As Vodouisants, calling on, feeding, and honoring our ancestors is something we are very familiar with. Our Ancestors are a part of us; they are with us and around us always. Ancestors can be called on as a group, or individually. It is fairly traditional to hold an Ancestor service one a year, but they can be held anytime at all. Just yesterday I was at one of my favorite spots in a local cemetery, and came across this site***
The family and friends of this departed little boy had held his tenth birthday party for him. At first, a wave of sadness passed through me. But after a moment, I realized the people at this party were far from sad. I could see them decorating with streamers, laughing and joking, sharing stories about their little one, but also telling stories to him. I am certain there was a cake with candles, balloons, presents (which were left here with him) and punch. He was very much a participant in his own celebration.
Even though this young person passed before many of those in his family, he is still of their blood, and thus, now an Ancestor. The openness and joy in this birthday party was, for me, very moving. It has given me much to consider (or reconsider) about the “routine” my own service has fallen into. I plan on shaking things up a bit next time around!
(***Names and dates have been photoshopped out)