Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception means that Mary herself was immaculately conceived without original sin.

The idea is central to the belief in her absolute perfection and purity as the vessel of Christ's incarnation. She is the second Eve who will undo the trouble caused by the first one. She is part of God's plan for the redemption of humanity, and she was there from the beginning.

Here are a few ideas for an all white menu symbolizing the purity and the stainlessness of Mary's immaculate soul.

Breakfast: hash brown potatoes, Egg white omelet, white toast or English muffins, Cottage cheese

Snack time: White Cheez-Its, mozzarella cheese cubes, white grapes, macadamia nuts

Main Course: White rice, chicken breast with Alfredo sauce, tilapia, halibut, New England clam chowder, white pizza, noodles

Side dishes: Potato salad, Macaroni salad

Dessert: Rice pudding, Baked Pears with Custard Sauce, White Chocolate and Almond Pound Cake

Drinks: White grape juice, white tea, milk, white wine

This was our dinner tonight.


The Mary candle:

An especially appealing project for this Solemnity of Mary is to make a special candle. This candle can be made by attaching a picture or figure of the Infant Jesus to the base of a large pillar-type candle. You might carve a little niche for a tiny figure in the wax. The figure is then veiled (a piece of cloth fastened with pins) until Christmas Eve, when the veil is removed to reveal the Holy Child. On the Immaculate Conception, and every evening until Christmas Eve, have the children light "Mary's candle" when they say their prayers, and say the Hail Mary, or read with them her prayer, called the Magnificat (above).

Roses for Our Lady:

It would also be appropriate to have children place a rose before a picture or image of the Blessed Virgin Mary on this day.

Special Prayers to be prayed today:

The Angelus

Litany of Loreto

Ave Maria Stella

The Memorare

Salve Regina

Thou Art All Fair, O Mary

O Pure and Immaculate

O God, Who by the Immaculate Conception