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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 …

Getting started with Pysanky

Well, one more week until Holy Week, just enough time to consider whether you might like to try the traditional Easter art of pysanky!  Pysanky, or the creation of decorated Ukrainian Easter eggs, is a very old practice that originated in Eastern Europe.  Traditionally during Holy Week, and in some communitites throughout Lent, Ukrainian ladies would gather in the evenings to decorate these special Easter eggs to adorn the baskets that they would bring to be blessed Easter morning.  The baskets were a celebration of new life, often including things that had been given up during Lent, such as meat, eggs, and rich breads. Last year I was curious and decided to try this art for the first time.  My children joined me in learning, and we have all come to enjoy and value this quiet, simple, meditative activity.  Perhaps you might like to try it as well this year? The materials you will need are very simple and inexpensive: a kistka (writing tool) beeswax for pysanky a candle and holder matches eggs (you can …

St. Valentine Coloring Page

If you happen to be looking for a way to highlight that St. Valentine’s day IS a saint’s day (even if we don’t know a whole lot about him), Michelle Abernathy has made a coloring page out of her painting of St. Valentine (see on Etsy)! You can download a printable pdf of the St. Valentine coloring page here. St. Valentine was a priest or bishop that was martyred around 269 in Rome under the Emperor Claudius. I like how Michelle depicts him as celebrant in a marriage ceremony, highlighting that love and sacrifice go hand in hand. I appreciate Auntie Leila’s thoughts on celebrating: “… make it into a real, not just sentimental, occasion of expressing affection to everyone — in family life, just take out the romantic part of it. There’s nothing wrong with sending pretty cards and giving chocolates to those you love best, keeping in mind of course that dear St. Valentine was a martyr for the love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and he wants us to contemplate our …

Nativity Artwork for Children (and their Grownups!)

We have had some time this Advent in our elementary Sunday School class while we practice our Christmas play and music, so we decided to do some special projects to share, because I deeply believe that Advent is for making. I thought it would be fun to share a few step-by-steps for making these simple nativities with children and/or adults.  With a bit of advance planning, we completed these in about 20 minutes, leaving us with enough time for some singing and play prep.  This coming Sunday we will wrap them, and send them home to place under the Christmas tree. Do let us know if you make these!  You can tag us on Instagram @thehomelyhours, or leave us a comment here with a picture. Materials: 8″ x 10″ canvas panel for each person (get them on sale; they are almost always on sale:) Acrylic paint in: white, turquoise, gold, yellow, orange, brown. Paintbrush for each person Paper towels Aluminum foil Aprons and patience! Method: Step 1: Before your class or gathering, prep your canvas backgrounds …

The 13th Week of Trinity

After taking a long break, we’re going to start a weekly post that gives a brief look at upcoming saints and feast days, in addition to relevant posts from our archives. We’ll post links that will give you plenty of time to prepare for upcoming major feast days. We’ll keep revising this basic template as needed and welcome feedback as to what you think it should include!  Collect: Almighty and merciful God, of whose only gift it cometh that thy faithful people do unto thee true and laudable service; Grant, we beseech thee, that we may so faithfully serve thee in this life, that we fail not finally to attain thy heavenly promises; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen. Saints and Feasts of the Week: August 27: Monica, mother of Augustine of Hippo, 387 We celebrate Monica, the mother of Augustine, the day before we remember her son. Monica lived from 322-387. Married to an unbeliever named Patricius (who eventually converted at the end of his life), Monica is known for her …

Advent Saints Coloring Pages

Are you looking for a simple way to incorporate some feast day celebrations into your Advent this year?  One of our parish members, Michelle, has created these lovely coloring pages for you to print as you will and enjoy with your family.  We are currently in the midst of a very busy season in the life of our family, so this will be about the extent of our feast day observances this year.  I look forward to joining my children in some quiet coloring time!  Thank you again, Michelle! StNicholasColoring StLucyColoring  

Holy Week Hymns (Or, When Nothing Else Gets Through)

If you, like me, are struggling with what it means to observe Holy Week as a parent, if you have little time to meditate in silence and find most of your observances to be hijacked by whiny toddlers, I was reminded today of the power God has given to music to reach and shape our souls (even when we are annoyed with our kids and foundering in Holy Week intentions). We sang the following two hymns during our Spy Wednesday service today and both managed to get through to my not-particularly-soft heart. Go to dark Gethsemane, ye that feel the tempter’s power; Your Redeemer’s conflict see, watch with Him one bitter hour, Turn not from His griefs away; learn of Jesus Christ to pray. See Him at the judgment hall, beaten, bound, reviled, arraigned; O the wormwood and the gall! O the pangs His soul sustained! Shun not suffering, shame, or loss; learn of Christ to bear the cross. Calvary’s mournful mountain climb; there, adoring at His feet, Mark that miracle of time, God’s own sacrifice …

A Baptist and the BCP

Thank you to Jordan Riggle for his guest submission to our series on the BCP in Daily Life. Jordan  and his wife Katrina live in Dayton, Ohio with three children. He’s a writer and entrepreneur, and she’s a baker and a painter. They’ve fallen deeply in love with simple, liturgical, gospel-centered living. In the interest of full disclosure, my wife and I aren’t Anglicans, we don’t attend an Anglican church, nor does our church use the Book of Common Prayer. None of our friends use it. In fact, the only other family we personally know who uses the Book of Common Prayer on a regular basis would be Amanda’s, one of the editors here at The Homely Hours. However, my wife and I use the Book of Common Prayer with our children twice a day, every day. A year and a half ago we began following the liturgical calendar and began hearing about this thing called the Book of Common Prayer. Since then, the Book of Common Prayer has slowly worked itself into the very warp …

A Productive Home

When my oldest two children went to school, my unspoken daily goal was to bring my home back to a “showpiece” state every morning after they left.  Problem was, I still have several young children and babies at home, so you can imagine the tension this created.  Our visual culture tells us that to be a “successful” homemaker (and this does not just apply to stay at home moms, but any person who has a home), our home needs to look Pinterest perfect all the time. Home in our culture is no longer a place of production.  The only “meaningful” things that happen at home anymore have been relegated to hobby status: cooking, crafting, the cult of organization.  All of our modern conveniences have ensured that housework can be done in the minimal amount of time, so we can move on to more important things.  And I enjoy the benefits of this, as we all should. But what if Home was meant to remain productive?  What if the messes that are created daily at home …

“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