Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Is Almost Gone

In 45 minutes, it will be 2009. It seems as if we just went though all the hype about the turn of the century, and here eight years have flown by already!

The grands arrived in the middle of the night last night. That was not their car I heard around 8:30, but the neighbors. We've had a nice New Year's Eve, with take-out Chinese for dinner, a play written by Lyssa and performed by her, Caelen and Lily. It was very entertaining. :o)

The grands helped me arrange snacks on platters--crackers, cheeses, grapes, summer sausage, deli turkey, and cookies. We had sparkling apple cider and made fudge. We lit all of the candles around the house again. Our guests (Great-Gran, Josh and Cyrise, Reece and Aubrey) arrived around 7 PM. Everyone seemed to have a good time, but the party ended before midnight. Lots of sleepy children. :o) Reece is spending the night. He loves being with his cousins.

We didn't open Christmas gifts with them yet, but will do it tomorrow when Kelly and Mike will be here with us. We're having brisket, potato salad and whatever people bring. Very informal and relaxed. I forgot to get black eyed peas, so Ron may have to run to the store in the morning.

Happy New Year to one and all!

7th Day In The Octave Of Christmas

Commemoration Of St. Sylvester I
Pope and Confessor

Under the pontificate of this holy Pope, Saint Sylvester (314-335), the Church, after three hundred years of persecution, begins to enjoy liberty, and spreads in the Roman Empire; and the Council of Nicaea (325) establishes against the heretic Arius the doctrine of the eternal Divinity of the Saviour.

O God, who didst solidly found Thy Church on the apostolic rock and dost shield her from the dreaded gates of hell, grant, we beseech Thee, through the intercession of blessed Sylvester, Thy Sovereign Pontiff, that under Thy sure protection she may persevere in Thy truth. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with Thee and Thy Holy Ghost, one God, now and forever. Amen

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Waiting For The Grands

Ron and I went shopping for a couple of gifts and more Christmas candy (half price!) this afternoon. Now all the gifts are wrapped and under the tree, candy is hidden, ready to fill the stockings of more grandchildren, and we bought a beef brisket for dinner either New Year's Eve or New Year's Day. Beds are made up in the guest rooms, and carpets vacuumed.

The electric candles are aglow in the windows, the tree is lit, the garland on the stairs is twinkling, and I'm ready to see my grands. :o) They should be here soon.

These are the little boxes I decoupaged with bits of wrapping paper to hold the earrings I made for Lyssa and Lily. Lys likes blue, so hers are the cobalt drops. Lily still loves pink, so I used little pearls and pink crystals for hers. The cards they are on are just snips of old Christmas cards.

I hope they will like the earrings. I used french hooks for Lyssa's, but studs with backs for Lily's, as I was afraid she would lose them if they were not secured. The earrings will be stocking stuffers. They are sitting on one of the stockings that Kelly and I made back in the 90s. The stockings are very simple, but look pretty on the mantel because there are so many of them. We used various prints in reds and greens. I had always planned to put names on them, but it's just as well we didn't since we've used them for lots of different people over the years. I just put a name tag on them each year.

Uh oh, I hear car doors.

6th Day In The Octave Of Christmas

The liturgy of the Traditional Latin Mass for the 6th day of Christmas is taken from the 3rd Mass of Christmas, but using the Epistle and Gospel from the 2nd Mass of Christmas.

Introit of the 3rd Mass of Christmas
(Isaias 9. 6)

A Child is born to us, and a Son is given to us: whose government is upon His shoulder: and his name shall be called, the Angel of great counsel.

Gospel of the 2nd Mass of Christmas
(Luke 2. 15-20)

15 And it came to pass, after the angels departed from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another: Let us go over to Bethlehem, and let us see this word that is come to pass, which the Lord hath showed to us.

16 And they came with haste; and they found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. 17 And seeing, they understood of the word that had been spoken to them concerning this child. 18 And all that heard, wondered; and at those things that were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God, for all the things they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Simple Woman's Daybook

I'm doing an evening daybook today, since I didn't have time to blog this morning.

Outside my window...
the sun is setting. The sky is pale blue with a light golden edge and pink, purple and orange streaks. The trees are dark against the gold.

I am thinking...
about what I need to do to finish preparations for our visit from our grandchildren from Spring. They will be here tomorrow night. Yay!

I am thankful for...
money found to help Josh get the clutch on his car repaired.

From the kitchen...

peach iced tea on my desk.

I am wearing...
dark blue bootcut jeans, a denim shirt with little gathers under a wide round yoke and three quarter sleeves, bare feet. It's warm today. I love Texas.

I am creating...
cute little decoupaged boxes to hold the earrings I made for my granddaughters.

I am going...
I've already been. I went to Mom's, we went to Adoration which was lovely, then ran by her bank to deposit a check (Christmas gift from my sister to Mom), then to Freddie's Frozen Custard for lunch (Freddie's original burger and onion rings for her, Chicago dog and fries for me). After lunch we went to Burlington Coat Factory where she spent some of the money from her grandson in Kansas on a cute hat, then to Macy's where she bought a pair of shoes (gray flats), and a stylish black sweater coat. We had fun. I took her home, set up her coffee pot to make coffee in the morning, left her night meds and Chuy's food, wrote on her whiteboard, kissed her goodbye and came home.

I am hoping...
for a peaceful, healthy, happy 2009 for all of you and for me and my family.

I am hearing...
Ron clearing his throat downstairs, the sound of the television.

Around the house...
more gifts to wrap for our "second Christmas," beds to make in the guest rooms, and I need to go grocery shopping.

One of my favorite things...
Maggie's purr, very deep and very rare.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
celebrating Christmas again with our Spring grands and the rest of the family on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

Sleepy Aubrey.

Visit Peggy to lean more about the daybooks.

5th Day In The Octave Of Christmas

The Same Day Commemoration of St. Thomas Of Canterbury,
In England and Wales
Bishop and Martyr

St. Thomas à Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, is the Martyr of the liberties of the Church, in the XIIth Century. Henry II, king of England, wished him to sanction customs contrary to the liberties of the Church. St. Thomas knew that to make this divine society subservient to the secular power, would be to violate her very constitution, and therefore as Bishop he would willingly suffer death in defense of the Church of Christ. He was slain in his cathedral by the king's soldiers on December 29th, 1170.

(The Roman Missal, 1962)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

4th Day In The Octave Of Christmas

The Holy Innocents, Martyrs

It is because Herod believed the words of the Magi and of the high priests whom he consulted that he sees a rival in the Infant of Bethlehem and with jealousy pursues the Child, born King of the Jews. It is this God-King that the Innocents by dying confess. Their passion is the exaltation of Christ.

(The Roman Missal, 1962)

Flowers of Martyrdom, all hail!
Smitten by the tyrant foe
On life's threshold, as the gale
Strews the roses ere they blow.

First to bleed for Christ, sweet Lambs!
What a simple death ye died!
Sporting with your wreaths and palms,
At the very altar side.

Honour, glory, virtue, merit
Be to thee, O Virgin's Son!
With the Father, and the Spirit
While eternal ages run. Amen

V. Under the throne of God, all the Saints cry:
R. Avenge our blood, O our God.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Saturday Afternoon

I meant to take a picture of the mini loaves of bread Mom and I made for her neighbors today, but I forgot to take my camera to her place. This picture is similar to the ones we made, but the designs on the loaf pans are different, and the pans were more cream colored than white.

I bought six ceramic mini loaf pans at Garden Ridge, on sale for 50% off, so they were only 49¢ each. What a bargain! We used Martha White orange cranberry muffin mix, three packages for 69¢ each. It only made five loaves, but that was enough for her neighbors. They were delivered warm and everyone seemed to appreciate them. :o)

I came home and cleaned my kitchen and put away more boxes, ribbon and other Christmas clutter, getting ready for our second round of Christmas celebration.

Ron is designing a cabinet for me, using the glass sidelights from the front door we replaced last summer. When the guys took the old door out, I asked them to leave the sidelights and the little glass window that was in the door. Ron is a woodworker, and I knew that he could make something pretty using them. The sidelights are about 3 feet long, and have leaded glass and a stained glass flower design. They will go in the doors on the cabinet, which we've already decided will go in the front hallway. I can hardly wait for it to be finished! :o)

I hope you're all enjoying the Third Day of Christmas.

3rd Day In The Octave Of Christmas

St. John, Apostle and Evangelist

St. John is the virgin Apostle, crowned with the halo of those who knew how to conquer their flesh; for this reason, he became "the disciple whom Jesus loved." Thanks to his angelic purity, he imbibed that wholesome wisdom of which the Epistle of the Mass speaks and which has given to him the halo of the Doctors. Finally he received the halo of the Martyrs, since he barely escaped a violent death. It is to St. John, who wrote a Gospel, three Epistles and the Apocalypse, that we owe the most beautiful pages on the Divinity of the Word made flesh, and it is for this reason that the virgin Apostle is symbolised by the eagle. His name is mentioned with the other Apostles' names in the Canon of the Mass. St. John the Evangelist departed this life at Ephesus.

(The Roman Missal, 1962)

Friday, December 26, 2008

2nd Day In The Octave Of Christmas

St. Stephen, First Martyr

Stephen, one of the seven Deacons, chosen by the Apostles amongst the most pious and holy disciples, to help them, received from them mission to organize the meals where the poor were fed in common. St. Stephen was renowned for his virtues and worked such great wonders and signs among the people that the Jews from five different synagogues became alarmed and summoned him before the Sanhedrin. The Jews stoned this holy Deacon, who invoked our Lord, saying: "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit...Lord, lay not this sin to their charge." His name is inscribed in the Canon of the Mass.
(The Roman Missal, 1962)

Cats, Kids and Christmas

Maggie's Christmas tradition is playing in the wrapping paper when we open gifts. :o)

Aubrey enjoyed watching all the action from the best seat in the house.

Reece likes to watch Frances on the pre-school kids on demand channel, so he got the book Bread And Jam For Frances in his Christmas stocking. Here he is, examining it closely. Then he wanted bread. :o)

And here he is, having bread (no jam) with Frances.

He loves to imitate what he sees and hears, whether on television, in books or in real life. It's so cute.

We had a lovely Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Our celebration will continue, as our oldest son and his family arrive in the next few days.

Merry Second Day of Christmas!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Gloria In Excelsis Deo!

Merry Christmas, family and friends!

Luke 2. 1-19

And it came to pass, that in those days there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that the whole world should be enrolled. 2 This enrolling was first made by Cyrinus, the governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be enrolled, every one into his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: because he was of the house and family of David, 5 To be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child.

6 And it came to pass, that when they were there, her days were accomplished, that she should be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him up in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 8 And there were in the same country shepherds watching, and keeping the night watches over their flock. 9 And behold an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the brightness of God shone round about them; and they feared with a great fear. 10 And the angel said to them: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people:

11 For, this day, is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God, and saying: 14 Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will. 15 And it came to pass, after the angels departed from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another: Let us go over to Bethlehem, and let us see this word that is come to pass, which the Lord hath showed to us.

16 And they came with haste; and they found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. 17 And seeing, they understood of the word that had been spoken to them concerning this child. 18 And all that heard, wondered; and at those things that were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Christmas Cycle

Advent is the first cycle of Christmas, and Christmastide is the second cycle. I want to share what the Roman Missal (1962) says about it.

During the Season of Advent we longed for the coming of Christ. In Christmastide we experience the joy of His coming into the world. The Church is full of the Mystery of the Incarnation of Christ. Jesus as God, begotten of the substance of the Father before all the ages and born of the substance of His Mother in the world, is given to us. "And His Name shall be called the Angel of Great Counsel."

By the union of our souls with Jesus born to human life, we are born to the divine life. "As many as received Him He gave them power to be made Sons of God." (St. John)

In the birth of Jesus we learn to know God as His Father: "All things are delivered to Me by My Father. And no one knoweth the Son but the Father: neither doth any one know the Father but the Son and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal Him." (St. Matthew)

During Christmastide, the liturgy shows us the Messias as the Son of God, clothed with humanity, glorified by the humble surprised shepherds, and adored by the Magi from the East. Let us fall down before the Child and bless God, for the birth of Jesus is the beginning of our Redemption through grace to the supernatural life.

Christmas is the only day of the year which keeps the old custom of celebrating its Feast at midnight. At this hour we called to mind that Mary in her spotless virginity gave to the world its Saviour. In the midst of darkness, the Light was born. Therefore the Church celebrates Christmas on December 25, the time of the year when the days begin to lengthen. The custom of having three Masses originated in Jerusalem. A Mass was said in Bethlehem at a very early hour in the morning. Later a second Mass was celebrated in the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem. About midday a third Mass was celebrated. Each of the three Masses has its identifying characteristic. The Midnight Mass celebrates particularly the birth of Jesus, the Mass at dawn commemorates the adoration of the shepherds, the daytime Mass celebrates the eternal generation of the Word and the dignity of the Son of God.

Whereas Advent is the season of "absence of Jesus," Christmastide is a season of great joy in our possession of the Saviour. Eight days after Christmas the Church celebrates the Circumcision of Jesus. On January 6, she commemorates the adoration of Jesus by the Magi (Epiphany), and Christmastide closes eight days later.

I especially love the second paragraph. By the union of our souls with Jesus born to human life, we are born to the divine life. How awesome! Through Him, we are made children of God. If that doesn't just knock your socks off I don't know what will! How can we ever thank Him enough?

I love the Catholic tradition of observing Advent and not rushing Christmas. This year especially, I have slowed down and considered what Christmas means. I like putting out my Advent wreath on the First Sunday of Advent, and adding things a bit at a time--a wreath on the front porch, some candles on the table, the nativity set on the piano. Finally, about a week before Christmas, the tree goes up with all of the ornaments. And there is plenty of time to enjoy all of the decorations, because they won't come down until January 15, the day after Christmastide ends. Another bonus is that we get to fully enjoy Halloween and Thanksgiving without overlapping them with Christmas. :o)

Have a blessed Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Had A Scare Tonight

Our daughter-in-law, Cyrise, called me around 5 PM this evening to tell me that she was having cramps and bleeding. She had called her OB and he told her to go to the ER. She and Josh were there until around 11 tonight. The ultrasound showed the baby moving around and doing well, and the cramps and bleeding stopped.

I'm relieved. She has lost three babies, and I was afraid it was happening again. I posted prayer requests on a couple of boards I've belonged to for years, and I'm sure the prayers helped. But if you are reading, would you please send up a prayer for Cyrise and this little one? The baby is due in June. Thank you!

Prayer to St. Gerard Majella, patron saint of expectant mothers:

O great Saint Gerard, beloved servant of Jesus Christ, perfect imitator of your meek and humble Savior, and devoted child of Mother of God, enkindle within my heart one spark of that heavenly fire of charity which glowed in your heart and made you an angel of love.

O glorious Saint Gerard, because when falsely accused of crime, you did bear, like your Divine Master, without murmur or complaint, the calumnies of wicked men, you have been raised up by God as the patron and protector of expectant mothers.

Preserve Cyrise from danger and from the excessive pains accompanying childbirth, and shield the child which she now carries, that it may see the light of day and receive the purifying and life-giving waters of baptism through Jesus Christ our Lord.


O Emmanuel

(Isaias 7. 14; 33. 22)

O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster, exspectatio Gentium, et Salvator earum: veni and salvandum nos, Domine Deus noster.

O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, the desire of the nations and the Saviour thereof: come to save us, O lord our God.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Childhood Christmas Memories

Growing up in Kansas, we sometimes had a white Christmas. More often it was just cold, brown and windy, but there was always the hope of snow on Christmas day. We always had a Douglas fir Christmas tree, and they smelled wonderful. Sometime in the 60s though, my parents bought a silver aluminum tree with a color wheel. Oh my, we thought we were right up town. The tree didn't need lights. The color wheel turned, and the tree went from red to gold to blue to green. We did hang ornaments on it, though.

One of my favorite Christmas gifts was a fairy tale storybook from my Aunt Sue. It was big and thick and had a shiny, colorful cover. I had that book for years, and it kept me entertained for hours at a time. My sister Sandi got one, too.

Another favorite gift, when I was 11 or 12, was a record player. It was a box with a green cover, and came with two 45 rpm records. One was Toyland on one side, don't remember what was on the flip side, and the other was Elvis Presley singing Teddy Bear on side one and Love Me Tender on side two. I had that record player for years before I wore it out.

One Christmas Eve we did have snow and ice, and a group of us kids decided to go Christmas caroling. (We learned Christmas carols in school). I took my violin and played the songs while the others sang. At one house we were turning to leave, and I slipped on the ice and fell. My 3/4 size violin went flying, skidding across the frozen snow. I was terrified that I had broken it. We were very poor, and the cost of buying the little violin had been a sacrifice for my parents. Thankfully it was okay and I played it for many more years before they bought me a full size one when I was in junior high school. I still have that one, and still play it now and then.

My dad worked at Boeing Aircraft, and every year in December Boeing sponsored a circus for its employees and their families. We would go to the Wichita University roundhouse (the basketball arena) and watch the circus, then receive net Christmas stockings filled with goodies when the show was over.

One year when I was in 5th grade, we had a Christmas program at school. In those days it was okay to talk about the true meaning of Christmas in a public school. I was the narrator, and still remember telling the Christmas story as my classmates acted it out. I was a quiet, shy kid, and my teacher told me to look at the clock on the wall above the heads of the people in the audience, and they would think I was looking right at them. He was right, and I was so proud of myself for getting through the program without forgetting my lines or being frightened. Years later I used that trick whenever I had to stand up and talk in front of people.

My mom and aunts made us the most wonderful Christmas stockings, and they were always filled with an apple, an orange, mixed nuts and ribbon candy, and sometimes a small toy or two. They would make divinity, colored red and green, and marshmallow fudge. We would make red and green paper chains to decorate the Christmas tree or the house, and sometimes string popcorn for garland.

We had cousins nearby, and lots of neighborhood friends. When it snowed we would play for hours, coming inside only to warm our hands over the gas heating stove and to let our mittens dry out. We had warm hooded coats with matching "leggings," flannel lined pants with suspenders that were worn underneath the coats to keep our legs warm. I hated leggings. We always wore dresses to school, and my mom would insist that we wear the leggings. It was an ordeal to tuck the dress down inside the pants, and it was uncomfortable. Then we had to wear galoshes over our shoes, a scarf, a hat and mittens or gloves. By the time we were ready to go outside, we could hardly move and we were hot. :o)

It's been a long time since I lived in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Wichita, Kansas. We didn't know we were poor when we were kids. Looking back, I think we were blessed. We treasured what we did have, and didn't know enough to know it wasn't much.

That's my sister Sandi on the left, my baby sister Johnnie in the middle, and me on the right in the picture from the 1950s. :o)

A Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...
it is 35°. :o( Gray and gloomy looking.

I am thinking...
that I would like to stay home baking cookies and wrapping gifts, but I can't.

I am thankful for...

From the kitchen...

Constant Comment in my Christmas mug, oatmeal granola bars and peach flavored yogurt.

I am wearing...
dark blue jeans, bright red sweater, black socks.

I am creating...
earrings for my older granddaughters for Christmas. They both got their ears pierced in the summer.

I am going...
to Adoration with Mom, then she wants to go Christmas shopping.

I am hoping...
to be done with shopping after today.

I am hearing...
cars going by outside, the furnace humming inside.

Around the house...
a pile of presents to wrap and get under the tree.

One of my favorite things...
Christmas carols.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
Christmas! This will be the first Christmas at our new church. I usually went to Midnight Mass at the old one, but there will be a Latin Mass on Christmas Day at the new one, so we're planning to go to that. I don't know why I still say it's a new church. We've been going there since February.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

Yes, I found another one!

Please visit Peggy at The Simple Woman to see more daybooks.

O Rex Gentium

(Aggeus 2. 8; Ephesians 2. 14, 20)

O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum, lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum: veni, et salva hominem, quem de limo formasti.

O King of the Gentiles and the desire thereof, Thou cornerstone that makest both one: come and deliver mankind, whom Thou didst form out of clay.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Shopping, Mass and Grandkids

The weekend seemed to fly by! Reece spent the night Friday, went with me to see his Great-Gran Saturday morning, and I dropped him off at his house around 1PM. I spent most of the afternoon missing him.

Around 5PM I stopped moping around and went shopping. I needed colored lights for the garland on the banisters, candles and poinsettias. I went to Garden Ridge and Wal-Mart where I found those things and more. :o) Garden Ridge had all Christmas items on sale for at least 50% off. I got Christmas cards for next year at 75% off.

I stopped back by the house to drop off my purchases, told Ron I was on a roll, and went to the mall to try to finish my shopping for him, the grandkids and Mom. I got most of it done. I need just a few more things. Mom wants to go shopping tomorrow after Adoration, so I'll finish up then. I was on my way home when Ron called at 10:45 to say he was worried about me. He didn't know the stores were open until midnight. At least I didn't stay that long! :o)

Today we went to Mass with Mom, then out to eat. We left Mom's around 3PM and Josh called to see if I would keep the kids for a few hours. Of course I said yes, so we had Reece and Aubrey from around 4PM until 7:30. They both took short naps, then were happy and playful when they woke up. So the weekend ended on a cheerful note.

It's cold again, after a few mid-70 and 80 degree days, but that makes it feel more like Christmas I guess. I like the picture above, but the reality is that I don't like cold weather. Good thing I live where winters are mild most of the time!

Fourth Sunday Of Advent

Last Sunday (Gaudete Sunday) we rejoiced that Jesus the Saviour will be here soon; this Sunday, the final Sunday of Advent, we are serious again, coming back to John the Baptist urging us to repent and prepare the way for the Lord, and telling us that "all flesh shall see the salvation of God."

During Advent, we are awaiting the coming of Jesus in two ways. The first half of the month we focus on the second coming, when Jesus will return to judge us and we will be sent to Heaven or to Hell. The second half of the month, from December 16 on, we concentrate on the birth of Christ, who came to save mankind.

Today at Mass, Father said that we are between the two comings--Jesus the babe in the manger has already come, Jesus the Judge is still to come sometime in the future. We need to be ready for both.

The gospel reading in the TLM liturgy brings us back to John the Baptist in Luke 3. 1-6, proclaiming the day of mercy is coming. And once again, in the Introit we hear the words of the Rorate Coeli.

Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just: let the earth be opened and bud forth a Saviour.

The communion verse today is Isaias 7. 14: Behold a Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son: and His Name shall be called Emmanuel.

Every time the name of Jesus is mentioned by Father during his homily, he tips his biretta. I love that.

Only a few more days until Christmas. Are you ready for the coming of your Saviour?

O Oriens

(Ps. 106. 10)

O Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae, et sol justitiae: veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

O Day-Spring, Brightness of light eternal, and Sun of Justice, come and enlighten them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ember Saturday

Ember Saturday of Advent is the day that the Catholic Church traditionally (since the 5th century) ordained priests, deacons and other religious, in preparation for the Christ Mass.

The painting on the left is by Fra Angelico, and depicts the ordination of St. Lawrence by Pope Sixtus II. It was painted on the walls of the Nicholas V chapel in the Vatican Palace, and is one in a series of paintings depicting the life of St. Lawrence, a famous Roman Deacon.

In the Traditional Latin Mass, there are five sets of readings on Ember Saturday, and in the past different levels of religious were ordained between each set. Porters were installed after the first lesson, Lectors after the second, Exorcists after the third, Acolytes after the fourth and Subdeacons after the fifth. Deacons were ordained after the Epistle and Priests after its Responsorial Psalm.

I'm sorry I posted this so late, as Ember Saturday would be a good day to pray for priests and for vocations. But better late than never. Please pray now, and every day, for your priest and all others.

Prayer for Priests
by St. Therese of Lisieux

O Jesus, eternal Priest,
keep your priests within the shelter of Your Sacred Heart,
where none may touch them.

Keep unstained their anointed hands,
which daily touch Your Sacred Body.

Keep unsullied their lips,
daily purpled with your Precious Blood.

Keep pure and unearthly their hearts,
sealed with the sublime mark of the priesthood.

Let Your holy love surround them and
shield them from the world's contagion.

Bless their labors with abundant fruit and
may the souls to whom they minister
be their joy and consolation here
and in heaven, their beautiful and
everlasting crown.

Away In A Manger

I love nativity sets, and when I found this one at the thrift store last year, I had to buy it. It's an advent wreath, and came with the faded, taped candles. :o) I think it is unusual because all the figures are facing outward, and the only ones looking at Baby Jesus are Mary and Joseph.

The figures sit in indentations on those pieces of the circle. It was like working a puzzle to fit the arcs together to form the circle. I wonder if there is more to the set? It doesn't say anything on the bottom except "made in China." The figures are quite detailed.

I've had this one for years. It's missing Baby Jesus and one of the Wise Men. The Wise Man is around somewhere; Reece likes to play with him. The Baby Jesus is lost forever. I had the set on the wooden part of the stair landing one year, and our black lab ran up the stairs, saw the set and lapped up Jesus with his tongue and swallowed him before I could do anything. I yelled out, "Oh Chooch, you ate the Lord!," which caused a lot of laughter. :o)

This little glass set was gift from a few years ago. I think it looks like ice.

I hadn't planned to have a collection of nativities, but I like the idea. :o)

O Clavis David

(Isaias 22. 22; Apocalypse 3. 7; Luke 1. 79)

O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel; qui aperis, et nemo claudit; claudis, et nemo aperit: veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris, sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

O Key of David, and Sceptre of the house of Israel, that openest and no man shutteth, and shuttest and no man openeth: come and bring the prisoner forth from the prison-house, and him that sitteth in darkness and in the shadow of death.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Ember Friday

Ember Friday commemorates the Visitation, when Mary, pregnant with the Christ Child went to visit her relative Elizabeth, pregnant with John the Baptist. At the sound of Mary's voice, John leapt in Elizabeth's womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Thou art near, O Lord, and all Thy ways are truth: I have known from the beginning concerning Thy testimonies, and Thou art for ever.

O Radix Jesse

(Isaias 11. 10)

O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem gentes deprecabuntur: veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.

O Root of Jesse, which standest for an ensign of the people, before whom kings shall keep silence, whom the Gentiles shall beseech: come and deliver us, and tarry not.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

O Christmas Tree!

No, not one of the O Antiphons. :o)

Kelly, Cyrise, Reece and Aubrey were here this afternoon, helping me decorate our new Christmas tree. It was fun!

I didn't realize how hard it is to take a picture of a lit up tree at night and get a focused picture, so that will have to wait until I have some daylight. But here are a few of some of my favorites ornaments.

The vintage star tree topper belonged to my mom and dad, and was used on our Christmas trees every year when I was a kid. It's pretty old and beat up, but I still treasure it.

I love this little snowman, swinging from his trapeze. We got this for one of the kids back in the '80s.

In the '70s, when my oldest son was about 3 or 4 years old, I bought an ornament kit and painted a whole set of little wooden ornaments. Jason had fun helping me. They decorated the Christmas trees in the first little house that we owned.

I got this one when we lived in Hawaii. It's a miniature 'uli 'uli, a feather gourd rattle used in hula dancing. Love it!

Most of our ornaments have been collected over the years from all the different places we've lived. I enjoy discovering them again each year, and remembering all of the places we've been and the friends we had in each place. Our Christmas trees are always old fashioned. They are little reflections of our lives.

Great memories. :o)

O Adonai

(Exodus 3. 2; 20. 1)

O Adonai, et dux domus Israel, qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti, et ei in Sina legem dedisti: veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.

O Adonai, and Leader of the house of Israel, who didst appear to Moses in the flame of the burning bush, and didst give unto him the law on Sinai: come and with an outstretched arm redeem us.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Advent Preparations

Yesterday when Aubrey went to sleep, Reece and I got out my nativity set. I thought it would be a good opportunity to tell him the Christmas story.

He was just enchanted by the all of the figures, but especially baby Jesus. (Who won't arrive on the scene until Christmas Eve). He said, "Baby!" and gave Jesus a kiss. Then he said, "Aubrey?" and I told him no, not Aubrey, that was baby Jesus. After that he would pick baby Jesus up and say, "Not Aubrey," and shake his head "no." :o)

He is always busy, even when I'm trying to tell him something, so sometimes I wonder if he is hearing what I say. But later he will repeat something I've told him, so he is absorbing the info, even when he seems distracted. We talked about Mary riding the donkey to Bethlehem (Reece brayed like the donkey), and that baby Jesus was born in a "barn." (Then he made some cow sounds). :o) I told him how the angels came down from Heaven and told the shepherds in the field about the newborn baby, and sang "Alleluia," and how the Wise Men came to see Jesus and brought him presents. I told him how the tiny baby grew up to be the Jesus that he knows from the crucifixes he sees, and that He loves us very much. I will repeat the story each time we look at the nativity. (Oh, and I got him a Catholic children's Bible for Christmas, so we can read the story there).

We displayed the nativity set on top of the piano. It's not a fancy one, but it is dear to me. I bought it at China Pete's when we lived in Japan.

The wise men are still on their journey, following the Star.

I got the olivewood camel in Nazareth when Jason and I went to the Holy Land.

At the other end of the piano are these candlesticks that Sandi gave me a few years ago. They are always out, not just at this time of year.

And that's my Roman Missal, where I find all the traditional nuggets about our Catholic faith that I blog about. It's open to the O Antiphons and Ember Wednesday today.

I'm getting ready for our little tree trimming party tomorrow. Last night Ron and I bought a pre-lit tree. I was tired of fussing with the lights every year, and he didn't want to do it, either. He is going to help me set the new one up tonight.

Only one week 'til Christmas Eve!

O Sapientia

Today, December 17, the Church begins to pray the Great O Antiphons. These prayers are prayed at vespers, before and after the Magnificat. Each Antiphon begins with "O" and addresses Jesus with a unique Scriptural title.
adix Jesse
lavis David
ex Gentium

(Ecclesias. 24. 5; Wisdom 8. 1)

O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

O Wisdom, which camest out of the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly: come and teach us the way of prudence.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Ember Fasts

At the beginning of the four seasons of the Ecclesiastical Year, the Ember Days have been instituted by the Church to thank God for the blessings obtained during the past year and to implore further graces for the new season. Their importance in the Church was formerly very great. They are fixed on the Wednesday, Friday and Saturday: after the First Sunday of Lent for Spring, after Whitsunday for Summer, after the Feast of the Elevation of the Cross (14th September) for Autumn, and after the Third Sunday of Advent for Winter. They are intended also to consecrate to God the various seasons in nature, and to prepare by penance those who are about to be ordained. Ordinations generally take place on the Ember Days. The faithful ought to pray on these days for good Priests. The Ember Days were once fastdays of obligation.
(The Roman Missal, 1962)

Tomorrow is Ember Wednesday in Advent.

On the Wednesday of Ember week in Advent, the Mystery of the Annunciation is commemorated by many Churches. The Mass is sung early in the morning. That Mass is sometimes called the Golden Mass, Rorate Mass or Messias Mass. On that occasion the Church is lit up, as a token that the world was still in darkness when the Light of the world appeared. The Mass is called the Golden Mass possibly because in the Middle Age the whole of the Mass or at least the initial letters were written in gold, or on account of the golden magnificence of the solemnity, or more probably on account of the special, great, "golden" grace which, at that time, is obtained by the numerours prayers. It is called Rorate Mass after the first words of the Introit of the Mass: Rorate Coeli; and Messias Mass because the Church, like Our Lady, expresses on that day her longing for the arrival of the Messias.
(The Roman Missal, 1962)

Rorate coeli, desuper, et nubes pluant justum: aperiatur terra, et germinet Salvatorem.

Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain down the Just; let the earth open and bud forth a Saviour.

I'm Radioactive.

I went to have my thyroid uptake scan done this morning. They gave me a little radioactive iodine capsule. The iodine will go through my bloodstream and into the thyroid. Tomorrow they will read the scan to see how much iodine is in my thyroid, and that will determine my treatment.

The number one cause of hyperthyroidism is Grave's Disease, but the doctors suspect that mine is caused by the multiple nodules on the thyroid (the number two cause). They don't know for sure, though. I'll be so glad when this is all settled.

After the thyroid scan appointment, I had an appointment with the audiologist to have my hearing tested. It was pretty much normal. The audiologist and I are about the same age, and he wanted to know if I been exposed to any loud noises in the past, like loud music or concerts. :o) He also has tinnitus, and said that mine might be caused by a "double whammy" of diabetes and hyperthyroidism. He said I need to be careful to keep both well controlled. Getting old is a pain in the butt.

I have Reece and Aubrey this afternoon while their mommy works. Aubrey is happily chewing on a plastic bangle bracelet, but Reece is trashing my nice clean office, so I'd better get off the computer. When he wants me to do something he takes my hand and says, "Whadda you want?" :o)

Oh, and guess what! Aubrey (6 months old) can say "dada," and she knows what she is saying. She says it whenever she sees Josh. She also says "Hi." Yeah, she's a genius. :o)

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...
it is windy, gray and 41°. Brr.

I am thinking...
about Christmas preparations, doctor appointments and my daughter-in-law's work schedule (when I'll have the grands).

I am thankful for...
the guys who pick up the trash, who are outside my house right now. They make our lives so much easier.

From the kitchen...

toast with apricot jam, hot tea.

I am wearing...
black jeans and a red sweater, brown lace-up boots (not barefoot for a change). :o)

I am creating...
a Christmas surprise for my daughter and daughters-in-law.

I am going...
to Mom's, to Adoration, quick stop for lunch, pick up Cyrise and the kids, drop her off at work, pick Josh up at work--I'll be running until after 3 PM.

I am hoping...
to get the lights working on the Christmas tree today.

I am hearing...
beautiful silence.

Around the house...
Maggie Cat trying to find a warm spot, laundry to do.

One of my favorite things...
vintage holy cards.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
thyroid uptake scan on Tuesday, the reading of the scan on Wednesday, a tree-trimming party on Thursday afternoon with Kelly, Cyrise and the kids, final Christmas shopping, gift wrapping.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

Visit Peggy at The Simple Woman to read more daybooks written by bloggers.