Saturday, December 01, 2007
Change of Address
I'm moving...my blog. I've been trying to make the transition for a long time, and I think I should just jump in now that it's a new Liturgical Year and my blogging will be light with my maternity leave. Please update your records to http://familyfeastandferia.wordpress.com/
I hope to move some of my old posts to Wordpress to have them all in one spot.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
The Advent Tree
I came across a wonderful old Catholic art lesson book a few years ago. I'm not able to implement all the ideas this year, but I really loved the thoroughly Catholic approach to the Jesse Tree. Sister calls it the Advent Tree, and incorporates more of our liturgy within the plan.
I have uploaded the chapter in a .pdf file here if anyone is interested.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Solemnity of Christ the King
Today marks the closing of Ordinary Time of the Liturgical Year, celebrated with the solemnity of Christ the King. Next week is the beginning of Advent.
Mary Ellen has a wonderful summary about this feast, with ideas to celebrate at O Night Divine blog.
I'm in minimalist mode in preparing for the baby. But while straightening up some things in the basement I came across a simple Christ the King image/activity I scanned and we're using today. Enjoy.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
This passage from A Right to be Merry has always inspired me during Advent. I love the naming of the Advent candles in the wreath, marking the journey through time with prominent figures of our Advent Liturgy: Isaiah, St. John the Baptist, St. Joseph, and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
In Advent, we gather each Sunday evening in the community room under the big green wreath that swings above our heads on long purple ribbons. There are four tall candles set in the wreath, and each week Mother Abbess lights one more, first sprinkling the wreath and us with holy water and then reciting the day's collect, full of the Church's immense yearning for the coming of the little Redeemer. "Come! Come! Come!" And we stand under the wreath where the Isaias-candle burns, and the St. John Baptist-candle, and the St. Joseph-candle joined at last by the Mary-candle; and we sing: "Veni, veni, Emmanuel." The monastery is on tiptoe with expectation, and the colored ropes and bells and stars that happy-faced nuns will soon be draping and pinning all over the monastery take their meaning from these prayers and these Office chants.
The last days of Advent, we stand in our choir stalls and sing the glorious O's of the waiting Church. The youngest postulant, looking terribly important and heavy with her responsibility, goes to the tower to ring the great Maria-bell (Miguel, the smaller bell, will join Maria on Christmas Eve), while the nuns chant: "O Wisdom...O Key...O King...Come!"
from A Right to be Merry by Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C., Copyright 1973 from Franciscan Herald Press, p. 90.
Except for the third Sunday of Advent which has the St. Joseph candle, the readings from the Advent Sunday Masses reflect these named candles. These are key figures of the Advent liturgy. And for those who don't have time to do a Jesse tree this is a small way to bring in the Old and New Testament into our Advent prayers.
Monday, November 19, 2007
My Grandmother's Legacy
It's been two years since my maternal grandmother passed away. Last Friday, November 16, marked the anniversary. During November I feel very close to dearly departed loved ones, trying to offer up extra sacrifices and prayers for them, since it is the month of the Poor Souls. I wrote the following soon after we found out she had only a little time left with us.
My Grandmother’s Legacy
This past weekend my family learned that my maternal grandmother has inoperable stomach cancer and only a few months to live. This news comes as a shock. But as I’m contemplating Grandma’s departure from this world, I'm realizing how much I have to be thankful for, all rooted in my grandmother's beautiful and inspiring love of the Mass and the Eucharist.
Grandma is 89 years old and has lived a very full life. She has 4 living children, 25 grandchildren and 52 great-grandchildren. Born and raised in New Orleans, she's a genteel lady and never goes out without her dress and high heels, her hat, earrings and lipstick – even on camping trips!
She’s not your typical grandmother. She was widowed three times. She loves gadgets and innovation. If she could find a faster or seemingly more efficient way to get something done, she’d try it. She didn’t "do" needlecrafts and rarely baked. When she cooked her meals they never were done the same way twice, always trying a new idea. She rarely followed directions, which has led to many humorous consequences.
However, despite her penchant for change and variety, the entrenched anchor at the center of my grandmother’s life has always been simple but deep faith and her love for Christ in the Holy Eucharist. She has shared that love and faith with her family her entire life. Even as a young girl in grade school, Grandma walked to daily Mass alone, then home again for breakfast before school – 12 blocks each trip. This remained her first priority of each day: to go to Mass if possible. That statement speaks volumes of the sacrifices required to get to church daily.
I have been blessed to live nearby Grandma almost my entire life. For the last twenty years we belonged to the same parish, so I’ve been able to attend daily Mass with her. Over the years I’ve watched her gradually decline. First she could no longer drive herself, so family members drove her to Mass. When she couldn’t walk without assistance, she brought a walker. But if she was feeling well, she wanted to have Mass included in her day. She always sat in the back pew and greeted our Lord -- with her hat and lipstick in place. Parish members affectionately refer to her as "The Hat Lady."
Even as a young mother, Grandma made Mass a part of the daily routine for herself and her children. It wasn’t always easy. Fasting requirements were stricter, so she brought her children to church before school and then after Mass she would serve breakfast in the car -- a breakfast she had prepared at home because fast food didn’t exist back then! Inspired by her example and sacrifice, the pastor changed the school schedule making daily Mass a requirement for all students, with breakfast served afterwards in the cafeteria.
My own mother embraced this love of the Mass and passed it on to her seven children. The daily nourishment of the Body and Blood of Christ is also our own priority. It is the way we begin our celebration of all special occasions and feasts. It is coming from Mass, with Christ in our hearts, that we bring Him to the world.
I also now realize that Grandma started one of our family rituals. After participating in the Heavenly Banquet, she brought Christ to others by sharing a meal with her family. As a child I remember going to Mass and then going over to Grandma's for breakfast. Whether it was just coffee and a bowl of cereal, it was still time shared together. Now as an adult, after morning mass, any family members at Church go out to breakfast. This little ritual of a Spiritual Banquet followed by a shared meal has kept our family very close.
Over the years as the number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren grew, we understood we couldn’t expect a check or a gift from Grandma. But if we got a card, it always read: "I offered my Mass and communion for you." These last ten years it was just too much for her to even buy a card, but we still had the verbal promise of prayers. Maybe as a child I didn’t understand or appreciate her spiritual bouquets, but now I’m grateful for that most generous gift and my grandmother’s legacy.
Jennifer Miller and her family live in Manassas, Virginia and belong to All Saints Parish. Her grandmother, May Corbin, died peacefully on Nov. 16 surrounded by her family.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
I haven't written any posts in a long time. I'm not apologizing, just stating a fact. I put the blog on password protection for a while, as I was contemplating deleting the blog altogether. I am busy with other things, and I can't keep up with the blogging community. I write for my family and myself, and don't expect to have other readers. And lately, I'm not up to writing about anything!
The baby is due in a few weeks, around Christmastime, if all goes as planned. I have lots to do in preparation, and of course will be busy post-partum, too. I'm really looking foward to seeing the little guy. I'm on bedrest right now and will just have to learn patience and trust in God.
I just want to thank you for all the good wishes and prayers for this pregnancy. I really appreciate it.
God bless you!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
The Religion Clock
A great mnemonic device for teaching children the rudiments of the Faith.
1. ONE GOD
2. One Person who is Vicar of Christ right now, Pope Benedict XVI
1. TWO NATURES IN CHRIST
2. TWO TESTAMENTS OF THE BIBLE
Old and New testaments.
3. Two sons of Adam and Eve.
4. TWO KINDS OF SIN
5. TWO KINDS OF GRACE
Actual (includes sacramental grace)
6. TWO KINDS OF VIRTUES
Theological (Faith, Hope, and Love)
Moral (Prudence, Justice, Temperance, and Fortitude…also called “cardinal virtues” or “chief moral virtues”)
7. TWO JUDGMENTS
Particular (at death when we see our sins)
General (at end of the world when we see the effect of our sins)
8. TWO GREAT COMMANDMENTS THAT CONTAIN THE WHOLE LAW OF GOD.
First, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy who heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength.”
Second, “Thou shalt love they neighbor as thyself.”
9. TWO KINDS OF INDULGENCE
Plenary (Pays the debt of all our sins)
Partial (Pays part of the debt of all our sins)
10. TWO KINDS OF PRAYER
1. THREE PERSONS IN ONE GOD
like a shamrock/candle flame/ice, water, steam
2. THREE ARCHANGELS
3. THREE THEOLOGICAL VIRTUES
4. THREE WISE MEN
5. THREE GIFTS OF THE WISE MEN
6. THREE DESCRIPTIONS OF GOD.
All Powerful (Omnipotent)
All Knowing (Omniscient)
All present (Omnipresent)
7. THREE WAYS WE CAN SIN
8. THREE THINGS THAT MAKE UP A SIN
Serious matter (it is wrong)
Sufficient reflection (you know it is wrong)
Full consent of the will (you do it anyway)
9. THREE CHIEF ATTRIBUTES OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (They are qualities perfecting the nature of the Church)
10. THREE WAYS TO SEPARATE FROM THE CHURCH
11. THREE EVANGELICAL COUNSELS
12. THREE TYPES OF BAPTISM
Blood (Killed for the Faith before baptism)
Desire (Wishes to be baptized by dies before event)
13. THREE PARTS TO A SACRAMENT
Outward sign (evident to one of more of our physical senses)
Instituted (started) by Christ
To give grace
14. THREE STEPS TO PERFECTION IN THE SPIRITUAL LIFE
Purgation (Reject our sinful practices)
Illumination (Open our eyes to God’s presence)
Unification (Embrace the Trinity)
1. FOUR GOSPEL WRITERS
Matthew—apostle, tax collector (Angel as symbol)
Mark—disciple of Peter (Lion as symbol)
Luke—disciple of Paul (Ox as symbol)
John—apostle, the “beloved disciple” (Eagle as symbol)
2. FOUR CARDINAL VIRTUES
3. FOUR MYSTERIES OF THE ROSARY
4. FOUR MARKS OF THE CHURCH
5. FOUR Ways to Pray to God
1. FIVE WOUNDS OF CHRIST
side, hands, feet, (also the crown of thorns on head)
2. Five decades of Each Mystery of the Rosary
Joyful (Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Presentation, Finding the Child in the Temple)
Luminous (Baptism in River Jordan, Wedding Feast of Cana, Proclamation of the Kingdom, Tranfiguration, Institution of the Eucharist)
Sorrowful (Agony in the Garden, Scourging at the pillar, Crowning of thorns, Jesus carries His cross, Jesus dies upon His cross.)
Glorious (Resurrection, Ascension, Descent of the Holy Spirit, Presentation of the Blessed Mother, Mary is crowned queen of heaven and earth.)
3. FIVE STEPS TO A GOOD CONFESSION
Examine your conscience
Contrition (Be Truly Sorry)
Resolution (Have purpose of amendment, intend to avoid the sin in the future)
Confession (Confess your sins)
Accept your penance
1. SIX HOLY DAYS OF OBLIGATION (IN ADDITION TO EVERY SUNDAY)
January 1–Mary, Mother of God
Ascension Thursday–(date varies)
August 15–Assumption of Mary
November 1–All Saints
December 8–Immaculate Conception
December 25–Christ’s birth
2. SIX PRECEPTS (LAWS) OF THE CHURCH
Assist at Mass on all Sundays and holy days of obligation
Fast and abstain on the days appointed
Confess our sins at least once a year
Receive Holy Communion during the Easter season
Contribute to the support of the Church
Observe the laws of the Church concerning marriage
1. SEVEN SACRAMENTS
Anointing of the Sick
2. Seven Capital Sins (PCLAGES)
3. SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Fear of the Lord
4. SEVEN CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY
Feed the hungry
Give drink to the thirsty
Clothe the naked
Visit the imprisoned
Shelter the homeless
Visit the Sick
Bury the Dead
5. SEVEN SPIRITUAL WORKS OF MERCY
Admonish the sinner
Instruct the ignorant
Counsel the doubtful
Comfort the sorrowful
Bear wrongs patiently
Forgive all injuries
Pray for the living and the dead.
1. EIGHT BEATITUDES
Blessed are: the poor in spirit
those who hunger and thirst for justice
the pure of heart
those who suffer persecution for the sake of justice.
1. NINE FIRST FRIDAYS
Our Lord promised St. Margaret Mary Alocoque that those who receive Holy Communion on nine consecutive First
Fridays, and receive the Sacrament of Penance will not die in God’s displeasure.
2. What is a Novena?
A devotional prayer lasting nine days.
3. Nine choirs of angels.
1. TEN COMMANDMENTS
1. I am the Lord your God; you shall not have other gods besides Me.
2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
3. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.
4. Honor your father and your mother.
5. You shall not kill.
6. You shall not commit adultery.
7. You shall not steal.
8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.
ELEVEN APOSTLES REMAINED FAITHFUL
Peter, Andrew, James the Great, John, Thomas, James the Less, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon, Jude Thaddeus
1. TWELVE FRUITS OF THE HOLY SPIRITCharity, joy, peace, patience, goodness, long-suffering,
humility, faithfulness, modesty, continence, chastity and
2. TWELVE APOSTLES
Simon the Zealot
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Food for Thought
My husband sent this article for me to read. While not everything directly applies to my life (I don't have My Space or Facebook accounts), there are points that can be applied to me personally and in the future with my son and our relationships on the Internet.
Virtual Friendship and the New Narcissism by Christine Rosen. I recommend printing out the .pdf file for readability.
Although a secular article, some of the points are good reminders for me. It is good for me to examine and reevaluate my computer usage from time to time.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Preview of Christmas
Today is the Optional Memorial of St. Wenceslas.
"Good King Wenceslas" was my son's favorite Christmas carol at a very young age. He memorized all the verses, and it was quite humorous to listen to a 2 year old belt out the tune and verses. So I nurtured this love by getting books with wonderful illustrations and stories to flesh out this saint.
I had a long post for this feast I wrote last year, with all the book recommendations. If you know any more, pass them along my way. We NEVER tire of St. Wenceslaus.
A happy feast day to you all!
Monday, September 17, 2007
Our Children's Missal
I've changed my mind.
Of course, it's not the first time, but I think this is the correct decision. A while back this 4Real discussion tossed the idea of using A Child's Missal by Patmos. I looked it over and hesitated on buying it because we usually attend the Novus Ordo, and I thought the book might confuse my son. Probably the biggest stumbling block (which was actually a very small objection) is that the priest is pictured facing the altar, instead of the people.
Fast forward to July when Pope Benedict XVI issued his beautiful Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. His words echoed what I felt all along, that the these weren't two rites, but one rite, different forms, ordinary and extraordinary.
So I looked at the book with different eyes, and bought it for my 4 year old more than two months ago. I now say it's one of our best purchases. This is our Mass missal. Granted, he can't read yet, but the book is so visually captivating. I can honestly say that this book has helped us tremendously on being still and focusing on the Consecration. And if you knew what a wiggle-worm he was, you would know that this is HUGE. He is more reverent and attentive when following this book.
Each section of the Mass has the Latin and English names for the High and Low Masses. On the left side is an illustration echoing the illustrated manuscripts that depicts an event Jesus' life that corresponds to the section on the Mass. The facing page has small illustrations and photos that depict and illustrate the part of the Mass, and words to help meditate on this section. I think the title "Missal" is a little bit misleading, as it doesn't have the rubrics of the Mass to follow along in the text. But it does provide visual and written information to help pray along more fully.
There really aren't extra elements or pages that wouldn't apply in an Novus Ordo mass. I wish there were a few more pages for the beginning part of the Mass, but that's really my only complaint. The priests in the photos are wearing Roman style vestments, so even if they are facing the altar, my son hasn't questioned or been confused at all.
Patmos has now changed its name to Sacros. You can download a page and read more about the book from their site and decide for yourself.
I think this book can be for the younger children who can't read, to ages 10 and 11. I read it outside of Mass to go over the illustrations and discuss, so that ds can remember when we're attending at Mass (since I'm not reading it out loud in church).
I'm glad I changed my mind.