Monday, December 19, 2011
At the beginning of the Advent Season, realizing that the number of our family traditions and seasonal activities had reached a new high, I listed them all. Next, I surveyed the family members who are still a part of our household on a regular basis – in other words, whose who actually live here. I asked them to initial the traditions and activities that were important to them. If their initials were beside it, then it was, presumably, important enough for them to help out with it
The list ranged from having a Christmas Tree (very important) to making a gingerbread house (decided to do after Christmas), to putting evergreen boughs in the window boxes (I chose to do that)
Some things that will go by the wayside this year – time and energy helped make those decisions, but the traditions that stay, help us focus on the birth of our Savior, the love of family, and sharing with those around us. We may not make it to LaSallette Shrine in Enfield to see the lights, but we will have our own lights and nativity to remind us of the Light of the World.
The chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil in our Christmas stockings will reminded us of St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra who threw gold coins down chimneys to be used as a dowry for the young women of the family, thus saving them from a questionable future.
Small traditions may mean a lot, but too many traditions can mean stress and loss of focus. May we all use our Christmas activities and traditions to help us focus on the Coming of Jesus in our midst, and the resulting Joy to the World!
Friday, June 24, 2011
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Monica and Joe, heading to prom. She made the dress, and she was chosen prom queen, which is chosen by the teachers present as chaperons based on the Senior student who is having "the most fun" and engaging n the dancing and activities.
The Almost Anything Goes Sugar River Craft Race, netered by Jacob and Chris, in "Burial at Sea", a boot-hill style coffin. They were second place overall, first place n the individual (versus business) catagory. Meadow park to covered bridge in 50 or so minutes.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter
The sights and sounds of Holy Week are here again. They are so familiar, yet so necessary to re-visit each year. The Sacred Triduum begins on Holy Thursday. Culturally, many people are familiar with the Last Supper from the painting by Leonardo DaVinci . Religiously, the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper embraces this institution of the Eucharist and much more.
The Gospel reading for Holy Thursday is of when Jesus washed the feet of His disciples (Jn. 13: 1-15). It is the Church’s message to us that Service is the way for us to follow Christ. As Jesus served His apostles, we are to serve one another. To be an example of service to his congregation, the priest in a symbolic ceremony, washes the feet of twelve members of his congregation.
Also on Holy Thursday, the holy oils, recently blessed by the bishop, are presented to the parish. These oils will be used throughout the year to anoint the sick, bless the newly baptized, and confirm others.
As the Mass ends, Jesus in the Sacred Bread is carried to a place of rest in a solemn procession of the congregation. This is symbolic of Jesus’ time in the Garden of Gethsemane following the Last Supper.
Good Friday at 3 p.m. commemorates, with Stations of the Cross, the carrying of the cross and many of the events associated with the journey to the crucifixion – the help from Simon of Cyrene, the wiping of His face by St. Veronica and His leaving of the miraculous image on her veil, the falling under the weight of the cross three times, to the crucifixion and, finally, removal from the cross. Good Friday evening services include Veneration of the Cross, prayers for the whole world, and a second reading of the Passion.
The Holy Saturday Easter Vigil begins as darkness falls. The church is in darkness, symbolic of Christ in the Tomb. A new fire is started outdoors and all gather and light their individual candles from the Pascal, or Easter, candle. The Church is dimly lit by our hope and our candles, then as the reading of the resurrection is proclaimed, and the Gloria prayer sung, the lights come on, blazing with the understanding that Christ is Risen!
Baptisms, Confirmations, and Reception of the Eucharist follow as the Christian community rejoices.
As Easter comes I wish all Christians a Happy Easter. In particular, I want to remember the Greek Orthodox members of our community, whose celebration of Easter coincides with the western Easter this year.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Cell Phone Etiquette
While we sat in the audience of parents and other guests, both before and during the presentations, I heard cell phones ringing. And guess what? The cell phones were those of parents and other adults who either did not remember to turn them off, or who don’t know how to silence the ring tone. And even worse, the phone continues to ring as the owner tries to locate the pocket that holds it.
It is ironic that teens, who are sometimes scorned for excessive cell phone use and texting, are actually among the most polite when it comes to cell phone etiquette. Most teens keep their phone on silent (or vibrate) and can discreetly reply to a text message if necessary.
After my cell phone announced itself while I sat in an audience a while ago, I had my kids teach me how to effectively and easily silence both incoming calls and incoming text messages.
My request to other adults out there: learn how to silence your ringers, and remember to do it. Also, set your phone to shut down silently, so if you do forget, you can then turn it off without making a sound.
And please, if you must take a call, leave the room. You’ll be glad you did.
It looks like cell phone technology is here to stay, so we may as well all learn how to use it with the minimum of disruption, distraction and rudeness.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
We have a new Pastor, Fr. Peter. One always wonders how the change will affect everything from the sermon at Mass to the community outside of worship. Here are two helpful things I gleaned from today's sermon:
- This Sunday is in Ordinary Time, but with Jesus it is never ordinary time! With Jesus, time is always extraordinary.
- The Gospel tells us that anger is against the 5th commandment - Thou Shall not Kill. But righteous anger has its place -- namely that it is justifiable anger when a loved one is hurt. But once it is in the past, the anger must be relinquished and the forgiveness and healing allowed to take place.