Its the start of a new Liturgical Year in the Church and a great time to start a Liturgical Year Bulletin Board
! Its also the second birthday of this little bulletin board display!
We have been using this in our family for two years now and it has taught our children so much. They are anxious every month to see what saints are coming up. Last year one of my sons counted a whole month down to St. Cecelia thankfully this year it was only a week. Every morning it was, so and so days left! I'm sure this month you all know what they will be counting down until!
While some of you might see this project as daunting it isn't too bad when taken one month at a time, which is how we came up with it in our home. It uses the historical saints and those taken from the St. Andrew's Missal. There is a space to write what Sunday we are on, a wheel to change and show which season we are on (the monthly part won't work for this year, I'm afraid I haven't had time to update it). There are daily prayers for each week day taken from the Blessed Be God Prayer book (should be in our store soon!), whom the Church dedicates each month to and also space for the Rosary Mysteries of the day.
For those of you who already follow along with us on the Liturgical Year Bulletin Board,
the new December 2013-2015 and year-less pieces
are now available for download. Those of you ready to dive in and give it a try can find directions here on our tutorial
complete with free downloads for the whole thing.
'Come, my hostess; come from exile, thou shalt be crowned." Sts. Peter, Martha, Mary Magdalene & Leonardo
Continuing on from last weeks Keeping It Catholic Monday
post, we share the story of St. Martha which also happens to be the continuation of the story of St. Mary Magdalene.The Liturgical YearTime after Pentecost Vol. IVBy: Dom GuerangerImprimatur 1927July 29 Saint Martha, VirginMAGDALENE this time was the first to meet our Lord. Scare a week had elapsed since her glorious passage, when she repaid her sister's former kind office, and came in her turn saying: 'The Beloved is here and calleth for thee.' And Jesus preventing her, appeared Himself and said: 'Come, my hostess; come from exile, thou shalt be crowned.' (RABAN. De vita B.M. Magd. et S. Marthae, xlvill). Hostess of the Lord, then , is to be Martha's title of nobility in heaven, as it was her priviledged name on earth. Into whatever city or town you shall enter,
said the Man-God to His disciples, inquire who in it is worthy, and there abide.
(St. Matt. x. 11.) Now St. Luke relates that as they went, our Lord himself entered into a certian town, and a certian woman named Martha received Him into her house.
(St. Luke x. 38). How could we give greater praise to Magdalen's sister than by bringing together these two texts of the holy Gospel?
This certian town
, where she was found wrothy to give Jesus a lodging, this village, says St. Bernard, (BERN. Sermo 2 in Assump. Beatae Mariae Virginis.) is our lowly earth, hidden like an obscure borough in the immensity of our Lord's possessions. The Son of God had come down from heaven to seek the lost sheep; He had come into the world He had made, and the world knew Him not; Israel, His own people, had not given Him so much as a stone whereon to lay His head, and had left Him in His thirst to beg water from the Samaritan. We, the Gentiles, whom He was thus seeking amid contradictions and fatigues, out we not, like Him ,to show our gratitude to her who, bravingpresent unpopularity and future persectuion, paid our debt to Him.
Glory, then, be to this daughter of Sion, of royal descent, who, faithful to the traditions of hospitatliy handed down from the patriarchs and early fathers, was blessed more than all of them in the exercise of this noble virtue! These ancestors of our faith, pilgrims themselves and without fixed habitation, knew more or less obscurely that the Desired of Israel and the Expectation of the nations was to appear as a wayfarer and a strangers on earth; and they honoured the future Saviour in the person of every stranger that presented himself at their tent door; just as we, their sons, in the faith of the same promises now accomplished, honour Christ in the guest whom His goodness sends us. This relation beween Him that was to come and the pilgrim seeking shelter made hospitatlity and the pilgram seeking shelter made hospitality the most honoured handmaid of divine charity. More that once did God show his approval by allowing angels to be entertained in human form. If such heavenly visituations were an honour of which our earth was not worthy, how much greater was Maratha's priviledge in rendering hospitatliy to the Lord of angels! If before the coming of Christ it was a great thing to honour Him in those who prefigured Him ,and if now to shelter and serve Him in His mystical members deserves eternal reward, how much greater and more meritorious was it to receive in person that Jesus, the very thought of whom gives to virtue its greatness and its merit. Again, as the Baptist excelled all the other prophets by having pointed out as present the Messias whom they announced as future, so Martha, by having ministered to the person of the Word made Flesh, ranks above all others who have ever exercised the works of mercy.
While Magdalen, then, keeps her better part at our Lord's feet, we must not think that Martha's lot is to be despised. As in one body we have many members, but all the members have not the same office
(Rom. xii. 4.), so each of us has a different work to perform in Christ, according to the grace we have received, whether it be to prophesy or to minister. And the apostle, explaining this diversity of vocations, says: I say, by the grace that is given me, to all that are among you, not to be more wise than it behoveth to be wise, but to be wise unto sobriety, and according as God hath divied to every one the measure of faith.
(Rom. xii. 3.) How many losses in souls, how many shipwrecks even, might be prevented by discretion, the guardian of doctrine and the mother of virtues.'Whoever,' says St. Gregory with his usual discernment, 'gives himself entirely to God, must take care not to pour himself out wholly in works, but must stretch forward also to the heights of contemplation. Neverthelss, it is here very important to notice that there is a great variety of spiritual temperaments. One who could give himself peacefully to the contemplation of God would be crushed by works and fall; another, who would be kept in a good life by the ordinary occuplations of men, would be mortally wounded by the sword of a contemplation above his powers: either for want of love to prevent repose from becoming torpor, or for want of fear to guard him against the illusions of pride or of the senses. He who would be perfect must, therefore, first accustom himself on the plain to the pracetice of the cirtues, in order to ascend more securley to the heights, leaving behind every impulse of the senses which can only distract the mind from its purpose, every image whose outline cannot adapt itself to the figurelss light he desires to behold. Action first, then, contemplation last. The Gospel praises Mary, but does not blame MArtha, because the merit of the active life is great, though that of contemplation is greater.' (Moral. in Job c 25 passim.)If we would penetrate more deeply into the mystery of the two sisters, let us notice that, though the preference is given to Mary, neverthelss it is not in her house nor in that of their brother Lazarus, but in Martha's house, that the Man-God takes up His abode with those He loves. Jesus, says St. John, loved Martha, and her sister Mary, and Lazarus. (St. John xi. 5) Lazarus, a figure of the penitents whom His all-powerful mercy daily calls from the death of sin to the divine life; Mary, giving herself up even in this life to the occupation of the next; and MArthya, who is here mentioned first as being the eldest, as first in order of time mystically, according to what St. Gregory says, and also as being the one upon whom the other two depend in that home of which she was the care.
Here we recognize a perfect type of the Church, wherein, with the devotedness of fraternal love, and under the ey of our heavenly Father, the active ministry takes the precedence, and holds the place of government over all who are drawn by grace to Jesus. We can understand the Son of God showing a preference for this blessed house; He was refreshed from the weariness of His journeys by the devoted hospitality He there received, but still more by the sight of so perfect an image of that Church for whose love He had come on earth.
Martha, then, understood by anticipation that he who holds the first place must be the servant, as the Son of Man came not to be ministered to, but to minister; and as, later on, the vicar of Jesus, the prince of prelates in the holy Church, was to call himself the servant of the servants of God. But in serving Jesus, as she served also with Him and for Him her brother and her sister, who can doubt that she had the greatest share in these promises of the Man-God: He that ministers to Me shall flollow Me, and where I am, there shall also My minster be, and My Father will honour him.
And that beautiful rule of ancient hospitatlity, which created a link like that of relationship between the host and the guest once received, could not have been passed over by our Emmanuel on this occasion, since the Evangelist says: As many as received Him, He gave them power to be made sons of God. (St. John i. 12.) And He Himself declares that whoever receives Him, receives also the Father who sent Him.
The peace promised to every house deemed worthy of receiving the apostolic messengers, that peace which cannot be without the spirit of adoption of sons, rested on Martha with surpassing fulness. The too human impetuousity she at first showed in her eager solicitude had given our Lord an opportunity of showing His divine jealousy for the perfection of a soul so devoted and so pure. The sacred nearness of the King of peace stripped her lively nature of the last remnants of restless anxiety; while her service grew even more actie and was ewell pleasing to Him ,her ardent faith in Christ, the Son of the living God, gave her the undertanding of the one thing necessary, the better part which was one day to be hers. What a master of the spiritual life Jesus here showed Himself to be; what a model of discreet firmness, of patient sweetness, of heavenly wisdom in leading souls to the higest summits!
As He had counselled His disciples to remain in the one house, the Man-God Himself, to the end of His earthly career, continually sought hospitatliy at Bethania; it was from thence He set out to redeem the world by His dolorious Passion; and when leaving this world, it was from Bethania that He ascended into heaven/ Then did this dewelling, this paradise on earth, which had given shelter to God Himself, to His Virigin Mother, to the whole college of apostles, seem too lonely to its inmates. Holy Church will tell us presently how the Spirit of Pentecost, in loving-kindness to us Gentiles, led into Gual this blessed family of our Lord's friends.
On the banks of the Thone, Martha was still the same: full of motherly compassion for every misery, spending herself in deeds of kindness. Always surrounded by the poor, says the ancient historian of the two sisters, she fed them with tender care, with food which heaven abundantly supplied to her charity, while she herself, the only one she forgot, was contented with herbs; and as in the glorious past she had served the Head of the Church in person, she now served Him in His members, and was full of loving-kindness to all. Meantime she delighted in practices of penance that would frighten us. Martyred thus a thousand times over, Martha with all the pwoers of her holy soul yearned for heaven. Her mind lost in God, she spent the whole nights absorbed in prayer. Ever prostrate, she adored Him reigning gloriously in heaven, whom she had seen without glory in her own house. Often, too, she would travel through towns and villages, announcing to the people Christ the Saviour.
Avignon and other cities of the province of Vienne were thus eveangelized by her. She delivered Tarascon from the old serpent, who in the shape of a hideous monster, not content with tyrannizing over the souls of men, devoured even their bodies. It was here that Tarascon, in the midst of the community of virgins she had founded, that she heard our Lord inviting her to receive hospitatlity from Him in heaen, in return for that which she had given Him on earth. Here she still rests, protecting her people of Provence, and receiving strangers in memory of Jesus. The peace of the blessed, which seems to breath from her noble image, fills the heart of the pilgram as he kisses her apostolic feet; journey in this land of exile, he carries away with him, like a perfume of his fatherland, the rememberance of her simple, toughing epitaph: SOLLICITA NON TUBATUR - ever zealous, she is no longer troubled.
"Be always prepared, and live in such a manner that death may never find thee unprovided."
- Thomas A. Kempis, Little Gems for Every Day of the Year
There is one time of year when most people take time to look back and reflect on the past year, and make resolutions for the new. That time is typically the beginning of the secular calendar year, known as New Years. For Catholics another time is also brought to our attention for this purpose, as Holy Mother the Church calls us to do at the beginning and end of the Liturgical Year. Dom Gueranger's Liturgical Year
writings are full of these callings to the Faithful during his Advent and Time After Pentecost writings. As a homeschool mother I find that a third time in the year gives me time to look and reflect and that is usually at the beginning of the school year and at its end. We look back at the progress that was made and also at the things we can see that need changed and improved. These times give us ample time to plan ahead for our journey onward toward heaven.
Today as part of that planning ahead and also as sort of an extension of our Homeschooling Packing Up One and Planning Another blog post
where I shared how I plan our month using the Holy Simplicity Planner
. Part of that post shared about the note section located on the monthly planning page titled 'Martha' which is space devoted to spiritual notes for the upcoming month. This section is also part of the Starting with Sunday, non-academic Catholic Day Planner
. I personally use this note section to write down any spiritual reading I intend on doing for the month and special prayers and/or novenas we want to remember. Keeping in mind that the more I plan ahead the better off I do. I thought I'd share a list of books with you all that could be read throughout the Liturgical Year, many of which are on my personal reading list. Hopefully by planning out my years worth of spiritual reading (which I'm sure to edit here and there) I can at least avoid those inspirations of re-reading certian titles or wanting to read other titles at certian times escape my book reading list. So without further ado, here are 12 months of Spiritual Reading- Liturgical Style!
Spiritual Reading that goes with the ebb and flow of the Liturgical Year....
July- Our Lady in Her Scapular Promise The Liturgical Year- Time After Pentecost Book III & IV - The Most Precious Blood of Jesus Catholic Life- The Most Precious Blood of JesusAugust- True Mirror of Womanhood
(I'll be rereading, a great book
and excellent reflection for the beginning of the school year!) The Liturgical Year- Time After Pentecost Book IV - Assumption Catholic Life- The Feast of the AssumptionSeptember- At the Foot of the Cross or the Seven Sorrows of Mary The Liturgical Year- Time After Pentecost Book V- The Seven Sorrows of Mary Catholic Life - The Seven Sorrows of MaryOctober- The Garden of Roses of Our Lady - Rosary Meditations The Liturgical Year- Time After Pentecost Book V - Feast of the Most Holy Rosary
, Feast of the Guardian Angels, Vigil of All Saints Catholic Life- Feast of the Most Holy RosaryNovember- Mary Help of Christians and the 14 Holy Helpers The Liturgical Year- Time After Pentecost Book VI - All Saints and All Souls Day
, Feast of Christ the King Catholic Life- The Holy Souls in PurgatoryDecember- Study the Old Testament
, the coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ The Liturgical Year- Advent Book
(The most excellent study on this time of year!) The Liturgical Year- Christmas book I Catholic Life- The Nativity, Advent
January- Draw Near to Jesus, Give Him Your Heart
For children- Story of the Divine Child The Liturgical Year - Christmas Book
I & II Catholic Life- Epiphany and Feast of the Circumcision, New Years Day
February- Books on Catholic Family life in honor of the Month of the Holy Family: True Men as We Need Them Story of the Divine Child Mirror of True Womanhood
and/or The Christian Mother The Liturgical Year- Christmas Book II - Purification, the Holy Family
Septuegesima Book also Catholic Life- Purification and the Holy Family
March- St. Patrick Apostle of Ireland The Liturgical Year-
Lent Volume. Catholic Life- St. Joseph and St. Patrick, Ash Wednesday
Lenten reading ideas: The Following of Christ Humility of Heart The Sinner's Guide The Prodigal Son or the Sinners Return to God Confession Made Easy The Liturgical Year - Lent Book
, Passiontide & Holy Week Book, Pascal Time Book I & II Catholic Life- Lent, Passion/Palm Sunday, Holy Week, Maunday Thursday & Good Friday, Easter
May- Month of Mary True Devotion to Mary For Mother's Day- The Christian Mother For Young ladies: The Catholic Girls Guide The Liturgical Year- Paschal Time Book II- May Month of Mary
Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Life- Blessed Virgin Mary
June- Imitation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus St. Anthony the Wonder Worker St Anthony's Treasury
For Father's day: True Men as We Need Them
For young male adults: Young Man's Guide The Liturgical Year -
Paschal Time Book III (Pentecost & Gifts of the Holy Ghost,
Time After Pentecost Book III Catholic Life- Pentecost, The Sacred Heart of JesusReading For Sundays- The Liturgical Year by Dom Gueranger Sermons for the Sundays and Feasts of the Year by The Cure of ArsDaily Reading- The Liturgical Year- Saint A Day Pictorial Lives of the Saints by Alban Butler
Other Posts you May enjoy....
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Free Bible Stories Unit Study
About 3 or 4 years ago our journey started on discovering the Catholic Church's Liturgical Year. It started with the book Around the Year with the Von Trapp Family
. A little find at our local library, I was so fascinated by it and had never heard of keeping such practices in the home! I wanted to find out more and start using these ideas with our family and in our home. Good St. Anthony was so kind as to find me a hard copy of this very rare book and it became the guide to our life here in our home. The more I read the more I became interested in the Church's Liturgical Year and the history of such devotions and practices. By searching for every book that could be found on the Liturgical Year and ideas for keeping a 'domestic Church' in the home, I stumbled upon a set of books called The Liturgical Year, 15 volumes
! But the price was so high and at the time we had a very limited book budget. I keep thinking about these books and seeing them mentioned here and there. Even visiting family members that had the set on their shelves. Eventually St. Anthony came to the rescue again and also Divine Providence, by sending us a used copy that would work with our budget.Ever since the arrival of these lovely books we have grown in our faith in the same proportion that we read them, the more we read the more we learn about the Holy Catholic Church. First I started reading about the feast days here and there, looking up each one and spending a little time with it. Then I was intrigued by the writings at the beginning of each season: History of Lent, Mystery of Lent, Practice of Lent... and so on. It went like this for each and every season explaining the history of each season, how we should keep the season and in what way the Church expects the Faithful to think of each season. It also explains the mystery which is those supernatural things that happen during this season, the part that we don't necessarily see.Eventually we came to start reading the explanation of each Sunday's mass from these books. Not only do they provide the mass prayers including the introits and Gospel etc. but they also have Vespers and Dom Gueranger, in his excellent way of writing, explains each part of the Mass and why the Church uses that part during that time, sometimes we get the history of it as well. Before he goes into explaining those parts there is usually an intro to the Mass explaining how it fits into the Liturgical season and why the Church picked certain parts to be at this certain time of year, such as why this and this Gospel is on the 4th Sunday after Pentecost.Later on my husband started reading the Saint's stories every evening, they were so captivating and interesting to him that they lead him to start his All The Saints And Peter & Paul website. He has a love of maps and wanted to map all the saints that he had read about. Finding out which Church's they taught at or where their remains were, the area around them and the history of the time during that Saint's life. We also discovered lately that a new friend of ours uses this very way to teach her older children Catholic history and geography. Sort of a unit study as the term would go these days.
Dom Gueranger, in the intro of the Advent season book, says, "The prayer of the Church is, therefore, the most pleasing to the ear and heart of God, and therefore the most efficacious of all prayers. Happy, the, is he who prays with the Church, and unites his own petitions with those of his bride, who is so dear to her Lord that He gives her all she asks. The modern spirit would have it that prayer is not action; as though every good action done by man were not a gift of God: a gift which implies two prayers, one of petition that it may be granted, and another of thanksgiving because it is granted. There are found men who said: 'Let us abolish all the festival days of God from the earth (PS. lxxiii. 8.)'; and then came upon us that calamity which brings all others with it, and which the good Mardochai besought God to avert from his nation, when he said: 'Shut not, O Lord, the mouths of them that sing to Thee! (Esther xiii. 17)After reading this excerpts and several others from his introduction in this Advent book we decided to change our daily prayers to be those of the Church. The Liturgical Year set, in the front of each book, and according to each season, has morning and night prayers. Those have become the ones that we now say and they are always so fitting for the season and contain all that we could ever ask for from our dear Lord.While this set seemed expensive and a bit over whelming at first, we have found that over the years become of our our 'best friends'. The investment in the books was more than worth it. It has been saddening to learn that many book companies are no longer carrying this set but we are pleased to have found a supplier and we are able to offer the Liturgical Year set in our book store, it has been a blessing for us to share these wonderful books and keep them 'alive'!Piece by piece and bit by bit we have found a way to use this wonderful books in our home and we have grown all the stronger in our Faith because of them. Any family we know that reads this set on a regular bases and year after year is always amazed at the details and the history they contain. We would like to part with the words of the author of this wonderful set, as no one says it better than he, "The first part of the 'Liturgical Year' is devoted to Advent. The second contains the explanation of the divine service from Christmas to the purification. The third takes us from the Purification as far as Lent, called 'Septuagesima.' The fifth comprises of the four first weeks of Lent. The fifth consists of Passion-week and Holy week. The sixth includes the time of Easter. The seventh will explain the Office of the Church from the feast of the Most Holy Trinity to the end of time after Pentecost. The year thus planned for us by the Church herself produces a drama, the sublimest that has ever been offered in admiration of man. For what is the liturgy but an untiring affirmation of the works of God? a solemn acknowledgement of those divine facts, which though done but once, are imperishable in man's remembrance, and are every year renewed by the commemoration he makes of them.... But though the liturgy so deeply impresses us by annually bringing before us the dramatic solemnization of those mysteries which have been accomplished for the salvation of man and for his union with his God, it is nevertheless wonderful how the succession of year after year diminishes not one atom of the freshness and vehemence of those impressions, and each new beginning of the cycle of mystic seasons seems to be our first year."
Our project list seems to grow rather than shrink around these parts. Thanks to our children they are always inspiring new ideas and showing us new needs that they have. This project is another of those created for our dear children who love to learn about our Holy Catholic Faith and especially by following the Liturgical Calendar. They have been wanting a Liturgical Calendar of their own and what better way to give that to them than to have them take part in the making of it!
This free download was created with our lovely friends over at Crusader's for Christ
, they were so gracious as to create the coloring pages for this fun little project and we gladly put the calendar part together to go with it. This is a 26 page black and white download that can be printed 2-sided. The top portion will have a coloring page that fits the Liturgical Season for each month. The following page has a blank calendar in which the child will fill out the month, whom the Church dedicates the month to and the year of Our Lord. Children may also choose to write in the saint of the day, holy days of obligation and fast days, a free 2013 Liturgical Calendar
may be found over at Crusader's for Christ. There are blank squares below to fill in the number for the month, so this printable may be used for any year and started at any time of the year! Simply bind the top, or have it bound at a print shop and punch a whole in the bottom middle of each page to hang. We pray that you enjoy this little project as much as we have already on just our first month!
From us here at Sanctus Simplicitus
Ps. We are considering offering this as a printed item to purchase, would you be so kind as to take our survey below and let us know if you are interested? Thank you!
"Religion, then, forms the spirit and essence of all true education.
As leaven must be diffused throughout the entire mass in order to produce its effects, so religion must be throughly diffused throughout the child's entire education, in order to be solid and effective."
A continuation of the book Public School Education is being shared over on our Catholic education blog
, come and join us in a wonderful book!
You may find the February title pieces and prayers over at the Liturgical Year Bulletin Board Page
The February Crusaders for Christ & Maidens for Mary planner pages
are up, March and April should be up sometime this week.February Butler's Lives of the Saints Notebooking pages
are also up and ready to print!
May you all have a blessed Septuegesima Sunday, don't forget to visit our Lenten page
to start your Lent preparations.
Also some of you have asked if we will be having a study guide similar to the short run of Jesse Tree guides that we put out last November and December. At this time we won't be printing any study guides or other items. We will soon be putting up a page featuring two books from the main book used in the Jesse Tree Study Guide. One focuses on the Life of our Savior and the other on The Life of the Soul. We will have free worksheets/ coloring pages etc. available but the books themselves are no longer printed. They may be found through bookfinder.com and prayerfully they will be reprinted so they are more easily available to all. God bless!
Our Keeping it Catholic Monday themes continue along the line of apologetics and questions asked by our dear readers. This Monday we are sharing some excerpts on the Priests vestments at Holy Mass.
Could you Explain Catholic Practices?
Rev. Charles J. Mullaly, S.J.
VESTMENTS OF HOLY MASS
How many of our readers could explain to an inquirer the names and the meaning of the vestments used by the priest in celebrating Holy Mass? We have frequently met devout Catholics who attend the Holy Sacrifice every day and yet would not be able to tell their non-Catholic friends or their own children that there are six vestments: Amice, Alb, Cincture, Maniple, Stole, and Chasuble.
The Amice is the first garment the priest puts on in preparing for Holy Mass. It is a rectangular piece of white linen with strings attached and covers his shoulders. It was originally employed as a covering for the head and is even now worn as such by priests of some Religious Orders in passing to and from the altar. It is said to be symbolical of the helmet of salvation. Some liturgical writers say it represents the cloth with which Christ was blindfolded when He was struck and buffeted.
The Alb is the white linen vestment reaching to the ground and denoting by its color purity, or freedom from sin. Some writers see in it the white garment of the fool which Herod put upon Christ when he sent Him back to Pilate.
The Cincture, or girdle, is used to fit the Alb closely to the body, and also suggests purity of soul. It reminds us of the rope tied around our Saviour's waist when He was led to Calvary.
The Maniple, the Stole, and the Chasuble change their colors according to the feast. The Maniple is the small band of cloth worn on the left arm. In the early days of the Church, it was a strip of linen and was probably used as a handkerchief or napkin, but with the passing of the years it lost its original purpose and was made of the same material as the sacrificial vestments. It may be said to represent the cords with which Christ was bound at His passion.
The Stole is the long narrow vestment of the same material as the Maniple and Chasuble. It is worn by the priest around his neck and it reaches almost to the knees. It is used not only at Holy Mass but for Confessions, sick-calls, and the administration of the Sacraments. It symbolizes the grace of the priestly state and, according to some writers, represents the rope tied around Christ's neck when He was led to His death.
The Chasuble is the principal vestment. In its present form it is open at the sides and rests on the priest's shoulders. It reaches almost to the knees in front and is a few inches longer in back. It represents the purple garment put on Christ when He was mocked as a king by the Roman soldiers.
THE COLOR OF THE VESTMENTS
Non-Catholics attending the Holy Sacrifice in our churches notice that the color of the vestments is not the same at every Mass. On certain days it is red; on other occasions, white, green, black, or purple. Could you explain when and why the various colors are used?
In the early days of the Church the vestments were of one color, namely, white, though black was sometimes used as a sign of mourning. White vestments are now worn on the festivals of our Lord, except those of His Passion. They are prescribed also for the feasts of the Blessed Mother, and for those of Virgin's and Confessors. White is emblematic of purity and also expresses joy.
Red is the color of fire and of blood. It is used at Pentecost, to remind us of the descent of the Holy Ghost in the form of tongues of fire, and is also marked in the Ordo for the Apostles and for Martyrs.
Green is worn on Sundays outside of Lent and Advent upon which a festival does not fall. It is a symbol of hope.
Violet, or purple, is the penitential color of the Church. The Ordo, or annual calendar containing directions for the Mass and Office to be said every day, assigns violet for the Masses proper to Advent and Lent, and usually for Vigils, Rogation, and Ember Days.
Black is worn as a mourning color at Masses for the Dead and on Good Friday. The liturgy of the Church does not allow a Requiem Mass on great festivals, for our private sorrows must not take precedence of the general joy of all Christendom on these days.
Many Catholics ask why the Ordo places violet as the color of the vestments to be worn on December 28, the feast of the Holy Innocents. As these babes were martyrs, red would appear to be in order. As an expression of sympathy for the mothers of Bethlehem and vicinity, whose boys under two years of age were killed by Herod in his effort to destroy the Infant Saviour, the Church uses violet on that day.
At the funerals of children who die before the use of reason, there is no sign of mourning. White vestments are used to express the joy that Catholic parents should have at knowing that the innocent little one is enjoying the Beatific Vision of God. The bells of the church are not tolled and, if it is a day on which a votive Mass is permitted, the beautiful Mass of the Angels is said or sung. This does not mean that children become Angels after death, but that they take their place among these celestial beings. Angels are pure spirits without bodies, and the Church teaches us that the bodies of innocent children will rise on the Day of Resurrection, be united to their souls, and participate in their glory.
I need to make a correction to the Liturgical Year Bulletin Board saints for January as well as the Holy Simplicity planner. The Feast of the Holy Family is a moveable feast and so we will provide an undated piece for the Liturgical Year Bulletin Board (date will be written in with dry erase marker) and a substitute piece for the current Jan. 8th piece.
The date is also incorrect in the Holy Simplicity Planner, it is noted there as on the 12th of this month when it should be on the 13th. My apologies for this error and we will put up another post when the new pieces are available. A blessed Octave of the Epiphany to you all!
"The Feast of the Holy Family is a greater-double and celebrated on the Sunday within the octave of the Epiphany. If this Sunday falls on the Octave Day, the feast is kept on the Saturday before, Jan 12, with the same commemoration of the Sunday and of the Octave."
Thought I'd share a portion of our Sunday reading about a tradition for the Feast of the Epiphany. We didn't have time to make a cake today but I'm headed to make some sugar cookies to decorate as stars and crowns :) A blessed Feast day to you all!
Liturgical Year - Christmas Vol. 1
By: Dom Gueranger Imprimatur 1927
There was another custom which originated in the Ages of Faith, which is still observed in many countries. In honour of the Three Kings, who came from the East to adore the Babe of Bethlehem, each family chose one of its members to be King. The choice was thus made. The family kept a feast, which was an allusion to the third of the Epiphany Mysteries - the Feast of Ana in Galilee - a cake was served up, and he who took the piece which had a certain secret mark was proclaimed the King of the day. Two portions of the cake were reserved for the poor, in whom honour was thus paid to the Infant Jesus and his Blessed other; for on this Day of the triumph of him who, though King, was humble and poor, it was fitting that the poor should have a share in the general joy. The happiness of home was here, as in many other instances, blended with the sacredness of Religion. This custom of King's Feast brought relations and friends together, and encouraged feelings of kindness and charity. Human weakness would sometimes, perhaps, show itself during these hours of holiday-making; but the idea and sentiment and spirit of the whole feast was profoundly Catholic, and that was sufficient guarantee to innocence.
King's Feast is still a Christmas joy in thousands of families; and happy those where it is kept in the Christian spirit which first originated it! For the last three hundred years, a puritanical zeal has decried these simple customs, wherein the seriousness of religion and the home enjoyments of certain Festivals were blended together. The traditions of Christian family rejoicing have been blamed under pretexts of abuse; as though a recreation, in which religion had no share and no influence, were less open to intemperance and sin! Others have pretended (though with little or no foundation) that the Twelfth Cake and the custom of choosing a King are mere imitations of the ancient pagan Saturnalia. Granting this to be correct (which it is not), we would answer that many of the old pagan customs have undergone a Christian transformation, and no one thinks of refusing to accept them thus purified. All this mistaken zeal has produced the sad effect of divorcing the Church from family life and customs, or excluding every religious manifestation from our traditions, and of bringing about what is so pompously called (through the word is expressive enough) the secularization of society.
We decided this year to make the Liturgical Wheel for the Liturgical Year Bulletin Board a reusable piece. The Liturgical Calendar changes based on when Easter falls and so the wheel would change ever year. By simplifying the Liturgical wheel we have made it so with a simple turn of part of the wheel it is reusable every year. Simply download the Re-Usable Liturgical Wheel
file and follow the directions for putting it together.
Also you will find the January Notebooking pages for those of you following the Butler's Lives of the saints with us over at the Butler's Lives of the Saints Notebooking page
Praying you have a blessed, safe, happy and holy New Year!