Saturday, November 27, 2010

The end is near ... a new beginning starts tomorrow!

Today is the last day of the liturgical year.  Which can only mean one thing:

Tomorrow is the FIRST SUNDAY of ADVENT!

We LOVE Advent around here ... lots of work and fun as we prepare our house, our minds and our souls for receiving the Christ Child on Christmas Day.  I always try to do some of our "old" traditions and incorporate some news one.  For instance, this year we won't be using the our Jesse Tree but instead will be (FINALLY) crafting our own Nativity figures while reading Franciscan Christmas by Kathleen M. Carroll -- this book explains the Franciscan and Christian spirituality of each piece of the traditional creche.  Our figures will be simple, primitive and yet, elegant for their simplicity!  We'll return to using our Advent Blocks as that is such a great way to encourage us to think about the saints, doing for others, reading/working together and just generally getting us ready for Christmas.

We've chosen our patron saints for the next year -- this year, the theme is Dominican Saints (there are TONS of these folks) and I've already got the patron-saint holy cards framed and on the family altar:

Dh's patron for the year -- ironic since St. Albert is patron of scientists, philosophers and theology students!
BamBam got St. Dominic
String Bean drew St. Margaret of Hungary (whose feast day is the same as LegoManiac's bday!)
Lego Maniac drew Pius V -- interesting since LM has always thought the whole Battle of Lepanto thing was cool!
I drew St. Rose of Lima -- my high school's patron and she's also patron saint of needleworkers and World Youth Day 2011!

We've also chosen our theme for the next year ... which starts tomorrow:  CHARITY will be the buzz-word around here with scripture verses, magisterial teaching, and other quotes on Charity being learned throughout the year.  "CHARITY" in it's Catholic sense meaning full self-giving because each of us is a child of God, or as defined in the Catechism (1844):

The first quote we'll learn is from St. Albert the Great (which is also on dh's patron saint holy card):
This is the picture we have up in the dining room (right above the altar) so that we can remember it ... memorize it ... own it and use it in our daily lives!

In the schoolroom, we'll be prepping for Christmas by doing a unit based on Dickens' Christmas novels (there were 5!) and learning all about the Victorian era and work toward celebrating a Dickensian Christmas (with, of course, a Catholic slant!).  I'll be posting our Advent unit study as we go ... including recipes, crafts, decorations and gifts that we'll create as we learn how Dickens' view of Christmas permanently changed the way most folks looked on Christmas.  Here's a quote which sums up Dickens' idea of Christmas:
"But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round -- apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that -- as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.
Come join us on our journey as we go toward Bethlehem and the morning of the Babe's birth.  May your Advent journey be blessed ... and know that you are in our daily prayers.

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to follow you through this Dickens unit, sounds great and like something we should try next year! I love your Advent candles. I miss seeing you lady too :-)