All posts filed under: Feast day

Michaelmas is on Friday!

Last year, we put together a few great posts to give your family simple traditions and ideas for celebrating Michaelmas. Courtesy of Phil James, here is a fantastic booklet that he wrote of his family’s Michaelmas traditions. Be sure to read our interview with him and download the booket on preparing for Michaelmas with your children: They already know that there are things present, which no eye can see. We don’t have to teach our children that the world is really (really) enchanted, personal and meaningful. We simply need to preserve what they know to be true. Of course after climbing out of the hole dug for us by Modernity, it is a great and necessary blessing to teach them of the one who makes it true. In our society Mom and Dad purposefully setting aside an evening to affirm their own belief in angels is about as odd as it gets. Hard to think of a better endorsement than that. Dragon Bread for Michaelmas Here is Bley’s post on how her family celebrates this day. …

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 …

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. …

St. Lucy’s Crown Printable

St. Lucy’s feast day is on December 13th and we have a simple free printable to help you celebrate. Who was St. Lucy? All that is really known about St. Lucy is that she was a young martyr during the Diocletian persecution of 304 A.D. The story passed down to us is that Lucy was born of noble parents, but her father died when she was around 5. Lucy devoted her virginity to the Lord, but her mother, not knowing this and looking to settle Lucy’s future since she was suffering from a bleeding disorder, arranged for her daughter to marry a wealthy pagan man. Lucy was told in a vision that her mother would be healed. Believing this, she told her mother to distribute their riches and the patrimony. When Lucy’s betrothed heard, he was angry and denounced her to the governor.  After Lucy refused the governor’s order to burn a sacrifice to the emperor’s image, she was sentenced to be defiled in a brothel. However, the guards could not move Lucy, even when they …

From the Archives: St. Nicholas Day Treat Bag

Saint Nicholas Day has come to be one of my favorite Advent traditions.  It is a bright and celebratory spot in the waiting weeks of Advent, and it reminds us of a man of faith who loved, and brought joy to, children.  There are many great resources about Saint Nicholas: Saint Nicholas Center – A site packed full of information on “the original Santa Claus,” with lots of information on Saint Nicholas, and ideas for activities, food, and other ways to celebrate. Saint Nicholas: The Real Story of the Christmas Legend – This story elaborates on the idea that Saint Nicholas’ good works and generosity all stemmed from his love for God. The Baker’s Dozen – My favorite St. Nicholas Day story, about a baker who learns to be generous and open-hearted the hard way.  The illustrations in this book are stunning. In past years, we have done homemade gifts for all of our kid friends, and delivered them on Saint Nicholas Day, with a little note.  Since we have a new baby in the house …

Stories of the Saints, and Costumes!

We are slowly building a collection of picture and chapter books about important figures in church history.  It always amazes me how much children enjoy reading biographies!  Here are a few recommendations from our library: Saint Valentine – A beautifully illustrated story of a Roman Christian saint; on whom our traditions of Valentine’s Day are based.  The illustrations are done in cut paper mosaic and are very lovely. Saint Patrick – One of the many faith-based books from author and illustrator Tomie DePoala. Trial and Triumph – A great compilation of histories of people throughout church history.  Good for older kids.  Be aware there is some mildly anti-Catholic sentiments; but overall an informative and useful book, with stories from the early church through modern times. If you have a look on Amazon, you will find a larger selection of books, including these that look interesting: Brigid’s Cloak Roses in the Snow The Miracle of Saint Nicholas The Prayer of Saint Francis And….if you need some Halloween/Saints Day costumes, be sure to check out Kendra’s posts: 150 …

Rich in Love: The Story of St. Francis

Thank you to Jeremy Downey for sharing with us the story of St. Francis, which he wrote for our church’s Godly Play program. At the bottom of this post, you can see the books on St.Francis recommended by Jeremy and his wife Jennifer. Rich in Love: St. Francis, a Godly Play-Inspired Story Francis was born in the town of Assisi, in Italy. His father was a wealthy merchant, who named his son Francis—which means “Frenchman”—because he loved the fine wares and delicious food of France. Francis grew up loving fine food and wine and beautiful clothes and music and dancing as well, and he loved to have wonderful parties with his friends so he could share these things with them. He wanted to be brave and strong and to protect his town from enemies, so when Assisi went to war against a nearby town he rode off with the soldiers to fight. In the battle Francis was captured and made a prisoner, and he had to live for a year in a dark and miserable dungeon. But …

Angels and Architecture

We asked Art Historian Sandy McNamara (also, our priest’s wife) about art that can help shape our imagination concerning angels. So much of what we see of angels (in terms of art) can be very kitschy and can perhaps trivialize our conception of these powerful and glorious creatures. The following is her response, drawing our attention to the reality that angels surround us as we worship.  From the earliest days of the Christian faith the church building itself has had a much bigger role in expressing the symbolic meaning of the liturgy and belief than it has in modern times.  According to a short little book entitled Liturgy and Architecture by a professor at Notre Dame both the plan of the Christian church building, as well as the furniture and paintings, derived directly from  Jewish synagogue worship.  In the synagogue a raised platform was situated in the middle of the rectangular room, which held an ark-like container storing the Torah and a seat for the rabbi who would remove the scriptures and read them in the service.  …

Dragon Bread for Michaelmas

The Feast of Saint Michael and all Angels on September 29 remains a somewhat mysterious feast day to me, perhaps rightly so, as it deals with otherworldly creatures, the “heavenly hosts.”  The collect for the day sheds some light on what we can teach our children about the importance of this feast: O Everlasting God, who hast ordained and constituted the services of Angels and men in a wonderful order; Mercifully grant that, as thy holy Angels always do thee service in heaven, so, by thine appointment, they may succour and defend us on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. The Epistle reading for the day, from Revelation 12:7-12, reminds us that, “There was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon… and the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil.” In our home, we have traditionally made a loaf of sweet bread, similar to challah, and shaped the dough into the shape of a dragon during the second rising.  Any dough recipe will do; I particularly …

Preparing for Michaelmas

Phil James, of Dappled Thoughts, recently sent us a booklet on Michaelmas he wrote for his grandchildren. We are so impressed by this booklet and are very excited that he is letting us share it with you! We know you will really appreciate both his reflections on angels and what they mean for our understanding of reality, in addition to getting a glimpse into his family’s Michaelmas traditions. Thank you, Phil, for sharing this with us! Why is Michaelmas one of your family’s favorite celebrations? Honestly, I think it’s because of the fantastic nature of the menu. Once a year we eat roasted dragons tongue (which tastes a lot like pork). That’s obviously notable. And while it’s not unusual for friends to be at any of our celebrations, somehow Michaelmas developed so that the inclusion of friends in the evening became a necessary ingredient. Also, Michaelmas is a gate of sorts. We leave the unique charms of summer behind and prepare for All Hallow’s Eve, Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas’s twelve days and Epiphany. This means the …