Hephaestian Prayer to the Dead


Today is the Day of the Dead in Italy. I’ve chosen to honor them through a prayer I composed that celebrate their struggle and work throughout their life. I wanted to recognize how we inherit from them the fruit of their works, and how one day it will be our time to leave our heritage to the next generation.

O Hephaestus, eternal worker, fire-bringer,
you who are the hands and spine of the cosmos,
Constantly fixing, Ever-improving,
you who never unlit the fire of your forge,
you whose brows is stained with soot and sweat,
you who protect those who work in fire, caves or shafts,
warden of those who labor in dangers
be it fumes or gases,
blades or machinery,
heights or weights,
accidents or fate,
Be merciful upon us.

On this day, and through you, I honor the struggles of my ancestors.
Life is a struggle. For survival, improvement and service, all our life is work.
Through their works they died.
For their work they died.
Due to work they died.
And their labor and pain is their gift to me.
It’s in the road I walk,
in the roof that protects me,
in the fields that nurture me and all around me.
My world is full of their presence and their tracks,
through the time they spent to shape the world I inherited.

Oh Hephaestus, like the one you made to bind Aphrodite and Ares,
May the chain that links me to my ancestors be invisible yet everlasting.
And like every bricks they laid has been useful to me,
So I will lay mine both for me and the generations to come.
And let your sacred pyre burn and blaze,
with holy smoke and scented fire,
for the Nameless Deeds,
for the Unsung Heroes,
for the Deadly Toil.

Be gracious, Hephaestus, and grant them peace and serenity!

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