Sunday, October 25, 2009

"What you are now, we once were; what we are now, you shall be."

Samhain/Halloween is coming up fast. This is time when the veil thins, we commune with our ancestors, and contemplate the year ahead.
One of the great things I enjoy as being pagan is that I open myself up to messages or lessons in the strangest places or things. It amuses me. My husband recently won a horror movie quiz in which he received the most recent issue of Girls and Corpses. It is a magazine of (you guessed) girls and corpses! However, amongst their blatant tries of offending they actually had an interesting article that I thought was highly appropriate for Samhain and thought my fellow pagans would also appreciate.
There was an article on a place in Italy known as Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini or Our Lady of the Conception of the Capuchins. Underneath the church is a crypt but what makes this crypt unique is the way the remains are displayed. All the bones have been used to artfully decorate the crypt.
The crypt is known as the Capuchin Crypt and contains 6 different rooms each with their own title.
1. Crypt of the Resurrection
2. The Mass Chapel
3. Crypt of the Skulls
4. Crypt of the Pelvises
5. Crypt of the Leg Bones and Thigh Bones
6. Crypt of the Three Skeletons

Some pictures of the Crypt:

After reading about this crypt I found that this was just one Ossuary and others existed. I think it is amazing the art created from the skeletal remains.

There is also the Sedlec Ossuary which is Czech.

There is also the Portugese Capela dos Ossos or Chapel of Bones which has a poem by Padre António da Ascenção that I like.

Where are you going in such a hurry traveler?
Pause … do not advance your travel;
You have no greater concern,
Than this one: that on which you focus your sight.

Recall how many have passed from this world,
Reflect on your similar end,
There is good reason to reflect
If only all did the same.

Ponder, you so influenced by fate,
Among all the many concerns of the world,
So little do you reflect on death;

If by chance you glance at this place,
Stop … for the sake of your journey,
The more you pause, the further on your journey you will be.

So, this Samhain don't forget your ancestors and all the ones who have passed before us and think of an artful way to celebrate them.

Blessed Be!


Eco Yogini said...

wow- that is quite interesting. We've been so firmly conditioned on how to view these types of settings- Hollywood having indoctrinated a sense of foreboding with this use of remains.
However, it's so obvious that the builders and creators did not interpret their crypts this way.

Thanks for sharing!

~Wendy~ said...

I love this chapel and have blogged about it also!

Happy Halloween!
for The Gothic Tea Society