All posts filed under: Anglican

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 …

Evening Prayer with a Xylophone

This post continues our series on the BCP in Daily Life. If you’re interested in submitting a reflection, email a 400-600 word post to thehomelyhours@gmail.com. I find it really helpful to read what other families do in terms of daily prayer, in order to know what is reasonable to expect and also to be inspired with what is possible. So, I thought I would write about my little family’s evening prayer routine, as an example of the very minimum, the least difficult or inspiring  (a beginner family’s daily prayer). We have a 3 year old and an 8 month old. We began realizing it would be possible to actually incorporate our toddler into evening prayer Advent of 2015, when she was almost 2 and she looked forward every evening to lighting (and attempting to blow out) the Advent candles (see video below. ) So every evening, we turn off all of our lamps, we light the candle that we got last year for Candlemas (with Bley’s lovely printable, which our daughter has so enjoyed), and we kneel …

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 …

The February Garden: A Pre-Lenten Reflection

The February garden is a sacred place.  After the rubble and debris of Autumn’s first frost are cleared away, there falls a deep, expectant silence.  What appears barren holds the promise of new life.  The parallels to our liturgical year are rich and striking.  As we approach Lent, there is a process of stripping bare.  We rid our lives of unnecessary entanglements and distractions and withdraw from a world that glorifies activity and self-gratification. In our chaotic culture, times of rest and preparation are undervalued if not disdained.  We have an obsession with the overt.  I remember when I first came to this realization  I was in my first year of medical school.  Already, I had to start thinking of ways to build my resume for residency applications.  At the time I was voraciously reading books on theology and spirituality.  I hungered for truth and community, yet the time spent cultivating character, virtue, and relationship was not something that could be placed on a list of achievements.  There was pressure to create an external, visible, and measurable persona, …

Make Room: A Child’s Guide to Lent and Easter

As we prepare for Lent this year, I’m thankful to own a great new resource — Make Room: A Child’s Guide to Lent and Easter by Laura Alary (a very thoughtful gift to my daughter from her godparents). 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. She connects the seasonal rhythms of the natural world and the liturgical rhythms of the church calendar. The illustrations by Ann Boyajian are subtle and evocative, very appropriate to the subject matter. I’m going to use this book as a guide to our Lenten journey, planning to incorporate the practices and traditions that Alary mentions: Lenten Candles Making Pretzels (I didn’t know this fascinating background!) Spring cleaning (i.e. “make space” in the house) Plant a Easter Garden Eat plain meals and cook with strict limits Be hospitable I’m hopeful that reading this book often and using it as a map will help our 3 year old …

A Valentine for Parents {From the Archives}

One thing I love about the prayer book is that it gives direction that is simple, precise, and Christ-focused to my thoughts and inward groanings.  This is the prayer that I say the most, under my breath, in desperation, at the end of a long day as I fall asleep: Almighty God, heavenly Father, who hast blessed us with the joy and care of children; Give us light and strength so to train them, that they may love whatsoever things are true and pure and lovely and of good report, following the example of their Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen. Click the image below to download a free printable of the  Parent’s Prayer  pdf from Esther Bley Designs.

Three Kings Crowns (From the Archives)

The Epiphany, or The Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles, is celebrated on January 6, with the season of Epiphanytide running through Shrove Tuesday.  There are several events in the life of Christ that we celebrate during this time, where He revealed Himself as the Saviour to both Jews and Gentiles.  The first is the visit of the Magi to see the newborn Christ. To mark this day in our family, we usually wear crowns, and dress up as kings and queens, to remember the visit of the Magi.  Some years, we have saved a special present for our children from Christmas, and given it to them on Epiphany.  I created these crowns in case you would like an easy way to remember and talk about the visit of the Magi with your own children. KingsCrown – There are three crowns in different color ways included in the file for you to print at will. We share these resources and ideas with the understanding that celebrations do not always have to be elaborate to be meaningful. …

“The Great O Antiphons” with New Printable Ornaments

Singing or reading the Great “O” Antiphons in the week leading up to Christmas has become a lovely tradition of my own that I try to observe during Advent.  This year, I plan to print these images that I painting last year, and make them into ornaments with my kids.  I share them here in case you would like to do the same. As part of our Advent devotions, we will likely cut these out, and someone will write the accompanying verse and plea on the back.  Then we will hang it on our tree, alongside the Jesus Tree ornaments we have read.  Simple, short, but a way to continue to look forward to our Savior’s arrival.  And if in the madness of life we don’t do it this year, we will try again next year. The Great O Antiphons Ornaments

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 …

A Holy Year Calendar

Isn’t it interesting that the Christian year begins the first Sunday in Advent?  What a lovely way to orient ourselves to a new year, by beginning with quietness and darkness, preparing to welcome the great light of Christ. I painted this church year calendar for my own children, as a way for them to visualize how the changing sundays and colors of the church year correspond to the seasons.  Now that we live on a farm, I am even more appreciative of the endless sundays in Trinity, that ordinary time, that is full of the necessary and mundane business of life.  As we approach winter, with less “ordinary” work, our time is free for celebration and feasting. Please enjoy this printable with your own family, and Happy New Church Year! A Church Year at Home