Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Collect for the Feast of Saint Andrew

We humbly implore your majesty, O Lord, that, just as the blessed Apostle Andrew was for your Church a preacher and pastor, so he may be for us a constant intercessor before you.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Today's Collect

Look with favor, Lord God, on our petitions, and in our trials grant us your compassionate help, that, consoled by the presence of your Son, whose coming we now await, we may be tainted no longer by the corruption of former ways.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Today's Collect

Keep us alert, we pray, O Lord our God, as we await the advent of Christ your Son, so that, when he comes and knocks, he may find us watchful in prayer and exultant in his praise.

Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

One of my favorite Church Ladies found this craft while searching for a way to make an Advent Wreath. Aren't they pretty? (and simple too!)

Secrets of the Habit

Msgr. Charles Pope posted an interesting article this week about the basics of a nun's religious habit: it's purpose and meaning, why there are so many different versions, and why we so seldom see them anymore. Of special interest is a link to photos from many different orders and a short video of someone explaining all the different pieces and their meanings.

Advent Prayers From the New Roman Missal

From today's collect:
Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God, the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ with righteous deeds at his coming, so that, gathered at his right hand, they may be worthy to possess the heavenly kingdom.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Collect (KAH-lehkt)

Also known (in the English-language liturgical books) as the "Opening Prayer," a formal prayer, usually addressed to the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit, by which the introductory rites are brought to a close and the assembly is prepared for the Liturgy of the Word.

-Catholic Dictionary, Stravinskas

This Sunday we'll all likely be so busy concentrating on "and with your spirit," and not embarrassing ourselves during the Creed, that it may be easy to miss the beautifully reworded prayers. The Collects are wonderful examples, and to help you prepare for Mass we'll be posting the Collect for each day of Advent.

Without giving too much away here, just listen on Sunday as your priest asks God that we "run forth" to meet Christ. (What a great image!) We hope you enjoy these posts and we are praying that all our readers have a very blessed Advent season.

And please remember to pray for your priest! We have a few changes, but he has quite a few more.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Liturgy derives its greatness from what it is, not from what we make of it. Our participation is, of course, necessary, but as a means of asserting ourselves humbly into the spirit of the Liturgy and of serving him who is the true subject of the Liturgy: Jesus Christ.

-Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, July 2001

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought;
and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
-G. K. Chesterton

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thrifty Gifts: In a Jar

I've been smitten with mason jars lately. I think it started with this, and then continued on through the summer when cherries were a good price and then my garden produce started ripening. Now it's gift making time, and I'm still finding all sorts of inspiration based on the simple and inexpensive canning jar.

They come in different shapes and sizes from a tiny 4 ounces up to a quart. (And if you ever see a 2 quart size, grab it - they're a rare find in this age of smaller families.) They're simple and classic and reusable. They're practical and have an air of elegance at the same time. A shelf of canning jars reminds me of the wife of noble character in Proverbs 31.

The jar in the photo is a sewing kit from Anthropologie, not thrifty by my definition, but inspirational, don't you agree? (Going in their stores is like spending time in an art gallery!) I think you'll find the links below may better earn the "thrifty" label. Also, be sure to do some design review with Lucy's post on making your jars more beautiful.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Value of Handmade

This week, TechKnitter blogs about overcoming our throwaway mentality when it comes to clothing. Our era of mass production has made it seem almost ridiculous, but it wasn't that long ago that people would specifically mention items of clothing in their wills.
When asked why she kept old clothes which no longer fit, my grandmother (born in Austria in 1902) used to reply with a German proverb that "clothes outlive their people."

Today, clothes don't have that resonance. Clothes are not really considered valuable. That, too, is something I think about when knitting: after all, it takes a certain thickness of skin to be a confirmed hand-knitter in the day of cheap ready-made sweaters and expensive yarn. However difficult life was for the old-time knitters, the usefulness of their craft was never at issue. So, while we think about knitting's value while we knit, that's one thing the old-time knitters did never concern themselves with: they and everyone around them knew it was valuable.
Read the rest, including the story of two old sweaters staging a jail break. It's a cozy reflection in these chilly days.

As further proof that a well-made item can long outlast its wearer, I submit this news story, about a 150-year-old Fair Isle cap that was just recovered.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fr. Barron on the New Translation

In case you still have questions about the "how and why" of the new translation of the Roman Missal, take a look at this short video by Fr. Barron. Among other things, he gives some great side-by-side examples of the old and new versions of some of the prayers, that will help you see the beautiful poetry we'll be hearing beginning this Advent!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sins and Housework

It's true, in general our sins are always the same, but we clean our house, our room, at least every week, although the dirt is always the same. Confession is necessary only in the case of grave sin. But it is very useful to go to confession regularly to cultivate cleanliness and beauty of soul, and to mature little by little in life.
Pope Benedict XVI

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

(Recipe) Hint of the Day: Stable Whipped Cream

Pie season is upon us, and the last thing you want to do is resort to the spray can, but if you're like me, no amount of chilling or coaxing seems to yield whipped cream that will hold peaks long enough to actually get it to the dessert table. That is, until now.

Last night I tried Nancy Silverton's recipe (atop Miette's Hot Milk Cake), and it still looks as perky as can be this afternoon. The secret? Just add 1 part crème fraîche or sour cream for every 4 parts cream, just before it gets to the stage where it can hold soft peaks. Not only does the secret ingredient do wonders for the texture, it adds a lovely, very subtle flavor note, especially if, like me, you leave your cream unsweetened.

Note: I skipped the hand-whisking and did it all in my stand mixer, which is ancient enough as to not even have a whisk attachment. It was still perfect, in my estimation.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Church Bazaar

This morning marked the opening of the holiday bazaar at The Parish. While The Parish can't be accused of being in the 60s theologically or liturgically, the prices at the bazaar certainly are of that era.

For $16, I came home with:

- 2 vintage Pyrex mixing bowls

-vintage shelf paper, for use in my jar project

-some pretty napkins, for use in my new project, a rag rug (more about that in a few days)

-an icon of the Resurrection

-a German glass ornament of Noah's Ark

-a pair of handknit child's mittens

-a handknit child's sweater

Not bad! Here are some things about the bazaar I think my parish does well:

-Organize items (tables include: Christmas, New Gifts & Gift Baskets, Silent Auction, Raffle, Religious, Hand Knits, Books, Kids, Grandma's Attic, Canned/Baked Goods)

-One pays by table, rather than a centralized checkout.

-Putting the most high traffic areas in the most logical spot

-Have a kids' craft table.

-Have good food options available

-Have an area with tables and chairs for taking a break

-Update inventory, so people come on Saturday morning and stop by again after Sunday Mass

Some improvements could be:

-Not stacking items, especially those that require a lot of browsing) directly in front of tables (I was almost impaled by a brass chandelier!)

-Displaying items in one layer, rather than precarious stacks

-Taking items out of boxes

Does your parish have a bazaar? What does it do well?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Mass during Wartime

While we're taking some time today to remember the sacrifices of all our veterans, let's also remember the priests who bring comfort, counsel, and especially the Sacraments during wartime. New Liturgical Movement is featuring a moving group of photos with this theme.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Manly Lace, Indeed.

We Church Ladies have seen many examples of exquisite lace on vestments, but to my recollection, this is the first time I have encountered lace that was actually made by the priest who would be wearing it!
You can read more over on Needle 'n' Thread about the priest who decided two years before ordination that he wanted to make the lace for his alb, and then taught himself the necessary skills and finished the (rather massive) project on time.

Friday, November 4, 2011

An Ode to the Apron

Related to Lucy's post of yesterday, I've been thinking of adding another apron or two to my collection. My current ones fall a few inches shorter than most of my skirts, leaving an exposed edge at exactly the height of a young toddler's face. I'm thinking of something color-blocked like the adorable Anthropologie apron above. I may widen or ruffle the straps a bit, too, to give me some coverage there, though I like an adjustable length there, so I'm still working out the details.

Meanwhile, have a look at Jennifer Fulwiler's article on the positive effect, both practical and symbolic, that an apron can have, especially for mothers of young children.
Donning an apron is a simple act that sends a surprisingly powerful message, especially if you’re a mother. It’s a symbolic gesture that indicates that you’re seeking to thrive now, here in the midst of the toil that comes with nurturing new souls; that you see the work of serving others not as a temporary phase, but as a key aspect of a well lived life. Taking the time to fasten the strings of an apron around your waist sends a message (to yourself, as much as to anyone else) that it’s worth the effort to protect your clothes so that you can look nice at the end of the day—that self-care has not been shoved to the backburner just because you have children.
(Read it all.)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Warm, Washable, Winter Skirts

As my first winter with a small child approaches, I have been on the lookout for that ever elusive item: a washable, lined skirt for winter. As much as I love my wool skirts, they have been restricted to office wear as they simply can't stand up to little hands who love to rub bananas on everything.

If you're willing to be flexible about lining, jean or corduroy skirts are fairly easy to find at thrift stores. I've also found the washable suit separates that some department stores sell to be perfect- they come in prints and solids and are sold separately, so I can only purchase the skirts. What are your favorite places to look for winter skirts?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Holy Father's Prayer Intentions for November, 2011

General Intention: For the eastern Churches, that their venerable tradition may be known and appreciated as a spiritual treasure for the entire Church.

Missionary Intention: That the African continent may find in Christ the strength to fulfill the path of reconciliation and justice, indicated in the second Synod of Bishops for Africa.

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer You all my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day
for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart,
in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
throughout the world,
in reparation for my sins,
for the intentions of all our associates,
and in particular for the intentions
of the Holy Father for this month.