Author: thehomelyhours

The Second Week of Lent

Collect: Almighty God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Saints and Blesseds Sunday, March 17: St. Patrick The Ordo Calendar has transferred St. Patrick’s Day to next week, but if you’re celebrating today, here is a St. Patrick coloring page from Michelle Abernathy art. And, from the archives, here is some background on the hymn, The Breastplate of St. Patrick  Monday, March 18, St. Cyril of Jerusalem Born around 315, Cyril was born and spent the majority of his life in Jerusalem,  a hotbed of controversy at the time. As a priest, he was given the duty of instructing the Catechumens of Jerusalem. His Catechetical Lectures to them are tremendously valuable; they not only provide a vivid picture of the Church at that time, but they are …

St. Patrick Coloring Page

Continuing her series of saints coloring pages, Michelle Abernathy has created a St. Patrick coloring page for us! Download the Saint Patrick coloring page here. (You can also see the watercolor original here). If you’re wondering what you should be singing on St. Patrick’s day besides Irish folk songs, here we have an explanation of the best hymn ever: The Lorica (or Breastplate) of St. Patrick. Tomorrow, we’ll be eating shepherd’s pie, reading Tomie dePaola’s Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland and looking forward to our church’s upcoming Irish Folk Sing.

The First Sunday of Lent

Collect: O Lord, who for our sake didst fast forty days and forty nights; Give us grace to use such abstinence, that, our flesh being subdued to the Spirit, we may ever obey thy godly motions in righteousness, and true holiness, to thine honour and glory, who livest and reignest with the father and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen. Saints’ and Ember Days Tuesday, March 12: Gregory the Great Born around 540 to a preeminent Roman family, Gregory spent his first 35 years concerned with civil justice, eventually being named Prefect of Rome, the highest civil office in the city. But abruptly, at age 35, he chose to become a novice monk and sold or gave away his property in order to establish seven monasteries. These quiet years as a monk were the happiest of his life, but he couldn’t remain long in obscurity. Called to various advancing positions within the church, around 586 (and though he attempted to flee to avoid it), Gregory was chosen as the pope. Gregory’s pursuit …

Sexagesima

Collect: O Lord God, who seest that we put not our trust in any thing that we do; Mercifully grant that by thy power we may be defended against all adversity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Saint Days: Monday, February 25: Saint Matthias All we know about Saint Matthias comes from first chapter of Acts, verses 23-26. In this chapter, after Christ’s ascension, the early church is gathered (around 120 people) and Peter declares the need to replace Judas Iscariot. The church decides upon two men — Justus and Matthias —  who both fit the requirements of being “one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection” (Acts 1:21-22). And then, after casting lots between the two, the lot fell on Matthias. Saint Jerome and the Venerable Bede agree that they cast lots because of …

Giveaway [closed]– Make Room: A Child’s Guide to Lent and Easter

For the past few years, we have been recommending Laura Alary’s Make Room: A Child’s Guide to Lent and Easter. My daughter’s godparents gave it to her for her (Lenten) birthday and we love it. I’m so thankful for Alary’s clear and lyrical explanation of Lent and Holy Week.  And I appreciate that it simplifies Lenten plans: you can essentially use this book as a guide for all your family activities during the season. Because I think it’s so helpful, I contacted Paraclete Press to see whether they would be interested in giving away a copy on our blog. I’ve never done this before, so I was thrilled that they said “yes.” You can just comment below before next Tuesday to be entered into the giveaway. I wrote a recommendation of this book two years ago.  Here are a few excerpts:     “In the book, Alary sets out a map for Lent, explaining in simple but lovely prose that Lent is for “making time,” “making space,” and “making room” for the kingdom of God in our everyday lives. …

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 …

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 …