Do you happen to have $9? Marvelous! Read on and . . .

. . . buy this book immediately!

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I pity the friend who lent me this book because I’m deeply afraid he’s not going to see it again . . . πŸ˜‰

After five chapters, I’m (obviously) a little too incoherent with awe to write anything like a decent mid-way review, so I’ll simply quote one of my favorite lines so far, followed by the Amazon summary. As you can tell, I work hard at this writing job πŸ˜‰

“Men have come into a collision with the law of God: the law of God does not suffer from the collision.”

Considered one of Frank Sheed’s best books, A Map of Life is also regarded as one of the best and most popular short summaries of the Catholic faith ever written. Focusing on the major truths of our existence and purpose in life, Sheed draws on God’s revelation to show what the divine master plan is for us and how each part of the plan is related.

Beginning with “The Problem of Life’s Purpose” and “The Problem of Life’s Laws”, he covers such important parts of the map of life as “The Creation and Fall”, “The Incarnation”, “The Mystical Body”, “The Trinity, “Law and Sin”, “The Supernatural Life”, and “Heaven, Purgatory, Hell”.

This will most definitely be read by any future children I might have (several times!), followed by endless of lunch table discussions where their mama waves her hands escactically over Frank Sheed’s eloquence and insight πŸ™‚

And that’s enough posting for one day!

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Good Friday and Holy Saturday

(My apologies for how ridiculously long this has taken me to put together . . . πŸ™‚ )

Good Friday: At Home and Church

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(taken by my talented sister πŸ™‚ )

On Good Friday, everything in our home was nearly perfectly quiet (nearly . . . for a good fraction of it . . .). During the morning, especially, and until we got back from church around 4:30 pm, we whispered if we had to talk at all. There was the usual fasting and abstinence, of course, but beyond these penances, it was absolutely the most somber day of our entire year–and really, our most deeply lived Good Friday so far. No instruments (although it about sent my younger brother to his grave not to be able to play Elvis on his guitar during the Triduum . . . after euphorically yelling “Alleluia!” at the break of dawn on Easter morning, that was theΒ second thing he did. Literally. :-D); we took inspiration from Fish Eaters (see the passage below) and tried to keep as quiet as possible, meditating on Our Lord’s Passion and Death. One enormous help to our meditations was finishing watching The Passion of the Christ that morning.

Good Friday1 (also called “Great Friday” or “Holy Friday”) is the most somber day of the entire year. A silence pervades, socializing is kept to a minimum, things are done quietly; it is a day of mourning; it is a funeral. The Temple of the Body of Christ is destroyed, capping the the penitential seasons begun on Septuagesima Sunday and becoming more intense throughout Lent. Traditional Catholics wear black, cover their mirrors, extinguish candles and any lamps burning before icons, keep amusements and distractions down, and go about the day in great solemnity.

Jesus was put on the Cross at the very end of the third hour (the time between 9 and noon), and almost the sixth hour. He died at the ninth hour:

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And it was the third hour, and they crucified Him… And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole earth until the ninth hour.

Because Jesus was on the Cross between the hours of Noon and 3:00 PM, these three hours today are considered the most sacred of all. A devotion called “Tre Ore” or “Three Hours’ Agony” might be held at this time; if not, you can do it yourself by meditating on His Passion — reading the Gospel narratives of the Passion, making the Stations of the Cross by yourself, praying the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, praying the Litany of the Passion, etc. Draw the curtains, take the phone off the hook, turn off televisions and radios, quiet your environment and yourself, and meditate on what Christ has done for you. At 3:00, “The Hour” He died, the atmosphere should be as if you are standing next to the deathbed of your father who died a moment ago.

Catholics also focus their attention on Mary this day and tomorrow (Holy Saturday), empathizing with the pain she endured as Our Lady of Sorrows. In another break in the tradition of veiling statues since Passion Sunday, they might dress the image of Our Lady in a black dress or veil, placing flowers of mourning before it in her honor.

Though a somber atmosphere will last until the Easter Vigil, after “The Hour” (3:00 PM) passes, it eases a bit, and life can go back to a “somber normal.” The phone can put back on the hook, etc., but candles and other symbols of Christ shouldn’t be used, music shouldn’t be played, raucous games should be eliminated, etc., while Christ is “in His Tomb” — i.e., until after Vigil of Holy Saturday when Eastertide officially begins.

Because Christ spent 40 hours in His tomb (from 3 PM Good Friday until 7 AM Pascha morning — a span covering 3 separate Jewish days as even a part of one day is counted as “a day”), from the very earliest Christian times, it’s been customary for some to fast and keep vigil during this entire period, which is known as “40 Hours’ Devotion” (Quarant’ore).

We’ve had different traditions for Good Friday in the past, in terms of trying to keep things as sober and reverent as possible in our home. One year, we closed the all blinds at 3pm andΒ left them closed until Easter morning, but as that didn’t quite work for some members of our family, we didn’t keep that potential tradition . . . still, the goal is the same no matter what traditions are used, I suppose πŸ™‚

Before we were introduced to the Latin Mass, my family was used to attending Good Friday’s English solemn liturgy in the evening. This year, however, we were so blessed to be able to attend the Latin liturgy (which is very similar to the English liturgy in terms of its general structure, only in Latin πŸ™‚ ) at the traditional time of 3pm–as well as spend most of the “Tre Ore” at our parish going to confession, meditating quietly, and praying the Stations of the Cross leading up to “the Hour.” Our whole family came away with the conclusion that the more of “Tre Ore” you can spend in church, absolutely the better!

As a side note, my sister and I experienced a joint liturgical thrill when our choir director began chanting the haunting, soul-wrenching Improperia by himself during the Adoration of the Holy Cross. Since there wasn’t choir for the Triduum, we weren’t expecting to hear it. But we did; God is good!

English translation:

O My people, what have I done to thee? Or wherein have I afflicted thee? Answer Me. Because I led thee out of the land of Egypt, thou hast prepared a Cross for thy Savior.

O holy God! O holy strong One! O holy immortal One, have mercy upon us.

What more ought I to have done for thee, that I have not done? I planted thee, indeed, My most beautiful vineyard: and thou hast become exceeding bitter to Me: for in My thirst thou gavest Me vinegar to drink: and with a lance thou hast pierced the side of the Savior.

After the liturgy had concluded, we scooted on home where things returned to a quieter version of normal, though we hungry Donellans were cheered at the thought of supper so things weren’t quite so quiet as they were before. We tried! πŸ™‚

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Our traditional Good Friday “full meal” has almost always been small meatless pizzas on pita bread. The stripes on the pitas symbolize Christ’s scourged body; the sauce, His precious blood; onions for tears; bellpepper for new life; five olives to represent His five wounds; white cheese for purity. Very simple but, like, stunningly delicious after a day of hardly eating anything πŸ˜‰

That evening, after cleaning up from supper, we watched the Passion sequence from Jesus of Nazareth, then began our Divine Mercy novena, and not long afterwards quietly went to bed. Now that my sister and I are pretty old (by childhood standards :-D), we’d been inspired to do a miniature version of the 40 Hours Devotion and keep two one-hour prayer vigils before going to bed, one on Holy Thursday night (to honor the Agony in the Garden), and one on Good Friday night (to honor the bereaved Blessed Virgin). We prayed in front of the mini-altar in our room. While it was just a drop of water compared to keeping vigil for forty whole hours, it was surprisingly beautiful for us and something I’d definitely recommend to anyone wanting to deepen their spiritual participation in the Triduum, whether parents or older children in the family.

Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday, we cleaned. Cleaned. CLEANED. According to Customs and Traditions of the Catholic Family (an absolutely wonderful book by Neumann Press/TAN from the 50’s which I’m not sure is in print anymore . . .), vigorous house cleaning in preparation for Easter is a tradition spanning many cultures for Holy Saturday. I consoled myself with that thought all day and dug in . . .

Windows were scrubbed. Floors mopped. Bathrooms scoured. Carpet vacuumed. Rooms rearranged. Laundry room swept and wiped and dusted (a mammoth task). The list goes on. Our house was clean, people, by the end of the day. It also, by chance, was pay day for us, so my parents were also out doing our two weeks’ worth of shopping. Somehow, everything came together πŸ™‚

Holy Saturday is still a day of somberness, as Christ is in the tomb, so for the first time, we decided to undertake the traditional fast and abstinence for that day as well. Hopefully that made up for all our bustling about and our less-than-quiet demeanor πŸ˜€

From Fish Eaters:

Christ is in His tomb. Rather, His Body is in the tomb, but when His Soul left His Body, He descended into Hell to “free the captives.” “Hell” here refers to the place of the dead in general (“Sheol” in the Hebrew, or “Hades” in the Greek), not to the place of torment with which the word “Hell” is most usually associated with today.

It was to the Limbo of the Fathers that Christ descended, a place of the dead that was emptied through His Passion, Resurrection and Ascension, and no longer exists. By this “Harrowing of Hell,” as His Descent is sometimes called, the doors to Heaven were swung open so that those who die in a state of grace may enter in, alleluia! Adam, Eve, Noe, Abraham, Moses, the good thief on the cross — all the righteous were illuminated by the Presence of Christ in the place of death, making Sheol itself a paradise. They remained there with Him until His Bodily Resurrection when the the “bars of Hell” were broken down and they were later able to enter into Heaven itself with His glorious Ascension.

Today is traditionally a day of abstinence in addition to being a day of fasting, until the Vigil Mass, when the Lenten Fast ends. Though this fasting requirement was abolished in the new Code of Canon Law, traditional Catholics follow the traditional practice.

Also . . . there’s nothing like fasting and making your absolutely favorite dessert a day in advance without licking your fingers. The graces of Catholicism coax out heroic actions beyond your normal strength. That’s all I’m saying. It helps to do it with a partner. Hence my younger sister’s hand artfully arranging the cookies on top of one incredible banana pudding.

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There wasn’t a Latin liturgy for Easter Vigil, so we stayed home, and for family prayers that night, we said our rosary, then renewed our Baptismal Vows and prayed the Litany of the Saints as prescribed for the Easter Vigil Mass. Holy Saturday is such a beautiful mystery. I couldn’t stop thinking about Our Lord’s glorious soul, with the fathers, in Limbo.

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Despite our tiredness, I think we were all looking at the shrouded image of the Sacred Heart on our mantle and thinking, Tomorrow He rises.Β  It’s truly amazing how doing little things in the liturgy of your home, your miniature church, can draw your soul and your entire family that much more deeply into the liturgy of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. What better place to start than in the three most sacred days of our year? Deo Gratias!

Our Holy Thursday: The Kitchen, the Mass, and the Solemn Quiet

Alleluia! He is Risen! Finally, I’m back to say that! πŸ™‚ A truly blessed Easter Octave to everyone!

So . . . yes, continuing with our family’s Holy Week experiences at long last . . .

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week didn’t include any special rituals, except for us buying and consuming a whole pack of Fig Newtons (six people can eat a lot of those) on Spy Wednesday because I’d read that it was traditional for Catholic families to eat figs on Palm Sunday (to correspond with Christ’s cursing the fig tree, and to remind us we should strive to bear spiritual fruit during Holy Week and beyond). Since we missed the Palm Sunday memo, we transferred it to Wednesday. My urging for the establishment of this tradition was without any self-interest on my part, even though I love Fig Newtons. Ahem. But I digress.

The only other thing really we did together as a family to commemorate the first few days of Holy Week was to read aloud the daily Holy Week propers/readings from the 1962 Missal at night, as part of our evening prayers. Throughout the course of Holy Week, we were treated to all four Passion narratives in sequence. Truly, there seemed no better way to prepare as a family for the Triduum than to read these aloud together and meditate on Our Lord’s Passion.

And then, at last, arrived Holy Thursday . . . think flour, cluttered counters, and cooking chaos, and you would aptly picture most our day πŸ™‚

Apart from the wonderful hour and a half we spent at our parish attending the Mass of the Last Supper in the evening, our Holy Thursday was largely spent in the kitchen . . . hence the upcoming barrage of documentary photos.

The Holy Thursday Meal

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Since time immemorial, it seems, our family has had our most special supper of the year, dotted throughout with symbolism, every Holy Thursday. It’s a mixture of solemnness, white-table-cloth-and-best-china, thoughtfulness, and deliciousness. My mother is amazing and she has always organized it so well. Initially, it sprung from other blogger’s ideas of a Christianized Seder supper, but essentially, it recalls Christ’s Last Supper through its special solemnness, and the symbolism of the food reminds us of how Our Lord fulfilled all the Scriptures through His Passion, Death and Resurrection.

While elements of our supper have changed over the years, but this year’s menu will give you an idea:

Parsley and salt water. Sprigs are on each plate, with little bowls of salt water nearby for dipping. In our meal, these symbolized the bitter tears wept over both the Israelite’s bondage in Egypt, as well as our bondage to sin; it represented the tears shed by Our Lord, as well as Christ’s heartbreak over the outrages towards, and lack of love for, His Holy Eucharist (instituted on Holy Thursday),

-Pita bread and applesauce. Every person gets one whole pita and a small bowl of applesauce for dipping. The stripes on the pita represented Christ’s Passion, and the pitas themselves symbolized the Bread of Life, the strength we receive from the Holy Eucharist; the applesauce, meanwhile, represented the spiritual sweetness of tasting the Bread of Heaven.

-Pot roast, mashed potatoes, green beans. Yes, lamb would definitely be ideal for obvious reasons of symbolism, but expense has usually dictated chicken for our family. These year we had pot roast (an upgrade!). The roasting itself seems to carry the symbolism through for us, regardless of the meat we actually have πŸ˜‰ So, roasted “meat” to represent Passover Lamb, fulfilled in the Lamb of God, Who was immolated for our sins and Who bore the burning weight of God’s justice with all meekness, humility and love for us. Mashed potatoes represent Christ’s strength and endurance throughout His Agony and Passion, smashed to symbolize how His soul would be crushed in agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. Greens of any kind symbolize new life, as well as obedience (although this has a lighthearted bit of joking in it . . . vegetables and obedience, and all that πŸ˜‰ ).

-A small, round white cake. Small, so it’s just enough for the six of us to finish that night without any leftovers during two next days of grief before Easter Sunday. The cake represents the Consecrated Host, and reminds us of the joy and gratitude we should bear in our hearts for the Institution of the Priesthood and the Holy Eucharist. Its sweetness is a final ray foreshadowing Christ’s triumph on Easter Sunday, before we accompany Him into His night of Agony in the Garden, where we fast and sorrow in silence.

So yes, there was all this to prepare in advance, since we would be getting back from Mass after dark and would need to have everything ready. However, on top of this, we poured most of our time and energy preparing the symbolic fasting foods for Good Friday and Holy Saturday (while it’s not required for Catholics to fast on Holy Saturday, it was a long-standing tradition and our family decided to try it this year.)

Fasting Bread & Hot Cross Buns

It definitely felt appropriate to spend Holy Thursday preparing our Fasting Bread and Hot Cross Buns for the upcoming days of fasting (although, um, the recipes made a lot more than our family of six needed {as, technically, the Fasting Bread should have been made on Ash Wednesday, but better late than never πŸ™‚ } and so some quantities are now stored in the freezer . . .)

As always, we made a mess, but had equal amounts of fun πŸ™‚ My mother did a wonderful job of giving everyone tasks and incorporating us into the symbolic baking. Of course, it happens I don’t have the recipes with me, so I’ll just post an abundance pictures for now, and update later.

For the fasting bread, all ingredients are symbolic. And as for hot cross buns, they’re one of the most traditional foods ever for Good Friday (though they’re pictured here without the crosses because we hadn’t glazed them yet when the camera was out . . . )

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My sister must have made dozens of hot cross buns (and yes, they carried through to Easter πŸ™‚ )

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The Solemn Quiet

After we’d gotten home from Mass, eaten our meal, and cleaned up, the final element ending our Holy Thursday involved our entering into a Solemn Quiet (or so I like to call it πŸ™‚ ).

Now, our family’s not a particularly large one, but even we, with our exuberant temperaments, find it so very hard to keep solemnly quiet, even when we’re just at home not doing anything. But I think we all found it assisted “the liturgy of our home” so much for us to try and keep as quiet and recollected as we could, beginning Holy Thursday night until the dawn of Easter morning.

We read aloud this excerpt from FishEaters, which was most helpful in pulling us all towards the spirit of recollection we were hoping to achieve:

This day, Maundy Thursday (also “Holy Thursday” or “Shire Thursday”1) commemorates Christ’s Last Supper and the initiation of the Eucharist. Its name of “Maundy” comes from the Latin word mandatum, meaning “command.” This stems from Christ’s words in John 13:34, “A new commandment I give unto you.” It is the first of the three days known as the “Triduum,” and after the Vigil tonight, and until the Vigil of Easter, a more profoundly somber attitude prevails (most especially during the hours between Noon and 3:00 PM on Good Friday). Raucous amusements should be set aside…

After the Supper, Christ went outside the Old City of Jerusalem, crossed the Kidron Valley, and came to the Garden of Gethsemani, a place whose name means “Olive Press,” and where olives still grow today. There He suffered in three ineffable ways: He knew exactly what would befall Him physically and mentally — every stroke, every thorn in the crown He would wear, every labored breath He would try to take while hanging on the Cross, the pain in each glance at His mother; He knew that He was taking on all the sins of the world — all the sins that had ever been or ever will be committed; and, finally, He knew that, for some people, this Sacrifice would not be fruitful because they would reject Him. Here He was let down by His Apostles when they fell asleep instead of keeping watch, here is where He was further betrayed by Judas with a kiss, and where He was siezed by “a great multitude with swords and clubs, sent from the chief Priests and the ancients of the people” and taken before Caiphas, the high priest, where he was accused of blasphemy, beaten, spat upon, and prepared to be taken toΒ Pontius Pilate tomorrow morning.

(In the Church), the glorious symbols of Christ’s Presence are removed to give us the sense of His entering most fully into His Passion. Christ enters the Garden of Gethsemani; His arrest is imminent. Fortescue’s “Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described” tells us: “From now till Saturday no lamps in the church are lit. No bells are rung. Holy Water should be removed from all stoups and thrown into the sacrarium. A small quantity is kept for blessing the fire on Holy Saturday or for a sick call.” The joyful signs of His Presence won’t return until Easter begins with the Easter Vigil Mass on Saturday evening.

So, taking inspiration from what goes on in all Catholic parishes during the Triduum, before going to bed, we blew out all our burning votive candles and emptied our holy water fonts. We also got any dark-toned cloths we had together in preparation of covering all the images of Our Lord (crucifixes, statues, pictures, etc.) in our home on Good Friday. Then, as quietly as we could, we went to bed.

Hail, Our King, O Son of David (Our First ‘Traditional Latin’ Palm Sunday)

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There aren’t enough words to do Holy Week justice . . . nor are there enough to do justice about how absolutely thrilled I am that it’s finally Holy Week!

But, instead of writing on and on andΒ on,Β in thousands of words, about these most sacred of all liturgical days, and on the hundreds of possibilities for living them out in your home with your family, until you’re both bored and blindsided by my enthusiasm . . . I thought I would grab my (new!) Canon DSLR camera (with which I am taking something like 100 gratuitous pictures of nature, family and Sacramentals a day), and a willingness to do some journalling, and instead write about what’s going on around here in our family during Holy Week πŸ™‚

Because, after all, every year finds our families even just a little different. New situations; new growths; new journeys. The Faith is timeless; we, however, constantly change and (hopefully!) grow towards holiness within Her sacred timelessness–so, every year, Holy Week will look a little different for all of us.

So, with that in mind, I shall first write about…

Our (First Traditional) Palm Sunday

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The multitude goeth forth to meet our Redeemer with flowers and palms, and payeth the homage due to a triumphant Conqueror; the Gentiles proclaim the Son of God: and their voices thunder through the skies in praise of Christ: “Hosanna!”

-Antiphon 1 from The Procession of Psalms

Yawning myself awake, I made my way downstairs to a gorgeous sunrise and almost absolute quiet. (Which was nice.) I would love to say that I felt fully recollected for the solemnity of the day (although I did make a point to read ahead in my missal, through all the extensive propers and instructions for the Mass, the night before!). But in truth, my silly brain was more concerned with feverishly hopping on to YouTube and undertaking a crash course of all the Gregorian Chant left for my sister and I to get a handle on before the morning’s choir practice (read: last practice before Easter High Mass) . . . I was, erm, just aΒ tiny bit behind πŸ™‚

Once, however, my sister and I had finished our cramming, I felt far better. Even through all our Sunday-morning-usual-slight-chaos, the excitement was palpable . . . our first Palm Sunday experienced in the traditional Latin Rite was only a few hours away.

We are prostrate amid shining palms before the Lord as He approacheth; let us all run to meet Him with hymns and songs, glorifying Him, and saying: “Blessed be the Lord!”

-Antiphon 6

Our family popped up one after another like the morning glories we all are. Showers, hurried breakfasts, coffee, hair-fixing, incessant humming (from me), questions such as “Mary, where are my slacks?”, subsequent ironing to make them look presentable, Missal-gathering (we have a large bag we tote all of ours in) . . . and eventually we were ready to go. We piled into our minivan. Yes, we have all the veils. Did so-and-so take allergy medicine? Et cetera. Exhale. We drove away. By that point, the day was a little cool but gorgeous.

After the forty-minute drive and our arrival at church, my sister and I scurried into choir (in the rectory), and then rejoined the family an hour later in the church’s nave for the rosary before Mass.

(Interlude: This is my favorite-ever book of traditional Marian prayers {published by TAN}, including St. Louis de Montfort’s stunning Rosary meditations. Do you have it? If not, get it!!)

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The liturgical color was still violet, and all the statues and crucifixes were draped as they had been since Passion Sunday, the week before. However, two vases of palm branches, waiting to be incensed and blessed, stood on the Epistle side of the altar. (Not to mention the other branches here and there, mostly guarded by the children in the surrounding pews . . . I mean, who wants a lightsaber when you can have a palm branch?)

The rosary ended. My brother was serving so it was just the five of us in our pew. Our family, still having yet to get through our first liturgical year as experienced in the Traditional Rite, were all waiting to see what exactly would happen. On a smaller scale, it was similar to the near-complete unpreparedness we felt when we attended our first Latin Mass; the kind of unpreparedness that, ironically, prepares your soul to adore God; you are small and empty, awaiting His majestic fullness!

Hail, our King, O Son of David, O world’s Redeemer, Whom prophets did foretell as the Savior to come of the house of Israel. For the Father sent Thee into the world as victim for salvation; from the beginning of the world all the saints awaited Thee: “Hosanna now to the Son of David! Blessed be He Who cometh in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!”

-Antiphon 7

Then out came Father (vested in red) and the servers, and he began with the blessing and incensing of the palm branches.

Bless, we beseech Thee, O Lord, these branches of palm: and grant that what Thy people today bodily perform for Thy honor, they may perfect spiritually with the utmost devotion, by gaining the victory over the enemy, and ardently loving every work of mercy. Through our Lord.

English translation from The Blessing of Palms

Then came the sprinkling of holy water, and then incense; finally, two servers carried the vases of palms down the rows of pews, with each family taking more or less enough for their varying numbers πŸ™‚ That having been done, Father read (in Latin) the familiar Gospel from St. Matthew, of the triumphant entry of our Lord into Jerusalem.

And they brought the ass and the colt, and laid their garments upon them, and made Him sit thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way, and others cut boughs from the trees, and strewed them in the way, and the multitudes that went before and that followed cried, saying: Hosanna to the Son of David . . .

And then came the procession!!!

The organ flared into life with All Glory, Laud and Honor, and the choir members scattered throughout the pews obediently started singing as loudly as they could, per our director’s orders πŸ™‚ Following Father, the thurifer, crossbearer and acolytes, everyone slowly processed outside and around the grounds of the church in the sun and warm, holding their palms and singing through the entire hymn to Our Lord at least 2.5 times (as far as I remember). Besides being moved at the privilege of being part of such a beautiful procession and liturgy, I felt privately thrilled that we managed to keep almost perfect time with the organ while we processed, even though we eventually got to the point where we couldn’t even hear it πŸ˜€

Eventually we all refilled the church, and the procession came to an end with the following prayer from Father, facing the altar:

O Lord, Jesus Christ, our King and Redeemer, in Whose honor we have borne these palms and gone on praising Thee with song and solemnity: mercifully grant that whithersoever these palms are taken, there the grace of Thy blessing may descend, and may every wickedness and trickery of the demons be frustrated; and may Thy right hand protect those it hath redeemed. Who livest and reignest.

-(again, English translation)

This having ended the pre-Mass rituals, Mass was offered (once Father had vested in violet); all the Scriptures so familiar to this day, but in the language of the Church, in the holy reverence and quietness of the Latin liturgy; it was truly amazing. And long, which made it all the more beautiful and amazing πŸ™‚

We arrived home around 1:30 and filled our famished stomachs with lunch and Palm Sunday doughnuts (no, not a tradition, more like a last-minute inspiration of mine when I went to the store on Saturday, ahem . . .)

Then we enjoyed our day of rest, the only notable events being: 1) We continued watching our next installment of The Passion of the Christ. Now that my younger brother and sister are both Confirmed, our family’s viewing it together for the first time, and so as not to overwhelm, we’ve been watching it in segments by the mysteries of the Rosary. It will forever be that supreme artistic measure I use to meditate on Our Lord’s Passion and remind myself of all He has done for me out of infinite love. No other words will do for it.

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2) We killed our rooster who was inordinately terrorizing all of our hens, pecking all their feathers off, chasing them, clawing them, sending them into all sorts of trauma. It was a kind of last-minute decision while I was inside making potato salad. I didn’t watch. Our hens are happier now. Happy Palm Sunday πŸ™‚

3) We proceeded to eat some delicious grilled chicken kabobs. The irony didn’t affect our appetite in the least.

4) Then, before bed, we watched the Palm Sunday scenes from our beloved Jesus of Nazareth. Then, after devotions, we all trundled up to bed, where my brother got onto my computer and played an Elvis song which friends of ours had kindly stamped into my head the day before by singing it a hundred times. An impromptu bedroom cha-cha (that morphed into a samba), night chores, and then bed.

I wouldn’t have changed a detail of the day πŸ™‚

Seton Magazine :: 3 Easy Ways for Moms & Daughters to Grow in the Virtue of Industry

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Across the centuries, it has been our traditional role to tidy up the thousand little messes in the home, to cook and clean, and to make things pleasant and orderly for the other members of the family. And, as many Catholic homeschooling families will agree, tradition counts for a lot.

Even though mothers and daughters have a special talent for keeping up the home, it doesn’t mean we naturally embrace it. Embracing this sort of thing takes a little cultivation on our part.

But wouldn’t it be ideal if, especially in our homeschool, we ladies could step past our faulty human nature and look at the messy landscape around us, not with tolerance, but with actual gratitude?

Read the rest at Seton Magazine πŸ™‚