My family has always honored our dead folks. We decorate their graves on Birthdays and Holidays. We keep their graves clean; when things are going on in our lives you might find us at the graveyard visiting them. When there is a get together they are there with us because we talk about old times and the things that have past. For me this is how it has always been. When we say our nightly prayers they are also included in them. For a long time I thought every family was like mine concerning their dead. I have since learned better.
Some will say that you shouldn’t petition your ancestors to help you when you need help. I was taught after God they are the ones you should be talking to. If I have a big issue for myself or a client I will petition my ancestors to help solve the problem. I don’t force them I ask them. If they don’t want to help then I ask them what I can do to fix the problem. For me there is nothing wrong with this. They are my blood and I come from them. They struggled so I could get where I am today. We should never forget those who came before us.
I don’t petition them for every little thing, just when I feel I need a little extra help. I honor them daily with a prayer before I go to sleep, on Mondays I refresh them with cool water, prayer and a vigil. Sometimes more is added. More folks need to honor their dead and remember them and the struggles they went through so they could have a better life. They will protect you and yours when it is needed. They will make wrongs right or help push through a job that seems impossible. I think it is disrespectful to just forget about our dead.
You don’t have to have a huge space set up for them, maybe just a cluster of photos of those who have past. I have a small bit of graveyard dirt from my ancestors in South Carolina mixed with a little from my folks buried here in Texas. It pulls them together. Some will say you shouldn’t have graveyard dirt from your ancestors out; but for my ancestors it works. You always have to do what is right for you. Being raised in family it is the right thing for me. The photo above is of my ancestor altar and yes it has some work going on it. I think it is important for us to honor our ancestors and keep them near us. Momma Starr