Author: thehomelyhours

A Quick Post for Candlemas

Tomorrow, February 2nd, is Candlemas! At right is the painting I’m printing out for picture study– Simeon and Anna at the Temple by Rembrandt (1627).  We’ll see if it works out as well this time to print it through Walgreens (In this post, I explain my goal to print out more great art for feast days). This year, I’m rolling some beeswax candles to take to our blessing at church tomorrow morning. We’ve used the Toadily Handmade Advent candle kit for the past two years. Last year (2018), I let my kids help me make them and the candles melted very very fast. But, this past year (2019), I was amazed how long the candles lasted when I tightly rolled them, so I decided to buy the kit with the natural beeswax color. Today, I will let my kids each make their own token candle– that I will expect to swiftly melt — and I’ll keep the rest to roll on my own at a good time.These will be the candles that we use throughout the year …

The Conversion of Saint Paul

On this day we celebrate the conversion of Saint Paul, formerly Saul of Tarsus. He had been a persecutor of Christians (present at martyrdom of the Deacon Stephen) and was confronted by Christ Himself on the road to Damascus. This feast has been celebrated since the sixth century. For the feast, the epistle lesson is Acts 9:1-22 and the Gospel is St. Matthew 19:27-30. Here is the collect: “O God, who, through the preaching of the blessed Apostle Saint Paul, hast caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world; Grant, we beseech thee, that we, having his wonderful conversion in remembrance, may show forth our thankfulness unto thee for the same, by following the holy doctrine which he taught; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” John Chrysostom reflected on Saint Paul: “Paul, more than anyone else, shows us what humanity really is, in what our nobility consists, and of what virtue this particular animal is capable. . . The most important thing of all to Paul, however, was that he knew himself …

Celebrating Epiphany

Collect for Epiphany O God, who by the leading of a star didst manifest thine only-begotten Son to the Gentiles; Mercifully grant that we, who know thee now by faith, may after this life have the fruition of thy glorious Godhead; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.  What is the feast of the Epiphany? The Feast of the Epiphany is the culmination after the Twelve Days of Christmas. On this day, we remember several events that “manifest” the glories of Christ’s divinity through his humanity: (1) the coming of the magi to worship Jesus, (2) Christ’s baptism in the Jordan River, and (3) the first miracle when Jesus turns water to wine at the wedding in Cana. This article, an excerpt from Elsa Chaney’s book The Twelve Days of Christmas (1955), is a beautiful explanation of why Epiphany is so important. She states: Unless we realize the significance of this great day, we see only one side of the mystery of the Incarnation. Now after contemplating the staggering fact that God has become a …

Family Prayer in the New Year

Happy New Year! As 2020 begins, perhaps you are resolved to build the habit of morning and evening family prayer in your home. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by options and resources. But, whether you are Anglican or not, if you appreciate the Book of Common Prayer, you can find a simple place to start. The Shortest Form of Morning and Evening Prayer Here is a printable for the most basic form of a family prayer in the 1928 Prayer Book. It contains the Lord’s Prayer, a prayer for morning/evening, and a benediction. (If you own a 1928 Prayer Book, you can find the section on “forms of Prayer to be used in Families” at the very end, after the catechism and before the Articles of Religion). When you click on the printable, you’re probably going to think, “Really, that’s all?” It is indeed very short. But, as the great Anglican Jeremy Taylor said, “I’d rather your prayers be often than long.” Even though it’s short, you’re still praying the “Lord’s Prayer” at least twice …

Advent 2019: Gathering It Together

“You know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Romans 13:11-12 As Advent approaches on December 1, I realized it’s time to put together the annual “here’s what we have ” Homely Hours Advent post. This will be our fifth Advent collecting resources for this site. I know we are probably due for some reorganization, but for now, I’m gathering it all together for this post. First, a reminder: there are so many Advent resources available nowadays (it seems much more now than when we started this site 5 years ago!). Our priest, Fr. Wayne, always tells us not to be overwhelmed by anything to do with liturgical living. He says, “we strive guiltlessly.” I wrote this post back in 2016 to poke a little fun at myself and remind myself …

All Saints’ or Reformation Day?

Thank you to Anna-Kathryn Kline for this reflection on All Saints’ Day. Anna-Kathryn is a military spouse who uses the liturgical year to provide stability and familiarity to her home. She is the privileged stay-at-home mother of three little girls and spends her days rediscovering her childhood by coming alongside her girls in the pursuit of wonder. This is the first year my family will be celebrating All Saints’ Day and I’m really excited about it. And, quite frankly, I’m excited to be excited. For the past few years, October 31st (Reformation Day) and November 1st (All Saints’) have been strange days for me full of new feelings. Our new catholic (lower case) beliefs have given us a strong desire to see the unity of the Church and grief over the lack of brotherly love and unity we see before us: “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” 1 Cor. 12:12 “Forbearing one another, and …

If You’re Looking for All Saints’ Ideas….

All Saints’ Day is coming up on November 1st! I thought it would be helpful to put together a quick post with the resources that we have for the day. Preparing for All Saints’ Last year, I wanted to prepare a little more for All Saints’ — make a bigger deal of explaining why we celebrate this day. So, I wrote a series of daily thoughts to read to my kids in the week beforehand. Here are the topics for each day: What is a saint? (on holiness and wholeness) Lots of Different Saints (on the variety among God’s saints) How to Be a Saint (on The Communion of the Saints and the Beatitudes) Welcoming the Saints (on the question, why do so many saints die for Jesus?) Death and the Saints (on why sometimes it’s not easy to want to be a saint) Dealing with Scary Things and Halloween (self-explanatory) Today is the Day! (on doing small things with great love) If you’re interested, you can download “Welcoming the Saints” here.   Here is …

Michaelmas, Not Autumn

In the heat of southern Texas, it is hard to believe that Autumn is soon coming. My Pinterest home board is full of autumnal crafts where you shouldn’t need anything but nature lying just outside your door. Sigh . . . I have no colored leaves or pine cones. However, I have discovered a secret and I’ll let you in on it: Michaelmas.  Yes, again, the Church, our mother, who is tasked with nurturing our holy imaginations and providing us the comfort of life rhythms, gives us a celebration on September 29th that is not dependent on where you live. Michaelmas can be a magical day for little children. In our house, we prep for the day. I tell them the story of the Great Heavenly Battle for the whole month of September. Long, long ago, before Adam and Eve sinned, there was a Great Heavenly Battle. . . .  After about a week, my 5 and 3-year olds are play acting the story. Later, I may gently turn their imaginative play into something slightly …

Prayer and a Place of Beauty

Thanks to Anna-Kathryn Kline for this new submission in the vein of our Meaningful Home series.  When she emailed her post, I was delighted for several reasons: 1.) It’s always very fun to receive guest posts 2.) We here are all admirers and fans of Leila Lawler/Like Mother, Like Daughter and 3.) I’ve been meaning to finish a post on The Little Oratory for months. So, clearly, it’s a pleasure to publish this. If you are ever inspired to write something that you think would fit on the Homely Hours, please email thehomelyhours@gmail.com. One of the most appealing aspects for me as we have journeyed towards classical Christianity is the theology of the Incarnation. I grew up with a healthy respect for God’s transcendence, but leaning into His imminence has allowed me to tap into the spiritually thick atmosphere around me. So, you can imagine my excitement when I found a book called The Little Oratory: A Beginner’s Guide to Praying in the Home by Catholic bloggers Leila Lawler and David Clayton. In it, Lawler encourages families to …

Subscribe to the Weekly Guide

We’ve decided to change the format of our weekly guide (i.e. the posts we put up like this) to an email newsletter. If you want to subscribe, you will receive an email every Sunday morning with the collect and saints of the week. Click here to subscribe. I think we’ll include a very short “Upcoming Dates” section, instead of our “Homely Links.” And then, here on the blog we will have a big monthly post for liturgical living preparation with lots of resources and links. This weekly guide — with only the saints summaries and collect for the week — will be a little detached from the blog, with the idea that some people might just may just want that content without any of the extras.