17 July 2014

The Commemoration of Ruth (July 16)

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July 16th the Church commemorates Ruth the Moabitess.

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Snack Ideas: Pretzel "Bundles of wheat", Wheat Thins, Whole Wheat Crackers

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Craft: Baskets for gleaning, idea from HERE.

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To Watch: The Story of Ruth 
To Read: The Story of Ruth and Naomi from the Alice in Bibleland series
Ruth and Naomi Arch Book

To Sing: Our Lutheran Service Book has wonderful hymn for occasions like this,
 #855 For All the Faithful Women:

"For Ruth, who left her homeland
And ventured forth in faith,
Who pledged to serve and worship
Naomi's God till death,
We praise You, God till death,
We praise You, God of Israel,
And pray for hearts set free
To bind ourselves to others
In love and loyalty."

"You promised to preserve Your people and save Your inheritance, using unlikely and unexpected vessels in extending the genealogy that would bring about the birth of Your blessed Son. Give us the loyalty of Ruth and her trust in the one true God, that we, too, might honor You through our submission and respect and be counted among Your chosen People by the Grace of Jesus Christ." Amen. Treasury of Daily Prayer

You can find more about Ruth on this blog HERE.

24 March 2014

St. Joseph Guardian of Jesus (March 19)

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March 19th is the Feast of St. Joseph, Guardian of Jesus. I'm sure it's just me but Joseph seems to be one of those saints easily overlooked, lurking in the background, in the shadow of Mary and certainly of Jesus.

Joseph is many times painted as looking pretty frail and sad. But in my mind he was a little more manly than that.  We don't know much about him but I believe it's safe to assume he was just like any Daddy.

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A Protector

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 Playful

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Tender
(source)

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Compassionate

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 A Teacher of Scripture

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 A good and honorable father.


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One St. Joseph's Day tradition is to make a "St. Joseph's Altar". As Lutherans we don't pray to saints or pay homage to them so I was uncomfortable making an altar and believing it would bring good fortune to our family. 

I like to think of St. Joseph's Day as the Church's Father's Day and in fact in Italy March 19th (The Feast of St. Joseph) is Father's Day.

So we celebrated the fathers in our family.

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Remembering the Guardian of Jesus by honoring our own fathers and giving thanks for them is a great idea.

Anything you would do for Father's Day would be appropriate for this Feast. I had my children make cards for their father and grandfathers.

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Coloring pages:



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For a snack we made little "Josephs" in his carpenters apron, with a carpenter's square and his staff.

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More cookies, "Joseph's tools", hammers and carpenters squares. 

Other attributes for St. Joseph are: 
Carpenter's square or tools, the infant Jesus, staff with lily blossoms, two turtle doves.

For more ideas for celebrating the Feast of St. Joseph visit:


"We sing our thanks for Joseph,
The guardian of our Lord
Who faithfully taught Jesus
Through craft and deed and word.
Grant wisdom, Lord, and patience
To parents everywhere
Who guide and teach the children
Entrusted to their care."

01 February 2014

The Purification of Mary and Presentation of our Lord (February 2)

I'm still here!  We're expecting another little one any day now, and if she's a girl, we will name her Anna, after the prophetess in Luke 2

There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four.  She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.



Here is a previous year's post about the Presentation (commonly called "Candlemas")

Here is a very thorough article by Pr. Abrahamson on the origins and history of the Feast.



16 October 2013

The Feast of Saint Hedwig


October 16th is the Feastday of St. Hedwig of Silesia of Poland. I did not know about this saint but as I read more about her I was glad to have come across her. She was a great example of a wife, a mother and a Christian. Hospitable, charitable and devoted to the Christ and His Church in her vocation.


At the age of twelve, Hedwig married Henry I the Bearded. Together they had 7 children.
From Wikipedia
Hedwig and Henry lived very pious lives, and Hedwig had great zeal for religion. Hedwig always helped the poor and donated all her fortune to the Church. According to legend, she went barefoot even in winter, and when she was urged by the Bishop of Wrocław to wear shoes, she carried them in her hands.

The widow moved into the monastery, which was led by her daughter Gertrude, assuming the religious habit of a lay sister, but she did not take vows. She invited numerous German religious people from the Holy Roman Empire into the Silesian lands, as well as German settlers who founded numerous cities, towns and villages in the course of the migration, while cultivating barren parts of Silesia for agriculture.

Activities for the Feast of Saint Hedwig:

Make foot or shoe shaped cookies or bread.

From Catholic Culture - On this feast in Poland, there is a bread called Hedwigsohlen (Shoe Soles of St. Hedwig) that used to be distributed to the poor of Trebnitz on her feast day. The shoe soles remind us of her generosity to the poor, and the fact that she sacrificed her own comfortable shoes in walking to church. Any recipe for a bread that can be formed into a specific shape can be used. Form them into soles of shoes.



Let your children walk around barefoot outside, especially if it's cold! 
Donate to a local food pantry or food drive.  

Prayer for the Feast of Saint Hedwig
O God,
Who didst teach blessed Hedwig
to renounce the pomps of this world,
that, with her whole heart,
she might follow the humble way of Thy cross:
grant that, through example,
we may learn to trample under foot the perishable delights
of this world and by cleaving to Thy cross
overcome whatsoever may be opposed to us.
Who livest and reignest with Thee,
in the unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end.
Amen.

Prayer Source

27 August 2013

St. Monica (August 27)


In my distress I called upon the Lord;

    to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,

    and my cry to him reached his ears. Ps. 18:6




Today we remember and give thanks for Monica, Mother of Augustine.  A native of North Africa, Monica (A.D. 333–387) was the devoted mother of Saint Augustine. Throughout her life she sought the spiritual welfare of her children, especially that of her brilliant son, Augustine. Widowed at a young age, she devoted herself to her family, praying many years for Augustine’s conversion. When Augustine left North Africa to go to Italy, she followed him to Rome and then to Milan. There she had the joy of witnessing her son’s conversion to the Christian faith. Weakened by her travels, Monica died at Ostia, Italy on the journey she had hoped would take her back to her native Africa.


Are there any favorite blog posts, sermons, or passages you have which address the sorrow (and fear) of a child (or spouse) rejecting the Faith?  I know I have read a few, but I do a poor job of bookmarking, and don't have time to search right now.

Happy St. Monica's Day!  May the Holy Spirit keep you and yours in your baptisms unto life everlasting.  Amen!




And since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.  Hebrews 10:21-23

03 August 2013

Rescuing Holy Days from Pagan Lies

Steadfast Lutherans has a wonderful series of posts by Pr. Joseph Abrahamson called "Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies," refuting the oft-made claim that Christian holidays are all of pagan origins.  Here is a list.  Issues, Etc. has also interviewed Pr. Abrahamson on these topics.

Hallowe'en

Christmas

Christmas and Sol Invictus

Solstice 1 and 2 and 3

Ash Wednesday and Lent

Valentine's Day

Annunciation

Easter 1 and 2

Walpurgisnacht

Pentecost

Nativity of St. John 1 and 2 and 3







August Feasts and Commemorations

3             Joanna, Mary, and Salome, myrrhbearers
10           Lawrence, deacon and martyr
15           St. Mary, Mother of Our Lord (and another post)
16           Isaac
17           Johann Gerhard, theologian
19           Bernard of Clairvaux, hymnwriter and theologian
20           Samuel
24           St. Bartholomew, Apostle
27           Monica, Mother of Augustine
28           Augustine of Hippo, Pastor and Theologian
29           The Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist

30 June 2013

The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul


 June 29th, the Church remembers Sts. Peter and Paul.

"We praise You for St. Peter;
We praise You for St. Paul;
They taught both Jew and Gentile
That Christ is all in all.
To cross and sword they yielded
And saw Your kingdom come;
O God, these two apostles
Reached life through martyrdom."


You can listen to this hymn HERE, a few words different from the one in my hymnal.

Some wonderful ideas for celebrating this Feast day can be found at these sites:


Here are some more ideas for you.

Coloring Pages:


Something to Watch:

Food for today:

Beer Battered Fish and Chips
(Any fish dish is appropriate today to remember Peter the Fisherman... the Fisher of Men.)

For Snack Time we ate Gold Fish Crackers with Pretzel fishing poles. Also I wanted to make those cute cupcakes, but I was out of steam and we already had a lot of other sweets floating around our kitchen counter so I made Mini Reese's PB Cup Boats instead.




Merciful and eternal God, Your holy apostles Peter and Paul received grace and strength to lay down their lives for the sake of Your Son. Strenghten us by Your Holy Spirit that we may confess Your truth and at all times be ready to lay down our lives for Him who laid down His life for us, even Jesus Christ our Lord.

24 June 2013

Nativity of St. John The Baptist



The Church doesn't typically celebrate the earthly birthdays of its saints but their Heavenly birthdays, the days they died and entered Heaven. There are two exceptions to that, Mary's and John the Baptist's births. As I understand it, the Catholic church teaches that this is because they were born without Original sin. As Lutherans we don't teach or believe that but we still commemorate the birth of St. John the Baptist today.

"And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people
in the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.” The beautiful words of Zechariah from Luke 1:76-79

Reading: Zechariah and Elizabeth and John's birth from Luke 1

Activities:

Appropriate symbols for teaching about St. John or decorating for this Feast day are: Camel-skin robe, cross, lamb, pouring water from hands or scallop shell for Baptism. 


My children like to watch "Bible shows" so we watched the story of John the Baptist HERE.

On this day we also remember in prayer our sisters who are barren. We pray for their continual comfort and guidance. We can also remember to pray for expectant mothers.


We know that John leaped for joy in Elizabeth's womb, so today is also a good day to emphasize the life of the unborn, teaching our children about the gift and miracle that begins at conception.

Coloring Pages:
One (this is actually Simeon and Anna, but it works!)
Two (Abraham and Sarah, but again, it works.)
Three - A pregnant mama, can easily be turned into Elizabeth.



26 May 2013

Holy Trinity Sunday


Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Trinity; Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier.


This Sunday is a good day to teach children about the Trinity of course but also, more about Baptism and making the sign of the cross.

Other Acitivities:
Trinity Coloring Sheets HERE
Trinity Craft for children HERE
Sign of the Cross Worksheets HERE
Wear White
Light Baptismal candles at meal time or on family altar

Food ideas for Trinity Sunday:
Many HERE
A Three Berry Pie see above. You can be creative by decorating this pie with whichever Trinitarian symbol you choose.