Wednesday, April 16
One of my jobs every year is to buy flowers that will be distributed at the Great and Holy Friday Vespers service. I love picking something pretty out. For the last two years I have chosen masses of tulips in different colors. I hope that these open a little bit in the next two days. We usually put ours in a vase on our little feast day shelf to enjoy during Bright Week.
I've finally written out my 'to do' list for Holy Week. It mainly includes giving the house a final cleaning, our menu plan for Pascha, and a shopping list. Oh, and a running list of those little things that need to be done like find the Pascha Basket cover, prepare something for the potluck on Holy Friday, buy chocolate, etc.
Our Pascha Dinner Menu is as follows: Ham, Scalloped Potatoes, Asparagus, Greek Pascha Bread, and Carrot Cake. We'll also have goodies from our basket throughout the day. I bought a lot of the things that we'll need at BJs today and freely admit that an abundance of meat and cheese made it's way into our cart. Mmmmm!
Tuesday, April 15
It was a rainy day today, so I am glad that we got in so much outside time yesterday! The children and I took a little trip to our library and chose some great new books (Mr. Putter and Tabby, two Barbara Cooney books, and a bunch of others... in fact, I had to limit the children because our bag was overflowing!).
The little ones and I have been going to the services each night. We have only had Bridegroom Matins so far and typically we stay until after the Gospel and then head back to the house for bedtime. It has been working out well, but as Great and Holy Week continues, I hope we'll be able to stay until the end.
In other news, the lettuce seeds that I planted a week ago are up! I put quite a few seed in each hole and so now I am thinning them out a little. I'll know to plant them a little better in the autumn. In a week or two, I'll be getting the herbs situated. I want to plant basil, rosemary, dill, and parsley to start. I can't wait!
Monday, April 14
We are taking Great and Holy Week and Bright Week off from our lessons. I'm making sure that the children get as much outside time as possible, do something crafty with me each day, and listen to some special read-alouds this week. Today we were outside nearly all day and spent time building a play tent together.
I was so surprised to see that our wheat grass has already sprouted in our little Resurrection Garden. I soaked the wheatberries in a bowl of water from Lazarus Saturday morning until Palm Sunday morning and once we made the garden, I covered the planted seeds with plastic wrap until this afternoon. I can't wait to see the grass grow!
Sunday, April 13
1. Make participation at the Services a priority.
2. In our homes we should strive to “keep out the world” and enter into the peace, solemnity, and theology of the events of the last days of our Lord.
3. Be sure to read the last chapters of the Holy Gospels that speak of the Passion, Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Christ.
4. If you are visiting another parish and wish to receive Communion, make sure that the priest knows who you are and that you are prepared. This should be done in advance by phone, email, or any other way.
5. Last year’s palms and pussy willows should be placed outside in an area to decay where they will not be disturbed. They are holy and should not be simply thrown out with the garbage.
6. Before venerating Holy Objects, such as the Cross, the Chalice, Icons, or the Winding-Sheet, make sure to wipe off your lipstick or chapstick. Reminder: we do not kiss the face of our Lord, His Mother, or the Saints; in-stead kiss the hands or feet.
7. If you haven’t yet made your Confession during Great Lent, try to make it during the beginning of Holy Week. Speak with your priest to arrange a time.
8. Try to make amends with those we may be upset with or those who are upset with us, so that on Pascha we can joyfully sing, “Let us call brothers, even those that hate us, and forgive all by the Resurrection!”
9. Try to stay after the “Midnight Service” on Pascha morning for the blessing of baskets and festive meal. Let us share in the joy of the Lord’s Resurrection with fellowship and love.
10. During Bright Week, sing or read the Paschal Hours instead of your “normal” morning and evening prayers. Let the joy of praising the Lord’s Resurrection accompany you throughout Bright Week, the Paschal season, and your whole life.
From Fr John's Sunday Bulletin
I spend a little time each week looking for interesting things for my children to write in their copybooks, usually based upon a theme. I will post them here each week as a record for myself and as a help to any other family that wishes to use them.
The Song of the Willow-Catkin Fairy
The people call me Palm, they do;
They call me Pussy-willow too.
And when I', full in bloom, the bees
Come humming round my yellow trees.
The people trample round about
And spoil the little trees, and shout;
My shiny twigs are thin and brown:
The people pull and break them down.
To keep a Holy Feast, they say,
They take my pretty boughs away.
I should be glad-I should not mind-
If only people weren't unkind.
Oh, you may pick a piece, you may
(So dear and silky, soft and grey);
But if you're rough and greedy, why
You'll make the little fairies cry.
Flower Fairies of the Spring
Cicely Mary Barker