Author: thehomelyhours

A Baptist and the BCP

Thank you to Jordan Riggle for his guest submission to our series on the BCP in Daily Life. Jordan  and his wife Katrina live in Dayton, Ohio with three children. He’s a writer and entrepreneur, and she’s a baker and a painter. They’ve fallen deeply in love with simple, liturgical, gospel-centered living. In the interest of full disclosure, my wife and I aren’t Anglicans, we don’t attend an Anglican church, nor does our church use the Book of Common Prayer. None of our friends use it. In fact, the only other family we personally know who uses the Book of Common Prayer on a regular basis would be Amanda’s, one of the editors here at The Homely Hours. However, my wife and I use the Book of Common Prayer with our children twice a day, every day. A year and a half ago we began following the liturgical calendar and began hearing about this thing called the Book of Common Prayer. Since then, the Book of Common Prayer has slowly worked itself into the very warp …

There’s a Prayer for That

Thank you to Kelli Ann Wilson for submitting this guest post to our series on Family Prayer. Kelli Ann lives in Walpole, NH with her husband Damian and their two children. She works as a writer, and in her free time enjoys reading, gardening, and photography. Kelli blogs at OurCommonHours.com, and shares her family’s faith journey through the seasons and the Christian year at AroundtheYear.org. My dad has always been great at off-the-cuff prayers. No matter what the occasion—Easter dinner or just a family meal—he can pull together a prayer on the spot that is both authentic and meaningful. I am not blessed with my dad’s talent for spontaneous prayer, but I can still offer up words of praise or petitions for intercession, thanks to the Book of Common Prayer. It may seem like a non-sequitur to link my inability to pray with the prayer book, but I assure you that the “Prayers and Thanksgivings” section of the BCP has saved me from myself many, many times. Sometimes it feels like the authors were anticipating my …

Family Prayer: An Uncommon Habit

Thank you to Andrew Brashier for submitting this post to our series on family prayer. Andrew volunteers as Chancellor for the ACNA Special Jurisdiction of Armed Forces and Chaplaincy and is an attorney at the Beasley Allen law firm in Montgomery, AL. He blogs about family oratories and the impact they can have in reigniting Anglicanism at https://thruamirrordarkly.wordpress.com/“ Habits are common, but a good habit requires discipline. One does not fall into a good habit, but falling into a bad habit is as easy as rolling downhill.  Discipline is what makes good habits uncommon.  Perhaps the most uncommon habit, yet the most important, is prayer. Prayer is sadly neglected all too often in the life of the average Christian, I myself being no exception.  Therefore, I rejoice at the great resource that is the Book of Common Prayer.  Its prayers are directed to the Triune God, in gentle rebuke to my inwardly focused prayers.  As a tool, the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) can develop the uncommon habit of prayer.  The regular use of the daily offices …

Candlemas Resources

We celebrate Candlemas on February 2nd. If you’re interested in learning more about this feast day, here is a post from Fr. Wayne McNamara on The Meaning of Candlemas. Here are photos from last year’s Candlemas Celebration, with sermon excerpts from Fr. Isaac Chavez. Also, if you’re interested in a way to celebrate Candlemas in your home, here are Candlemas Printables  for vigil candles from Esther Bley Designs and Heather Sleightholm of Sleightholm Folk Art. T.S. Eliot wrote this beautiful poem which is perfect for Candlemas. Read it in tandem with the Nunc Dimmitis  A Song for Simeon Lord, the Roman hyacinths are blooming in bowls and The winter sun creeps by the snow hills; The stubborn season has made stand. My life is light, waiting for the death wind, Like a feather on the back of my hand. Dust in sunlight and memory in corners Wait for the wind that chills towards the dead land. Grant us thy peace. I have walked many years in this city, Kept faith and fast, provided for the poor, Have taken …

Our Favorite Christmas Books

1)      The Friendly Beasts—Tomie  dePaola Tomie dePaola beautifully illustrates a classic Christmas carol.  His book is a celebration of the joy surrounding Christ’s birth.  The full song with notes is included in the back. 2)      The Story of Christmas by Pamela Dalton   Pamela Dalton uses cut-paper artwork, a folk art tradition of Pennsylvania German origin, to bring the Nativity to life.  Her delicate, detailed pictures are pure magic. 3)      Cranberry Christmas—Wende Devlin This book follows the delightful Cranberry Thanksgiving, an absolute favorite in our house.  Set in a small town near the edge of a cranberry bog in New England, this book carries the spirit of Christmastide with its vintage style pictures and warm characters.  It even includes a recipe for Christmas cookies on the back. 4)      Cricket at the Manger ~ Edith Hope Fine—Illustrated by Winslow Pels A retelling of Christ’s birth from the vantage point of a tiny cricket.  Surprisingly, it is both whimsical and reverent; the story does not dilute into a “cutesy” Christmas story.  Instead, with rhythmic prose, this sweet …

Advent is for Making: A Reflection

There is a special dearness about Christmas gifts that are made.  Even when they are clumsily made, they are lovely because the loveliness that goes into them is from the heart and the mind and the hands: hours and days of tacking and tying, fitting and pasting, stitching and hammering, chiseling and modeling – all of it with a permeation of love and effort that cannot be priced.  The making of gifts should be a special part of Advent; an outpouring of self into something we make for someone we love, entirely in the spirit of the remaking of our hearts for Christ, for receiving the gift Someone who loves us made for us. With this making go long evenings of work together, wonderful conversations, meditations, evening prayers.  We need only work together to have an early dinner, clear away the dishes, tidy the kitchen, get the littlest ones off to bed, keep the TV and radio turned off, and there – we have a long evening before us.  Perhaps it is not possible to …

George Eliot on “Fellow-Mortals”

“It is so very rarely that facts hit that nice medium required by our own enlightened opinions and refined taste! Perhaps you will say, ‘Do improve the facts a little, then; make them more accordant with those correct views which it is our privilege to possess. The world is not just what we like; do touch it up with a tasteful pencil, and make believe it is not quite such a mixed entangled affair. Let all people who hold unexceptionable opinions act unexceptionably. Let your most faulty characters always be on the wrong side, and your virtuous ones on the right. Then we shall see at a glance whom we are to condemn and whom we are to approve. Then we shall be able to admire, without the slightest disturbance of our prepossessions: we shall hate and despise with that true ruminant relish which belongs to undoubting confidence.’ But, my good friend, what will you do then with your fellow-parishioner who opposes your husband in the vestry? With your newly appointed vicar, whose style of …

O God of Earth and Altar

During this election cycle, I have been thinking of a hymn we sing frequently: “O God of Earth and Altar.” Did you know it was written by G.K. Chesterton? I’m posting it today in the hopes that it will sing through my mind whenever I think about this election – perhaps it will also be an encouragement to you. O God of earth and altar, bow down and hear our cry, our earthly rulers falter, our people drift and die; the walls of gold entomb us, the swords of scorn divide, take not thy thunder from us, but take away our pride. From all that terror teaches, from lies of tongue and pen, from all the easy speeches that comfort cruel men, from sale and profanation of honor, and the sword, from sleep and from damnation, deliver us, good Lord! Tie in a living tether the prince and priest and thrall, bind all our lives together, smite us and save us all; in ire and exultation aflame with faith, and free, lift up a living …

All Hallows Eve & All Saints Day: Anglican Links and Quotations

Collect for All Saints: O ALMIGHTY God, who hast knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship, in the mystical body of thy Son Christ our Lord; Grant us grace so to follow thy blessed Saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those unspeakable joys which thou hast prepared for those who unfeignedly love thee; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. In this post, we’ve gathered together some Anglican links and quotations for you about All Hallows Eve and All Saints Day. We highly recommend that you read Full Homely Divinity’s article on All Hallows and Day of the Dead. The whole post (which includes background on Halloween, All Saints, and All Souls) is well worth your time, but here are a few highlights.  On Remembering the Dead:  “The last night of October and the first days of November are the days set aside for remembering the dead, and contemplating our own deaths. There can be little doubt that our Christian observances owe much to pre-Christian customs. …

Love Calls Us To the Things of This World

One of my favorite poems is Richard Wilbur’s Love Calls Us to the Things of This World. The title sings through my mind when I am hanging laundry out on the line. The poem speaks for itself, of course, reminding us love and true spirituality is not gnostic – “bodiless and simple as false dawn.” Love isn’t found in clothes puffed with wind, but embodied in clumsy flesh and blood. I would like the words “Love Calls Us to the Things of This World” hanging in my laundry room as a constant reminder. So, I asked Bley whether she would be willing to create a “Love Calls Us” printable for the Homely Hours. She painted and handlettered a beautiful piece and is offering it to you – free for personal use. Love Calls Us to the Things of This World The eyes open to a cry of pulleys, And spirited from sleep, the astounded soul Hangs for a moment bodiless and simple As false dawn. Outside the open window The morning air is all awash with angels. Some are in bed-sheets, some …