Month: April 2019

Holy Triduum Coloring Page

As we head into the Holy Triduum tomorrow, we have a new resource to help explain it to our children. Michelle Abernathy created this coloring page, focusing on the liturgical highlights of each day. Click to download pdf of Holy Triduum coloring page. As we color through the page, we’ll talk about it. Here is something along the lines of what I will say (if you’re interested in learning what we will be doing each day at our church): Maundy Thursday: On Thursday of Holy Week, Jesus and His disciples shared an ancient special meal called the Passover, remembering how God delivered the Israelite people from slavery and death. On this night, Jesus also shared with his disciples a new special meal: the Eucharist. All those who by faith take in His life — His body and blood in the bread and wine– trust that God also delivers us from slavery and death. At our church, we re-live this every week, but especially as we participate in the Eucharist on this night. This is also when Jesus …

Preparing for Holy Week and Easter, Part 2

I divided this initial post into two parts. You can read Part One of Preparing for Holy Week and Easter here; it includes a Holy Week family prayer booklet, music suggestions, etc. In this post, I’ll share some Easter basket plans, but mostly children’s book recommendations for Holy Week and Easter. Preparing Easter Eggs and Easter Baskets Last year, Bley started working on Pysanky eggs and has been introducing it to me, too.  I’m looking forward to working on the eggs in the evenings after my kids’ bedtime– it’s such a calming, meditative practice. Like Holy Week housecleaning, it’s extra nice that something so practical and (potentially) refreshing can be gathered up into our devotion. On Holy Saturday, we will dye eggs with my kids. I plan to use natural Easter egg dyes this year. This year, we’re also planning to bring an Easter/Pascha basket on Sunday morning to be blessed. This will be our first time, so it may be a year of small beginnings, but this post is very helpful in learning what may …

Preparing for Holy Week and Easter, Part 1

As I’ve been in the midst of preparing for Holy Week, my mind has been lingering on this description from Gertrud Mueller Nelson: The sacred mysteries of the coming week, the very apex of the Church year, are brought into our homes. Actually, we move gently back and forth from the sacred rites at church to folk and family traditions and then back again to the richness of the Church. The tangible signs of our inner transformations are found in materia in the ordinary and daily things around us, renewed and charged with meaning. . . Bread and meats, kiss and cross, oil and water, water and fire, passion and praise, candles and eggs and dress and chants, primal laments and bursts of thanks, fasting and feasting, silence and sounds, all these mix and point up the poetry of paradoxes which the sacred mysteries celebrate.  The simple objects are within our reach at home. The simple gestures done at church and then at home with reverence and consciousness can bring the mysteries straight to hearth …

Getting started with Pysanky

Well, one more week until Holy Week, just enough time to consider whether you might like to try the traditional Easter art of pysanky!  Pysanky, or the creation of decorated Ukrainian Easter eggs, is a very old practice that originated in Eastern Europe.  Traditionally during Holy Week, and in some communitites throughout Lent, Ukrainian ladies would gather in the evenings to decorate these special Easter eggs to adorn the baskets that they would bring to be blessed Easter morning.  The baskets were a celebration of new life, often including things that had been given up during Lent, such as meat, eggs, and rich breads. Last year I was curious and decided to try this art for the first time.  My children joined me in learning, and we have all come to enjoy and value this quiet, simple, meditative activity.  Perhaps you might like to try it as well this year? The materials you will need are very simple and inexpensive: a kistka (writing tool) beeswax for pysanky a candle and holder matches eggs (you can …

Passion Sunday; The Fifth Week of Lent

Collect: We beseech thee, Almighty God, mercifully to look upon thy people; that by thy great goodness they may be governed and preserved evermore, both in body and soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Saints and Blesseds Monday, April 8: William Augustus Muhlenberg Living from 1796 to 1877, William Augustus Muhlenburg was a priest who had great influence on the 19th century American church. He was born to a family who had been Lutheran for generations, but he joined the Episcopal church as a young man, bordained deacon in 1817 and priest in 1820. Working towards Ecumenism within Christian churches, his proposals became the basis of the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral. He founded the first free church in America (before this, churches were funded by auctioning and paying for pew rents) which was also the first church in the country to celebrate the Eucharist weekly; he wrote hymns and worked on hymnals; he founded parish day schools, and a church village on Long Island (Saint Johnland), among many other projects. He died on April 6, 1877. Tuesday, April …