Italian Mexicans - Religion and Expressive Culture

Italian-Mexicans follow Catholic doctrine. A number of important rites of passage center on the Catholic church: baptisms, first communions, quinceañeras, weddings, and funerals. Larger Italian communities also celebrate the holy day of their patron saint, a festival that is likewise marked in Mexican communities.

Burial in a local campo santo (graveyard) is the common mortuary practice of Italian Mexicans. Unlike their Mexican counterparts, Italian Mexicans do not observe the annual Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on 1 November. They do, however, hold novenas (a series of prayers) to commemorate the first anniversary of the death of an individual, and occasionally in subsequent years as well. This ceremony is led by a close female relative of the deceased who "prays the rosary," a call/response prayer ritual that is primarily attended by other women, with men participating at the margins or standing nearby socializing.

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