Hi all! I was doing so well keeping up with a post for every week in the liturgical year, but all good things inevitably come to an end. 😂 My life right now is just not conducive to weekly blogging. It's all good stuff, but with my son starting college in the fall and other needs of my family, and me having a new job within my academic library world, I'm at full capacity. We're all doing GREAT though, and continuing on in our Byzantine rite journey. I'll check back in with updates when I can!
Thursday, May 25, 2023
Monday, May 15, 2023
|We've been doing lots of gardening these days!|
Springtime in our Byzantine rite parish is dawning with lots of talk of bringing back more in person events to continue to try and recover from the financial damage the pandemic wrought. The parish is so small at this point in terms of active families that the future is a bit unknown, but we're all praying for the best. 🙏 So that's really the big focus right now.
For our part, we're continuing to enjoy the Divine Liturgy and our weekly ritual of attending there. The kids and I go out for coffee afterwards each week, and they also enjoy that quite a bit. This week, the parish hosted a coffee hour after liturgy, so we attended that. We had our baked goods donation in tow, and were warmly embraceed and welcomed. I'm hoping for many, many more of these to come in the future!
Saturday, May 6, 2023
Hello everyone, and isn't it lovely that spring has finally sprung? 😀 At least around here, it's been Second Winter and then Mud Season for quite some time, spring has been hiding, to be sure. 😂 But finally, things are budding, the sun is out more, and Paschaltide feels absolutely sublime! As we continue our path towards the feast of the Ascension, we are enjoying these themed Sundays following Pascha. Next year I really need to consider the icon set commemorating these to add to my collection! I really enjoy displaying icons of the current and upcoming feasts.
This past Sunday we arrived at Divine Liturgy right on time, and guess who forgot her little book for the inevitable situation when the sheets with the Propers were already all claimed?
Alas. :-0 So I did my best, but I simply MUST remember to look through that book and set the ribbons up accordingly *before* Divine Liturgy this weekend! We'll get there. But last Sunday, we learned about Jesus' healing powers, both in the Gospel and in the homily. After liturgy, we gathered to chat about the coffee klutch slated for the following week, and Anne and I plotted our baked good possibilities. I'm not much of a baker, so I ended up picking up a few pastries at the grocery store when we went yesterday, but Anne baked cupcakes this morning to bring! I'm really looking forward to it.
A quiet weekend, but things are going to be getting crazy with end-of-school-year ceremonies and milestones, and this mom is feeling pretty emotional about it. But I'm hanging in there! I'm truly looking forward to summer this year, and all of the lovliness, both spiritual and secular, that that season brings.
Saturday, April 29, 2023
But back to our churchy stuff. 😊 Last weekend, for the first time we had a chance to check out what is called the Typica in the Byzantine rite, which is the prescribed prayers and readings you can follow along with at home when you are unable to attend Divine Liturgy. Henry was a bit under the weather last Sunday morning, Anne was away at the camp for black belt candidates, and I woke up with a stiff neck and upper back that made it hard for me to physically get out of bed, let alone walk about with any level of comfort. 😬 So it was a staying in kind of Sunday for us last weekend!
I have a beautiful prayer book that includes the Typica, and I also have the book with the readings for every day of the year for those using the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. These are both must have for Catholic Nerds, you see. ;-) And so we did our best to navigate along with this beautiful at home liturgy for the first time:
And it was all quite lovely, and I'm really enjoying the Paschaltide themes. I love some of the traditions I've taken to in my Byzantine rite journey, such as candles and incense, that make home prayer time seem even more special and set aside. This weekend though, we're all healthy, and we'll be back at Divine Liturgy tomorrow!
How is your Easter season going, friends? *heart*
Saturday, April 22, 2023
For our part, we enjoyed the week following Pascha which is called Bright Week, and our move into the season of Paschaltide. The first of these themed Sundays following Pascha is Thomas Sunday, and we were off to Divine Liturgy as usual. As you might imagine given the title, the Gospel on this particular Sunday focused on Jesus appearing to the disciples, and Thomas asking to touch the wound in His side. Once again, the sheets with the Propers for this season would have been absolutely CLUTCH, but were all spoken for by the time we arrived. 😂 I'm going to break out the book I bought with the Divine Liturgy text in it, and which also includes the Propers as well as other related material. I have been daunted by it and don't yet know how to naviage it and it's ribbons, but I'm going to try! I am very much a gal who loves her missals, and not having access to the Propers is killing me inside. 🤣
After liturgy, we received more blessed bread (which I believe is called the antidoron; this bread is blessed but not consecrated) and we received another blessing with oil on our foreheads. I'm not sure if this is a thing that persists throughout the season of Pascha? Excited to find out. 😎 The blessed bread is quite delicious! It's leavened, as is the bread used at Communion in the Byzantine rite. The faithful consume the antidoron upon receiving it, either as they process back to their spot or upon arriving there. I watched everyone carefully to made sure I did it right (ha!) as this custom is totally new to me!
I'm slowly making my way with the Byzantine rite, but I'm definitely still learning. :) How was either your Thomas Sunday or Divine Mercy Sunday? I would love to hear about it in the comments!
Friday, April 14, 2023
Thursday, April 6, 2023
But speaking of our Byzantine rite parish, a quick diversion to say that we helped out at the Easter Bazaar this past weekend! It was so wonderful to get to know some of the parishoners of the Ukrainian language liturgy, and really feel a part of parish life. I manned the sausage and kraut table. 😎The event was quite successful, and yielded much needed funds for the parish's operational needs! The lack of events due to the pandemic really hurt this small parish, and I'm praying that these fundraising efforts continue to bear fruit and help the parish to begin to thrive and survive well into the future.
Then the next day, we headed back for our very first Palm Sunday in the Byzantine rite. We had our home icon hung out in our kitchen since the vigil the night before! We were all excited to experience Divine Liturgy on this special day.
So, Catholic Librarian Nerd piping in with the details: the readings of the day were from Philippians with the do not be anxious discourse, and the Gospel of John story of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. There was no reading of the full Passion narrative the way that there is in the Latin rite, that was one major difference. But these readings were perfectly aligned with the theme of the day.
At the conclusion of liturgy, I was *dying* to know what the palm tradition would be, and it was willows! 😍
Father read a special blessing and showered them with holy water, which of course we're quite familiar with, and we were encouraged to take a few on our way out. I couldn't hurry to the front to scoop ours up fast enough. 😂
It was a beautiful liturgy, and we are now incredibly excited for Holy Week!
We will be attending Divine Liturgy on Easter morning at our Byzantine rite parish and I can't wait to report in on that! I'll likely be attending other triduum liturgies in our Latin rite parish, which will be determined as Holy Week unfolds. How is your Holy Week progressing, friends?
Friday, March 31, 2023
This past weekend also marked the closest Sunday to one of the 12 Great Feasts, the feast of the Annunciation, and Father was wearing his Marian blue vestments to mark the occasion. I invested in a bigger set of the Great Feasts icons to hang in our kitchen so that we can all see and learn from them much more easily when we sit down at mealtimes:
Well, I purchased the sets of the spring and summer feasts. I'll get fall and winter ones closer to September and the feast of the Veneration of the Cross, to divide up the cost a bit! Legacy Icons has a great system for that.
My kids are both off from school for Holy Week, and thus this past week they had some liturgical activities and confession in lieu of that. I am very much looking forward to the special liturgies and prayers in the Liturgy of the Hours that are coming up!
How are you preparing for Holy Week? I would love to hear about it in the comments!
The Liturgy of the Hours is one of the most meaningful parts of my spiritual life, and I've read a number of books discussing it and/or addressing how to pray it, as it does involve a bit of finessing to get used to how to find your place in the style of volume(s) you ultimately end up choosing. This little book has all the deets on the different options available for praying this treasure of the Church (both physical books and apps), and guidance on how to get started diving in and praying it. It also has a heartwarming SOS section addressing some of the major concerns people have as they navigate their way through the process of making the Hours part of their daily prayer routine. My personal favorite involved what to do if you pray Evening Prayer in the morning, or vice versa, or you pray the completely wrong day and set of prayers. Asking for a friend.
Because it happens to everybody!
Barb also includes the story of her journey on how she came to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, and how she taught her husband to do it, at his request, during the pandemic. I really enjoy personal faith testimonies, and I LOVED this chapter in the book!
As the title would indicate, this is a short book that you will zoom right through, especially if you devour books on your favorite topics like I do. And it does an absolutely marvelous job of both introducing you to this form of prayer if you're new to it/intimidated by it, and getting into some nerdy nitty gritty for those that are more familiar with praying the Hours. I will be referring back to this little gal frequently I can already see, when I have a question about solemnities, feasts or memorials, lol!
I LOVED this guide to the Liturgy of the Hours, and it is now a permanent part of my bookcase for easy reference! If you also read the Handy Little Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments, and if it inspired you to begin praying (or get back to praying) the Hours!
Saturday, March 25, 2023
The Ladder of Divine Ascent is an ascetical treatise on avoiding vice and practicing virtue so that at the end, salvation can be obtained. Written by Saint John Climacus initially for monastics, it has become one of the most highly influential and important works used by the Church as far as guiding the faithful to a God-centered life, second only to Holy Scripture.There is also a related icon known by the same title. It depicts many people climbing a ladder; at the top is Jesus Christ, prepared to receive the climbers into Heaven. Also shown are angels helping the climbers, and demons attempting to shoot with arrows or drag down the climbers, no matter how high up the ladder they may be. Most versions of the icon show at least one person falling.
Fascinating stuff! We gathered after liturgy to chat details about the upcoming Easter Bazaar, and Anne and I are putting together a basket for the raffle themed around gardening. We've had a fun time putting it together! More details on all of that next week.
How is your Lent going as we near Holy Week, friends? I love taking this journey together each year! 🤗