Ofrenda: A Note on the Text "The past is never dead. It's not even past." -William Faulkner According to Mexican tradition, the spirits of departed children return home on November 1st, during the annual celebration of Día de los Muertos, in order to commune with their family. November 1st is sometimes called Día de los Angelitos-Day of the Little Angels. Ofrendas, or offerings, are constructed in the home, premised on the Indigenous Mexican belief that souls require nourishment-even after death. The assembly of the ofrenda is a family activity in which every family member who is able participates. Upon the ofrenda table, families will artfully arrange photographs of the deceased, along with food, flowers, and candles, as well as mementos that held special meaning to the dead. The central idea is that during this period of public and private (family) rituals, we are reunited with the dead in an atmosphere of communion and spiritual regeneration. The souls of the dead reassure the living of their continued protection, and the living assure the dead that they will remember and nurture them in their daily lives. In the local cemetery a community band with a drum and flute ensemble plays both melancholy and vibrant tunes for eight hours. Candles are lit on the graves. Rosaries are said as church bells toll out pleasing music for the souls of the dead. This album, constructed in large part at home, with the generous help of so many good friends, is our communal offering to the memory of Zachary Cruz, our son and godson, a wonderful little boy (forevermore), who we miss more than words can say. May he accept our Ofrenda and rest in eternal joy and peace. Frank Cruz & Chris Dixon April 25, 2014 Sources: Davíd Carrasco and Scott Sessions, Daily Life of the Aztecs and Maria Herrera-Sobek, Celebrating Latino Folklore.