The funeral home chapel overflowed with people attending the Rosary service for Emmanuel Ceniceros. He died at the age of 25 from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident on the freeway. Three hours of visitation preceded the evening Rosary. The funeral service and burial is scheduled take place the next day.
Emmanuel was born in Juarez, Mexico. Except for the funeral director’s welcome and request to turn off cell phones, the entire service was in Spanish.
While I don’t speak or understand that language well, the sounds of sniffling conveyed the sorrow many carried with heavy hearts for this loss. I could make out words like triste (sad), nino (child), and por la familia (for the family).
A quartet of guitarists played and sang religious songs in Spanish. I recognized the tune and could make out some of the words for “How Great Thou Art.” The guitarists played and sang short songs between the five mysteries of the Rosary.
As a woman led the Rosary, attendees joined in responsively. For those who do not know the Hail Mary refrain, here it is in English and Spanish.
Hail Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen
Dios te salve, María, llena eres de gracia, el Señor es contigo. Bendita tú eres entre todas las mujeres, y bendito es el fruto de tu vientre, Jesús. Santa María, Madre de Dios, ruega por nosotros, pecadores, ahora y en la hora de nuestra muerte.
Emmanuel lay in an open casket throughout the visitation and service. Four photo boards showed pictures of a young father, basketball enthusiast, and friend. A long stream of visitors paid their respects and hugged family members. He will be missed by those who love him. May he rest in peace.