Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Holy House

I first heard about the Holy House of Loreto at a the CHAPLET homeschool conference years ago. Fr. Ronan Murphy spoke about "The Family" - the Holy Family being the example of Holiness for all families. He also told of one of his greatest gifts as a priest was when he offered Holy Mass at the Holy House of Loreto. This year I put together a little Holy House for our House - I hope it's little light will help remind us to make our home more like that little home where our Lord grew up.

I found this Christmas tea light lantern pattern - a little glitter - some tissue paper for the windows - and a small cut out of Our Lady and Child from an old Christmas card and I had our the little house
Then I took some very simple wool angels and a bit of silver ribbon and hung everything from a wooden arch that I saved from an old mobile. You could also use a small wreath on the horizontal and add two more angels (one for each corner) - which I might do for a future house.
I used a hot glue gun to attach the ribbon to the house and to the arch to make sure it was secure.

I would enlarge the lantern pattern next time - I managed to make it a little bigger on the computer but I really needed to get to a copy machine.

Here are a couple of posts I've enjoyed related to the day from....

Cottage Blessings


Under Her Starry Mantle

Anyone else? Please leave a link in the comments section!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Getting the boys to Mass on a Monday after Sunday was a feat. "What!!?? Mass again?" But we made it and Aidan enjoyed showing our DRE and Fr Wayne his Sunday Sticker Book.
After Mass we zipped up to our favorite florist shop and bought a single white rose for our Advent Garden.

Later in the evening we gathered for the lighting of the garden. We began with this verse by Christiana Rossetti:

Herself a rose, who bore the Rose,
She bore the Rose and felt its thorn.
All Loveliness new-born
Took on her bosom its repose,
And slept and woke there night and morn.

When the candles were lit we sang....

Immaculate Mary
Maria Walks Amid The Thorn
(the tune to this song is in on our Christmas Star cd under the title "Maria Wandered Through A Wood")
Joseph and Mary (selection 13)
A Virgin Most Pure (selection 14)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Dressing up....

......a dress. I was very thankful when a friend passed on a lovely black merino wool dress to my daughter. She will be helping Dad with the annual Senior Citizen Prom at the high school where he works. Plain black didn't quite seem in the holiday spirit so I took some thin red and silver ribbon and careful woven it through the knit of the dress.

Dressing up....

......cookies. Katie made chocolate chip cookies with something a little extra for the reception today after the Youth Orchestra's holiday concert. She added a cup of chopped dried cranberries. They are so good!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Kind Old Man St. Nicholas Dear....

...Come to my house this year! Aidan was anxious to get started shining Papa's shoes last evening. The rest of the children joined in later.

For years now this first full weekend in December has been a very busy one - this year is no exception. It is always the date of our youth orchestra's winter concert and Ed facilitates a student group at the local high school that puts on a prom for the senior citizens. Today there are rehearsals and auditions for state honor choir, oh, and a garden pickup too... and Mass! Whew!

Today will be busy but once again St. Nicholas has brought us something special that will certainly help keep a smile on our faces. To get us through we'll have dried cranberries, figs, and cherries. We'll be sure to take a few pieces of the candied ginger with us too. And to start us off Papa awoke in the wee hours to get some St. Nicholas boots ready for us to go with the usual citrus fruit and mixed nuts the good Saint brings for breakfast.

To help keep Mama sane today as we drive around from here to there and all around I will enjoy this CD I purchased with some other music for the Advent season. It is beautiful! And finally when all is done we will snuggle up with the book with which I first fell in love with St. Nicholas - St. Nicholas' Travels by Hertha Pauli. I first found this book in our local library but I finally bought a used copy of my own. After all is said and done today we'll snuggle in bed and hear the story of when St. Nicholas met Constantine the Great, and of their attendance at the Council of Nicaea.

In this story we hear how this good Saint, who is so associated with the Feast of Christmas never had a Christmas - the bishops at the council were in doubt as to when the observance of the Nativity should take place - it had happened "in the days of Herod" - but could it have been a spring day? the shortest day of the year? the day when the Magi visited Bethlehem?

"The Bishop Nicholas of Myra did not live to see the question settled. He never saw a Christmas. He died as he lived, a faithful servant of God. He prayed on his deathbed as he had prayed in the cell at Nicaea, and here, too, the light of Heaven was suddenly round him and the three angels descended again, to receive his soul."

Is it any wonder then that the good Bishop comes each year to teach us something about keeping Christmas!