not being there for his cremation? No. But it's the price I pay for choosing where I stand. He'll understand.

 I'm a realist. My retirement plan: cremation.
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Funeral service faces a crisis of relevance, and I am passionate about keeping the best traditions of service alive while adapting to the changing needs of families. Feel free to contact me with questions, or to share your thoughts on funeral service, ritual, and memorialization.