Author: thehomelyhours

The Fourth Sunday After Easter

Collect: O Almighty God, who alone canst order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men; Grant unto thy people, that they may love the thing which thou commandest, and desire that which thou dost promise; that so, among the sundry and manifold changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed, where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Saints & Blesseds Monday, May 20: St. Alcuin Born around the year 730 to a noble family in York, at an early age, St. Alcuin entered the cathedral school at York (the western European center for Christian and classical education). After finishing his education, Alcuin entered the monastery at York Minster. In 780, he was sent on an ecclesiastical errand to Rome and while traveling through Italy, he encountered Charlemagne, the king of the Franks. Impressed by Alcuin, Charlemagne wanted to him to stay at his court and eventually prevailed so that Alcuin spent the majority of his life with Charlemagne in Aachen. He was made effectively “Prime …

A Window Into Meghan’s Home

This post is part of our series on making meaningful homes, following G.K. Chesterton’s advice: “It is the main earthly business of a human being to make his home, and the immediate surroundings of his home, as symbolic and significant to his own imagination as he can.”  If you’d like to contribute, email thehomelyhours@gmail.com with your guest post! Thanks to Meghan Tarsitano for her contribution and be on the lookout for more “windows into meaningful homes” as we continue this series.  Isn’t it marvelous when things material and temporal point toward truths eternal and unchanging?  Even in small ways, it is better than it simply being a “thing.”  A chair has a purpose; a table has a purpose;  decorative items are best when they have a purpose too.  Certainly, beauty is a purpose in this context, and beauty itself can point toward our Creator.  This is partly why in addition to our more explicitly religious decorations, we frequently have fresh flowers.  God designed those flowers; He called them good; He delighted in his creation, and He wants …

The Third Week After Easter

Collect: Almighty God, who showest to those who are in error the light of thy truth, to the intent that they may return into the way or righteousness; Grant unto all those who are admitted into the fellowship of Christ’s Religion, that they may avoid those things that are contrary to their profession, and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. (There are no saints on the Ordo Calendar this week). Homely Links Mother’s Day Coloring Page Michelle Abernathy has created a Mother’s Day coloring page from a larger painting she is working on. She explained to me that the “Woman of Perpetual Motherhood” is meant to encompass all senses of motherhood: biological, adoptive, spiritual. When she spoke about it to me, it reminded me of the prayer our priest, Fr. Wayne, prays on Mother’s Day (which I am always thankful for, in light of my friends dealing with infertility or who struggle with Mother’s Day for any other reason). Prayer for Mothers Our gracious and loving …

A Window into Amy’s Home

This post is part of our new series on making meaningful homes, following G.K. Chesterton’s advice: “It is the main earthly business of a human being to make his home, and the immediate surroundings of his home, as symbolic and significant to his own imagination as he can.”  If you’d like to contribute, email thehomelyhours@gmail.com with your guest post! Thanks to Amy Rogers Hays for her contribution and be on the lookout for more “windows into meaningful homes” as we continue this series.  Above our kitchen table on a 45 inch Mosslanda Ikea picture ledge sits our version of a little oratory. We have very small children (3 and 11 months) and a very small house (728 sq. ft). Our kitchen table, a handmade counter height butcher block table, is both kitchen prep space and our only eating space in our 9 x 12 kitchen. We have icons scattered across the house, in a cube in our 25 square Ikea Kallax bookcase in our living room, in bedrooms, and above desks in the basement. But …

The Second Week after Easter

Collect: Almighty God, who hast given thine only Son to be unto us both a sacrifice for sin, and also an ensample of godly life; Give us grace that we may always most thankfully receive that his inestimable benefit, and also daily endeavour ourselves to follow the blessed steps of his most holy life; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Saints of the Week Monday, May 6: St. Alphege (transferred from April 19) Born around 934, St. Alphege became monk in Gloucestershire at an early age, but then withdrew from monastic life to be a hermit. Because of his holy reputation, he was eventually called out of the hermetic life to be Abbot of Bath and then Bishop of Winchester in 984. In 1005, he became Archbishop of Canterbury. As Archbishop, he was deeply loved and respected for his devout life, asceticism, and his unmatched generosity toward the poor. In 1011, the Danes overran Southern England, besieging and eventually conquering Canterbury. Alphege was taken prison, but held for an exorbitant ransom. He …

The First Week After Easter

Collect: Almighty Father, who hast given thine only Son to die for our sins, and to rise again for our justification; Grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness, that we may always serve thee in pureness of living and truth, through the merits of the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” Saints of the Week Monday, April 29: St. Mark the Evangelist (transferred from the 25th) John Mark, the author of the Gospel of Mark, was a Jew and was related to Barnabas. He was the son of Mary, a woman householder in Jerusalem, who may have hosted the Last Supper. During Jesus’s arrest in Gethsemane, it’s thought that Mark was the “young man with nothing on but a linen cloth” who fled. Mark accompanied St. Paul and Barnabas on the first missionary journey, but Mark turned back at Pamphylia (Acts 12:25; 13:13). Because of this, when Barnabas requested that Mark come on the second journey, Paul and Barnabas had a sharp dispute that led to their splitting …

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 …

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 …