All posts filed under: Feast day

All Saints’ Day: An Unpolished Reflection about Prayer Book Liturgical Living

Today is All Saints’ Day. What will my family be doing? It’s very simple. This morning, we prayed a shortened version of the Morning Office together (i.e. Lord’s Prayer, Revelation 19:1-16, Te Deum, Apostle’s Creed, Collect for All Saints’). After I write this post, I’m going to pull all of our saints’ picture books out and let my kids pick some to read. Then, tonight, our church has a potluck and a Holy Communion service, where we will sing the classics — “For All The Saints,” “Who Are These Like Stars Appearing?” “The Church’s One Foundation…” And we will partake of the bread and wine as one body, in gratitude that “we are very members incorporate in the mystical body of thy Son, which is the blessed company of all faithful people.” Here are some of the things I could have done, but didn’t: We’re not dressing up as saints. I didn’t get any special meals together. I didn’t print out any of those fun All Saints’ printables. But, even though I’m a person who …

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 …

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 …

Coloring Page for the Transfiguration

Thanks to Michelle Abernathy for making this coloring page of the Transfiguration of our Lord! Here is the collect for the day: “O God, who on the mount didst reveal to chosen witnesses thine only-begotten Son wonderfully transfigured, in raiment white and glistening; Mercifully grant that we, being delivered from the disquietude of this world, may be permitted to behold the King in his beauty, who with thee, O Father, and thee, O Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth, one God, world without end. Amen.” The Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ is recorded in Matthew 17:1-13, Mark 9:2-13, and Luke 9:28-36. Jesus took Peter, James, and John to a mountain, traditionally Mount Tabor. As Jesus prayed, he is transfigured before the disciples — his clothing becomes radiantly white and his face shines like the sun. And then, Moses and Elijah appeared and talked to him. Peter responded ( apparently not knowing what he was saying) with a desire to build three tents and commemorate the event. A cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of …

“Life by the Kalendar”

From Spiritual Proficiency, by Martin Thornton: ” ‘The Christian is, in one sense, successively becoming what, in another sense, he already is. He increasingly makes his own the supernatural and eternal life which is the life of God. Hence on the supernatural plane he transcends the separation of past-present-and-future.’ [Mascall] The importance of this theology is that the Church’s year, incorporated in the Kalendar, is of private as well as corporate significance. In practice, life in the Church, and recollection of that life, means life by the Kalendar and we must believe that the little bit of time-space experience we call ‘June the twenty-ninth’ really means something definite to all the saints in heaven and to St. Peter in particular. The Office and Mass on that day, and therefore our private prayer as well, are no bare memorial to one of the Apostles, but the expression of this time-eternal, earth-heaven, nature-grace, link. . . . . . the Church’s Kalendar provides not just a useful means of conducting services in an orderly way, but a practical basis …

The Fifth Week after Easter (Rogation and Ascension)

Feast Days Sunday through Wednesday, May 26-29: Rogation Sunday & Rogation Days Collect for Rogation Sunday: O Lord, from whom all good things do come; Grant to us thy humble servants, that by thy holy inspiration we may think those things that are good, and by thy merciful guiding may perform the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. The word “Rogation” comes from the Latin “rogare” or “to ask.” The Rogation Days began in 470, after a series of natural disasters in Vienne, France. The Archbishop Mamertus called for a fast and said that the people were to process around their fields with litanies and prayers just as the crops were beginning to sprout. These processions took hold and became a custom. Gradually, the Rogation Days became a time of festival, celebrating the advent of spring. The members of a parish would process around the boundaries of the parish, which could take a whole day. You can learn more about the Rogation Days here. At our church, we will have a blessing of the …

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 …

The Fourth Week of Lent

Collect: Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that we, who for our evil deeds do worthily deserve to be punished, by the comfort of thy grace may mercifully be relieved; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen. Saints and “Blesseds” Monday, April 1: Blessed Frederick Denison Maurice Born the son of a Unitarian minister in 1805, John Frederick Denison Maurice became an Anglican when he was 26 and then a priest at 29. A founder of the Christian Socialist Movement, Maurice characterized unrestricted capitalism as “expecting Universal Selfishness to do the work of Universal Love.” Obviously a contentious figure, he is best remembered for his book The Kingdom of Christ. Though he lost his professorship at King’s College, London in 1853 because of his challenge of traditional concepts of hell and eternity, he was given a chair at Cambridge in 1866. He held this chair until his death in 1872. You can read some of his work at Anglican History. Tuesday, April 2: Blessed John Donne John Donne was born around 1571 and was raised as …

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 …

A Candlemas Gift from Hearthstone Fables

Kristin Haakenson is the artist behind Hearthstone Fables. I truly gasped when I opened Kristin’s email with these Candlemas images. What a gift! When I think of Hearthstone Fables, I think of St. Francis of Assisi. In his Canticle of the Sun, he saw all creation as family —  “Brother Sun,” Sister Moon,” Brother Wind…” The legends say that he preached sermons to birds and befriended wolves. In this way, Kristin’s art at Hearthstone Fables seems very Franciscan to me. And, with these beautiful Candlemas gifts, I think we can look to “Sister Swan” and “Brother Fox” as we carry the light in our homes. In her lovely website, Kristin says: “In the magical world of Hearthstone Fables, I’ve sought to express my passion for faith, nature, & mythic storytelling through art.  I aim to create simple, quiet narratives that convey a sense of wonderment at the sacred world, with the various flora and fauna of nature weaving enchanting stories together. I’ve always been enamored with mythic storytelling, both through written narrative and the visual arts.  Humanity so often expresses a sense of displacement…a nagging feeling …