The Spiritual Mass (Misa)
Often a Spiritual Mass is called for to raise up an eggun to a higher spiritual level or because eggun wish to speak to a person. Spiritual Masses are also performed on a regular basis to maintain an intimate contact with eggun.
In the religion, it is only within a few of our rites concerning the dead where one will find real evidence of syncretism. When a person is seen with Ifá or with Elegguá's shells it might come up that the person needs to have a mass said in the Catholic Church or that a Spiritual Mass needs to be performed for an eggun. The Catholic and spiritist elements fill a void that was left when Egungun rites ceased to become a common practice in the New World. There are two reasons for this. One, the Egungun cult didn't travel well to Cuba, resulting in few practitioners of these rites to carry on the tradition and two, the rites were very complex and dangerous, making it difficult to find new people willing to learn the rites. Therefore many people in the religion naturally gravitated towards the Kongo rites (Palo) and Spiritism to fill this void.
The Spiritual Mass is an Africanized version of the Kardecian practices. A special bóveda or eggun altar (see below) is prepared and the participants sit in a circle in front of this altar. After performing special cleansing on themselves, they read prayers from Kardec's Book of Prayers, adding prayers and songs that have been passed down from santeros since the 1800's. They first call their Spiritual Guides to be with them and guide them as they do their good work. Then they call upon the spirits in a more general way to attend the mass.
During a Spiritual Mass everyone is equal. There is no heirarchy. If anyone sees, hears, or feels something they should declare it. Also, no one knows in what form the Mass will take or how long it will last, as it is the eggun who call the shots here.If the presence of a spirit becomes known, then a more experienced practitioner will take it upon themselves to test the spirit to make sure it isn't trying to trick anyone and to discern the true nature of that spirit. If the spirit is excessively disruptive or useless it is forced to depart using special prayers and actions which are designed for this purpose. It is not uncommon for an eggun to mount or possess one of the members, the eggun often cleansing and giving advice to the participants once the eggun's true nature and motives are determined.
The Spiritual Mass also has the affect of helping the spirits of the eggun to attain a higher plane spiritually.