Month: February 2019

Septuagesima

Collect: O Lord, we beseech thee favourably to hear the prayers of thy people; that we, who are justly punished for our offences, may be mercifully delivered by thy goodness, for the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen. Septuagesima Septuagesima is the 9th Sunday before Easter, and thus, the third Sunday before Lent. “Septuagesima” comes from the word “seventieth” in Latin. This Sunday always falls within seventy days before Lent. These weeks before Lent can also be called “Shrovetide” and they are meant to be days to prepare for Lent. This week, there are no saints listed on the ordo calendar. So instead, I listed the Lenten resources that we have and put little excerpts up, so that you can see what piques your interest. Book Recommendations for Lent? When I look at what we have for Lent, I see that we are really lacking in Lenten book recommendations. I have a list of our priest’s …

St. Valentine Coloring Page

If you happen to be looking for a way to highlight that St. Valentine’s day IS a saint’s day (even if we don’t know a whole lot about him), Michelle Abernathy has made a coloring page out of her painting of St. Valentine (see on Etsy)! You can download a printable pdf of the St. Valentine coloring page here. St. Valentine was a priest or bishop that was martyred around 269 in Rome under the Emperor Claudius. I like how Michelle depicts him as celebrant in a marriage ceremony, highlighting that love and sacrifice go hand in hand. I appreciate Auntie Leila’s thoughts on celebrating: “… make it into a real, not just sentimental, occasion of expressing affection to everyone — in family life, just take out the romantic part of it. There’s nothing wrong with sending pretty cards and giving chocolates to those you love best, keeping in mind of course that dear St. Valentine was a martyr for the love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and he wants us to contemplate our …

The Fifth Sunday After Epiphany

Collect: “O Lord, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” Friday, February 15: Blessed Thomas Bray Born in 1656, Thomas Bray was educated at Oxford and was selected by the Bishop of London to help organize the church in the American colony of Maryland. While delayed before his journey, he spent his time creating a free parochial library system. It was originally intended for American, but was also instituted in England. He then founded the “Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge.” After his service in Maryland, he returned to England and also founded the “Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.” He died on this day in 1730. Archdeacon W.H. Hutton, in The Dictionary of English Church History, writes of Bray: “He was a vigorous and humorous writer and a parish priest of exemplary devotion, and to no one in the …

Teaching Scripture to Our Children

One of the reasons my husband and I came to Anglicanism is because of the reverence in the worship. The glad solemnity of our Anglican liturgy harmonized with our understanding of the Scriptures — humility and the “fear of the Lord”  as part of our response to the love and mercy of Christ. As we became parents, it was important to us to communicate that reverence and glad solemnity to our children. We felt it did a disservice to both Christianity and our children to dumb the faith down, but it can be confusing to have that conviction. So many of the books and products available for children are kitsch-y, cartoon-y, irreverent. I don’t really want my children associating Bible stories with talking vegetables… So, we have been very reticent. Going along with our church, we have invited our children into the fullness of our Christian practice. They attend the liturgy with us from the very beginning, learning the service music and hymns. We try to give them what we believe is the truly beautiful …

The Fourth Week After Epiphany

Collect: “O God, who knowest us to be set in the midst of so many and great dangers, that by reason of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright; Grant to us such strength and protection, as may support us in all dangers, and carry us through all temptations; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Saints Days  Monday, February 4: St. Cornelius In Acts 10 and 11, we are told of a Roman centurion, a God-fearing Gentile, named Cornelius who lived in Caesarea.  An angel of the Lord appears to Cornelius while he is praying and tells him to send a messenger to Joppa to bring back Peter. Meanwhile, the next day, Peter is praying and has a vision of clean and unclean animals (symbolizing Jews and Gentiles) being let down from heaven in something like a large sheet. A voice commands, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat,” but Peter replies “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” And the Lord says, “What God has made …

Candlemas: Celebrating at Home

Candlemas is a beautiful day — the third “Festival of Light” that rounds out our winter celebrations. Our priest, Fr. Wayne McNamara, wrote a helpful explanation of the meaning of Candlemas. He believes it is important for the modern church to recover this feast: “Candlemas articulates the necessary future of this beautiful Light coming into the world. Our celebrations so far have dwelt on the joyful implications of the Son of God’s arrival, our redemption, salvation, and deliverance. Candlemas reiterates in a pointed way that the coming of the Lord includes difficult things – the persecutions of Jesus in His ministry and the call of the Christ to suffer the Cross. Candlemas rounds out our thoughts regarding the significance of the Word become flesh, and moves us forward to Lent.” This year, Michelle Abernathy made a lovely coloring page printable based upon the painting displayed in the header for Candlemas: you can download a printable pdf here. We also have a Candlemas family liturgy: You can download that here.  In the devotional Celebrating the Saints, I loved …

Saint Brigid Coloring Page

February 1 is the feast day of Saint Brigid. Michelle Abernathy has taken her beautiful painting of this saint and made it into a coloring page. “When faith’s light of freedom to Ireland first came, You, Lord, raised up Brigid to make known your name. Her proud chieftain father’s wild rage she defied, And followed your way, with the gospel for guide. In silence of fields, while she tended her fold, You spoke to her heart words more precious than gold. White figure of peace, through our country she went, In your loving service her whole life was spent. With keen fiery arrow she set hearts aflame; To live ‘neath her rule many monks and nuns came. The poor and the hungry were fed from her store, For open to all were her heart, hand and door. For Brigid we praise you, our Father and God, We praise Christ your Son in whose footsteps she trod, We praise your kind Spirit who guided her ways, We praise you, blest Trinity, all of our days. (From …

A Candlemas Gift from Hearthstone Fables

Kristin Haakenson is the artist behind Hearthstone Fables. I truly gasped when I opened Kristin’s email with these Candlemas images. What a gift! When I think of Hearthstone Fables, I think of St. Francis of Assisi. In his Canticle of the Sun, he saw all creation as family —  “Brother Sun,” Sister Moon,” Brother Wind…” The legends say that he preached sermons to birds and befriended wolves. In this way, Kristin’s art at Hearthstone Fables seems very Franciscan to me. And, with these beautiful Candlemas gifts, I think we can look to “Sister Swan” and “Brother Fox” as we carry the light in our homes. In her lovely website, Kristin says: “In the magical world of Hearthstone Fables, I’ve sought to express my passion for faith, nature, & mythic storytelling through art.  I aim to create simple, quiet narratives that convey a sense of wonderment at the sacred world, with the various flora and fauna of nature weaving enchanting stories together. I’ve always been enamored with mythic storytelling, both through written narrative and the visual arts.  Humanity so often expresses a sense of displacement…a nagging feeling …